Judge Denies Injunction Request from Michigan State Women’s Swimming

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Photo Courtesy: Dan D'Addona

Members of the Michigan State women’s swimming and diving team lost a bid on Friday for an injunction preventing the school from dropping the program.

U.S. District Judge Hala Y. Jarbou ruled against the swimmers Friday, reasoning in her opinion that, “MSU is best positioned to steward its financial resources for the benefit of the institution and its students.” The swimmers gave notice of intent to appeal the decision, which would fall under the Sixth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Last month, the team members filed for a temporary injunction seeking to stop the school from eliminating the program and other women’s programs at the end of the academic year, as the school had announced its attention to do. The swimmers cited the possibility of Title IX violations and the university’s trend of failing to comply with Title IX.

The university announced the cuts in October. It has remained recalcitrant on changes, which it said were caused by budget shortfalls, even after receiving a $32 million gift this year. Administration seems to be funneling that to anywhere but the cut program, making the rich revenue sports richer.

Recourse to the courts has proven decisive in other battles to save swim teams. The University of Iowa reversed course on a planned cut of the women’s swimming team after team members filed a legal complaint. Dartmouth’s success in reinstating several cut varsity programs owed to an aggressive legal strategy.

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