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Canceled Field Hockey Game Gets Reopened When Kent State's Title IX Investigation Finds It Did Nothing Wrong

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Oct 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

A misunderstanding or, at worst, a tone-deaf decision by the athletics department at Kent State University led another college to file a Title IX claim against them.

Now, the fallout from the decision has gotten worse when Kent State decided that it had not committed gender discrimination.

In our next post, we'll explain why the whole situation is getting overblown.

Kent State Kicks Field Hockey Game Off Field to Set Up Fireworks

The women's field hockey teams from the University of Maine, Kent State University, and Temple University gathered in Kent, Ohio, to square off against one another in early September.

The series began with a Friday game that saw Temple beat Kent State 3-0.

However, it was the Saturday game between Temple and Maine that drew national media attention.

With the score tied 0-0 at the end of regulation and the first overtime period, the teams were about to go into a second, 10-minute sudden-death period. If the game stayed tied, it would move to a penalty shootout.

Kent State officials, however, stepped in and stopped the game. It was 10:45 a.m. and the field had to be cleared for a 12 p.m. fireworks display before the Kent State home opening football game. Fire marshal regulations required a 90-minute setup period for fireworks, so the field hockey game had already run 15 minutes too long.

Both teams had been informed back in May that fire regulations required they be off the field by 10:30, though the Director of Athletics at the University of Maine pointed out that the written contract for the game made no mention of the requirement.

The incident attracted lots of attention on Twitter, and even Kent State alum criticized their former school for its decision to put a pre-game fireworks display for its football team ahead of a tight women's field hockey game.

The University of Maine, however, went further. They filed a Title IX claim against Kent State, alleging gender discrimination.

Kent Investigates Itself, Finds No Wrongdoing

As with all Title IX investigations, UMaine's Title IX claim was handled internally – by Kent State, itself.

That investigation proved to be a quick one, and culminated with the finding that surprised no one: Kent State decided that it had committed no wrongdoing or Title IX violation.

The outcome of the Title IX investigation reopened the old wound and subjected Kent State to another round of criticism. As Deadspin so accurately put it, “Kent State Investigates Kent State For Title IX Violations, Finds None.”

The University of Maine was especially critical of the fact that the summary report of Kent State's investigation did not include interviews with the field hockey athletes involved.

Title IX Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento

While tone-deaf and harsh, the treatment that Kent State is getting for their decision to cancel the field hockey game is incredibly unfair for what it really is – a contract dispute over the use of its facilities by non-students.

In our next blog, we'll explain why.

Call Title IX defense lawyer Joseph D. Lento at (888) 535-3686 or contact him online if you are facing a Title IX claim.

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. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Mr. 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 has 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 school-related issues and concerns anywhere in the United States.

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