Michigan State University Appeals to U.S. Supreme Court Over Title IX Lawsuit From Former Swimmers

shelby-lacy, michigan state university
Michigan State swimmer Shelby Lacy -- Photo Courtesy: Michigan State Athletics

Michigan State University Appeals to U.S. Supreme Court Over Title IX Lawsuit From Former Swimmers

More than a year after Michigan State University discontinued its varsity swimming and diving teams, the school has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in protest of a lawsuit brought by 11 members of the women’s team claiming that the decision to cut the teams puts the school out of compliance with Title IX. A statement from the group “Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive” expressed displeasure at the university’s decision and listed data points countering the school’s main points.

“Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive is profoundly disappointed that MSU has chosen to take its fight with these women to the Supreme Court rather than working with our group of students, alumni, and supporters to restore the swim and dive teams, invest the millions pledged by Battle donors into the program, and reverse MSU’s terrible Title IX track record,” the statement reads.

According to the statement, Michigan State “argues that measurement of the participation gap used to determine compliance with the landmark 1972 legislation is inconsistently applied and ‘unworkable’ for a large university, and the group goes on to note that expected financial shortfalls because of the COVID-19 pandemic have been eased by nearly $200 million in donations. The “Battle” group adds that $10.85m in “pledges, endowments and estate donations” is available as part of the plans for the team’s reinstatement.

The statement adds that any effort to reinstate Michigan State’s swimming programs would need to happen soon. This season is well within reach despite MSU’s claims. Samantha Barany, Executive Director of the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America, submitted a declaration to District Court Judge Hala Jarbou confirming that every Big Ten swim program plus a number of other Division I schools would be ‘eager to schedule a meet involving a Swim and Dive team from Michigan State University during the 2022-23 season.'”

Read the full statement from “Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive” here, and the group also has a website with other resources and links available.

Additional Michigan State Reading

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