In our last blog post, we discussed the continued fallout from a canceled field hockey game at Kent State University. The short of it is this: A women's field hockey game between Temple and the University of Maine was canceled in double-overtime to clear the field for a pre-game fireworks display for Kent State's football team. There was an uproar in the media. Maine filed a Title IX claim at Kent State. Kent State found itself not responsible for gender discrimination. There was another media uproar.
It seems like lots of people want to make this about gender disparity and not what it really is: A contract dispute about field space that came from scheduling events too tightly.
Remember: Neither Field Hockey Team Was Kent State's
The first thing to remember, here, is that the field hockey game that was happening at Kent State was between the University of Maine and Temple University. Neither team was Kent State's team. The reason the game was happening at Kent State seems to have been scheduling efficiency: Kent State was hosting both Temple and UMaine over the weekend, already, so they let UMaine and Temple rent a field to play each other while they were both in the area.
This is important because why would Kent State delay a fireworks display for its own team in order to let two random schools play past their contractual end time?
This is All a Contract Dispute
The agreement between Kent State and the two field hockey teams was to let them use Kent State's field space for their game.
That's a contract: Temple and UMaine agreed with Kent State to use their field for their game. There might have been a rental payment. There was definitely a written rental agreement that was signed. That agreement had terms that UMaine and Temple had to abide by.
Whether that contract explicitly said the teams had to be off the field at 10:30 a.m., whether Kent State effectively communicated this requirement orally or in additional writing, or whether there was no communication whatsoever are all questions at the center of this contract dispute.
Not Kicking the Teams Off Would Have Led to Other Problems
Imagine Kent State allowing the field hockey game to proceed. Between the last 10-minute overtime period and a penalty shootout, the game could have lasted another 20 minutes. The time was already 10:45 – 15 minutes after the teams should have been off the field to make way for the fire marshal mandated setup protocol for fireworks displays. Allowing two other schools to finish their game could have pushed the fireworks display – one that thousands of fans had been promised – back over half an hour. It could have even delayed Kent State's own football game if the scheduling was tight.
Title IX Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento
Painting this contract dispute as gender discrimination is a huge exaggeration that looks past some of the basic details of what happened.
Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense lawyer who represents students and faculty members accused of on-campus sexual misconduct. Contact him online or call him at (888) 535-3686.