Since the pandemic began, athletes nationwide have turned to Title IX laws to fight back against budget-related sports cuts.
On Monday, yet another war was waged — this time over financial aid distribution.
Seventeen women’s sports athletes filed a Title IX lawsuit against San Diego State University, alleging the school unequally distributed financial aid between men’s and women’s players.
The school eliminated women’s rowing after last season, partially citing pandemic budget cuts as well as Title IX itself. Now, the plaintiffs — women’s rowers among them — have asked for a total of more than $1.2 million, in addition to demanding that SDSU provide equitable aid going forward.
- The lawsuit alleges that in 2019-20, women’s sports athletes could have received more than $690,000 more with aid proportionate to men’s athletes.
- In 2020-21, women’s sports athletes allegedly lost out on more than $570,000.
- A similar pattern has emerged dating back to 2010, lead counsel Arthur Bryant said in a statement.
In response, SDSU noted its track record for investing in women’s sports and scholarships. “We are disappointed with the incomplete picture presented,” a statement read.
A Proven Record
Bryant has been successfully prosecuting Title IX cases since 1985.
He and his firm have become the go-to lawyers for athletes at schools from Dartmouth to William & Mary, winning at least eight settlements since the pandemic began. In some cases, a threat of a lawsuit alone was enough to reinstate teams.