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Gimme an 'I'! Gimme an 'X'! What's That Spell? 'LAWSUIT'

Cheer Kicking off today in federal court in Bridgeport, Conn., is a trial that will seek to answer the question, "Is cheerleading a sport?" According to the AP, U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill will be presiding over the case brought by members of the Quinnipiac University women's volleyball team, against the university for failure to comply with the requirements of Title IX.

Quinnipiac decided to cut its volleyball program and replace it with a "competitive cheer squad," which is apparently cheaper. Though there is currently a preliminary injunction in place preventing the school from axing the team pending the outcome of the suit, the results of the trial will set important precedent, especially in light of the fact that the case has been certified as a class action.

Quinnipiac was found to have manipulated its athlete statistics in an attempt to comply with the mandates of the law:

Evidence showed the men's baseball and lacrosse teams, for example, would drop players before reporting data to the Department of Education and reinstate them after the reports were submitted. Conversely, the women's softball team would add players before the reporting date, knowing the additional players would not be on the team in the spring.

I never did get the "new math." Though I'm skeptical about cheerleading being considered a sport in and of itself, even if you were to convince me otherwise, I'm in agreement with Anna Clark at Salon: "[W]hat a sorry birth it would be for varsity cheerleading if it were to come out of a swamp of data manipulation and lawsuits that pit sports against one another, making a mockery of any claimed commitment to the participation of women in athletics."

Posted by Eric Lipman on June 21, 2010 at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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