If you have questions regarding Title IX in Connecticut, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

Title IX in Athletics

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education has unveiled new materials aimed at promoting equal opportunity in athletic programs in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX mandates that programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance cannot discriminate based on sex, and OCR enforces these regulations.

These resources from OCR are designed to assist students, parents, coaches, athletic directors, and school officials in assessing whether a school is fulfilling its legal obligation to ensure equal athletic opportunities regardless of gender. Compliance with Title IX requires schools to (1) accommodate both sexes equally based on their athletic interests and abilities, and (2) offer comparable benefits, opportunities, and treatment to all teams, regardless of gender.

Student Athletic Interests and Capabilities

In assessing whether a school’s athletic program aligns with Title IX, OCR examines if the school demonstrates it meets students’ athletic interests and abilities in one of three ways:

  1. Substantial Proportionality: Evaluating if the percentage of female and male participants reflects the enrollment percentage of girls and boys in the school.
  2. History and Continuing Practice: Reviewing whether the school has a track record and current efforts of expanding its athletic program to accommodate the interests and abilities of underrepresented groups—adjusting for girls if they are underrepresented, or boys if they are underrepresented.
  3. Interests and Abilities of Students: Determining if the school can prove that, despite disparities, its athletic program effectively caters to the interests and abilities of the underrepresented gender.

Ensuring Equal Benefits, Opportunities, and Treatment

OCR evaluates numerous factors on a case-by-case basis to assess compliance with Title IX, considering the unique circumstances of each school and its programs. Failing to affirmatively answer any of the following questions may suggest a potential Title IX violation:

  • Does the school provide athletic gear that is of equal quality, quantity, suitability, condition, and availability for both male and female athletes?
  • Are there locker rooms of comparable size and quality for athletes?
  • Are training and conditioning facilities of equal quality?
  • Do both genders have equivalent access to medical and training personnel/services?
  • Does the school provide equal coverage to both male and female teams?
  • Are cheerleaders, pep bands, and drill teams treated equivalently?
  • Do both boys’ and girls’ teams have reasonable opportunities to compete before an audience?
  • Do teams of both genders play a sufficient number of regular season games to compete at their division level?
  • Are practice times equally convenient for male and female athletes?
  • Are the number and duration of practice sessions comparable for both genders?
  • Do teams of both genders use equivalent modes of transportation?
  • Are athletes provided with equivalent accommodations and meal allowances when traveling?
  • Do coaches of both genders possess equivalent qualifications?
  • Are coaches available to male and female athletes for comparable amounts of time?
  • Do coaches of both genders receive comparable compensation? If disparities exist, can non-discriminatory factors justify them?
  • Do coaches of both genders have equivalent “other duties”?

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

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If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or to schedule a free initial consultation today.