Iowa settles Title IX lawsuit by adding the women’s wrestling team
The University of Iowa announced Thursday a settlement with women athletes suing the institution for violating the protection of gender equality under Title IX.
As a result of the suit headed by swimmers, the university is adding a women’s wrestling team. The cut in the women’s swimming and diving team had already reversed in February, but the relief from the cuts did not apply to the men’s swimming and other men’s teams.
Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said the addition of women’s wrestling has been on the radar for a while to mate with a national male powerhouse team.
“I’m just telling you, and that’s the bottom line, if it weren’t for COVID we wouldn’t have cut the sport,” Barta told the Iowa Gazette. “If it weren’t for the Title IX lawsuit, I wouldn’t be ready to add women’s rings yet. But I can tell you that while timing may be a challenge, the decision is great. We are happy about it and are ready to continue. “
Iowa announced the cuts in August 2020, due to take effect after the 2020-21 season. It cited budget pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the two swimming programs, men’s gymnastics and men’s tennis have also been shortened.
Four swimmers filed a Title IX complaint by the end of September; A wrestler and rugby player joined the lawsuit filed in southern Iowa in December. In the lawsuit it was alleged that the university violated its obligations under Title IX towards female students by not offering men and women equal sporting opportunities due to their representation on campus.
The university resumed the program in February after a district court ruled that the women had a “fair chance” to win their case. None of the four original plaintiffs remain on the Hawkeyes’ swimming and diving list.
Barta said the school intends to fund women’s wrestling for the NCAA with a maximum of 10 grants and 30 members. The comparison also includes an upper limit for the “likely excessive” number of women on the rowing team, which was reported at 94 in 2018-19. only sports that have no corresponding female equivalent in terms of investments or scholarship numbers.) As part of the comparison, the university conducts annual tests for compliance with Title IX.
“You have claimed that Title IX female students at the University of Iowa are entitled to additional college sports, and this exciting new development will ensure such additional opportunities are available.” James Larew, said the lawyer for the six athletes. “Our brave clients have done a very effective job as advocates for female athletes.”
Larew added that plaintiffs were “thrilled” with Iowa’s commitment to add women’s wrestling.