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Title IX woes

Budget cuts raise Title IX suspicions

Chris+Maiello%2C+former+head+coach+of+the+swimming+and+diving+teams%2C+recently+signed+on+to+coach+at+UConn.
Chris Maiello, former head coach of the swimming and diving teams, recently signed on to coach at UConn.

Chris Maiello, former head coach of the swimming and diving teams, recently signed on to coach at UConn.

Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

Chris Maiello, former head coach of the swimming and diving teams, recently signed on to coach at UConn.

Adam Demoulas, Staff Writer

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Following the sports cuts at the University of North Dakota, an investigation is underway regarding the controversial federal code Title IX.

In the wake of cutting the women’s hockey team and men’s/women’s swimming and diving team, the university will be answering questions of the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Right.

To best understand the investigation, one must understand the written code of Title IX.

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance,” as defined by the NCAA.

Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. This has allowed many females the opportunity to play sports throughout all levels.

“There’s a very small group of people opposed of Title IX,” Nancy Hogshead-Makar, senior director of advocacy for the Women’s Sports Foundation, said. “The vast majority of the public wants men and women to have equal educational opportunity including athletics.”

A common myth of Title IX is that there needs to be identical athletic programs for males and females.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance.”

— NCAA, Title IX definition

Each gender team is not required to have exactly the same services or supplies, but the same standards of service does needs to be given to each of the teams.

Variations may be allowed as long as they are justified.

Donna Smith, UND’s coordinator for Title IX programs said, “What happens a lot is that when you make a change that affects roster size or elimination of a team, what you need to do is balance both parts of those.”

UND has hired an outside law firm, Baker Donelson, for guidance in consideration with the whole legal process.

“To help make sure we are making all those calculations in appropriate way and having all the input we need to do that,” UND President Mark Kennedy said.

The funding of 30½ women scholarships need to be split across the current teams at UND in a way that makes it balanced across women and men’s teams.

“As we allocate dollars available, it will be done in order to keep that balance,” Kennedy said in response to the facilities that were used by those teams that got cut.

These moves of funding and scholarships need to be relocated in a way that will maintain gender equality.

This was known throughout the process of cutting the teams and may have been considered when cutting teams.

“We are aware of the investigation, which was not unexpected,” UND spokesman Peter Johnson said, “We will work with the investigators to answer whatever questions they might have.”

There has been an attempt by the women’s hockey team to raise money from supporters in order to save their program.

Kennedy respected their efforts, but would only realistically consider it if $60 million were raised to endow the program.

In this short amount of time since the women’s hockey team and swimming and diving team were cut, many of the athletes including coaches have found other opportunities with other teams across the country, some within almost days.

As the wake settles and the investigation will slowly come to an end, the student athletes and student population will have to come to terms with what has happened.

Adam Demoulas is the staff writer for Dakota Student. He can be reached at adam.demoulas@ndus.edu

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