College Sports Council, Pacific Legal Foundation call on U.S. Dept. of Education to clarify Title IX rules for High School Sports

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 20, 2007 – Two leading national organizations today called on the U.S. Department of Education to clarify that Title IX’s compliance standard for colleges, known as three part test, does not apply to High School sports teams.

The request was made today by the College Sports Council, a national coalition of coaches, parents, athletes and fans who are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the student athlete experience, and Pacific Legal Foundation, a non-profit, public interest legal organization that has been the national leader in advocating non-discrimination by government entities.

The two groups today filed a petition with the Department of Education. Specifically, the petition demonstrates how Title IX’s three-part test and its proportionality prong have never been the compliance standard for scholastic sports.

“The Department of Education has an obligation to provide clear and unambiguous guidelines for Title IX compliance at the scholastic level. Their failure to act will allow gender quota advocates to advance their own version of Title IX compliance,” said Eric Pearson, Chairman of the CSC. “ If proportionality would be applied today at the High School level, you’d have to eliminate over one million boys from teams to get a 50/50 gender ratio, and nobody wants to see that happen. It would create the largest quota system ever imposed by government in the United States.”

One of the ways that colleges have been forced to comply with the proportionality prong of Title IX is through the cutting and capping of male teams. Recently, James Madison University eliminated 10 teams in order to bring its athletic department in line with proportionality.

“The regulatory history on Title IX is very clear that proportionality was never intended to apply to scholastic sports teams. Its misapplication at the college level has created an inflexible and unreasonable quota system,” said Steven Geoffrey Gieseler, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation. “High school boys and their teams will face similar discrimination in the forms of numerical limits on participation rates if the Administration neglects to provide clarification. We have joined with the CSC to file this petition in order to prevent a trickle down of misinformation on Title IX compliance for scholastic sports.”

Along with the petition, the College Sports Council also has launched a new weblog that will feature photos, articles, and literature disclosing the harmful effects of Title IX’s gender quota system, as well as updates on the campaign to get the U.S. Department of Education to clarify that the regulations don’t apply to high schools. Linked on the blog is a new study featuring an interactive map showing men’s athletic teams disappearing in dozens of states, and some even approaching extinction as a result of Title IX enforcement.

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