How Scared Are Schools of Title IX?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Eastern Michigan University has decided to settle a Title IX claim that alleged its budgetary decision to cut both men's and women's sports teams violated the civil rights statute. The claim had been filed against the school, its president, and its athletic director, and is another harsh example of how Title IX's requirements create absurd results for colleges across the country.

School Settles Lawsuit Claiming Discrimination for Shutting Down Sports Teams

Back in 2018, Eastern Michigan University faced a $4.5 to $5.5 million budget shortfall and decided to make some cuts to its athletics offerings. In the end, the school decided to eliminate the following teams:

  • Softball
  • Wrestling
  • Men's swimming
  • Men's diving
  • Women's tennis

By cutting those programs, the school stood to save $2.4 million. The cuts impacted 58 male athletes and 25 female athletes.

Nevertheless, it was the women whose teams had been cut that filed the Title IX lawsuit against the school and its athletics department, claiming that the cuts were gender discrimination.

Central to their argument was the fact that, according to the school itself back in 2017, 60% of the student population was female at Eastern Michigan University. However, according to the U.S. Department of Education, women only comprised 44% of the school's athletic participants.

That lawsuit has settled out of court for $125,000 – a healthy chunk of the money that Eastern Michigan had saved by cutting the programs.

Two Takeaways from the Title IX Settlement

The lawsuit never went to trial, so it's hard to tell whether it would have been successful or not. However, the alleged victims of gender discrimination managed to get enough money to drop the case that it would be hard to persuade anyone that they lost.

While the settlement leaves some doubt as to whether a court and a jury would have been persuaded by the claims in it, there are still two takeaways to be had.

1. Title IX Has Tied the Hands of Schools

Eastern Michigan couldn't cut women's athletic programs without triggering a lawsuit. Even though its cuts would have impacted more than twice as many men as women, the women still considered it discriminatory because it cut sporting opportunities for women at all. It seems as if any budget cut that impacts both men and women are going to lead to a Title IX lawsuit.

2. Schools are Scared of Title IX

It seems as if Eastern Michigan would have had a strong defense to the lawsuit. They had a budget shortfall and had to make big decisions. They cut far more spots for male athletes than female athletes.

Nevertheless, the school decided to settle the claim for a six-figure amount rather than take it any closer to trial than they had to. After all, if Eastern Michigan was found to have discriminated against women, they could see their federal funding get cut.

Title IX Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento

Forbidding gender discrimination in higher education is an honorable goal. Scaring colleges into settling weak claims of discrimination and keeping them from protecting their budgets is not how to do it.

Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense lawyer. Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.