Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Jersey HS Football Perks May Violate Title IX

OCR is investigating a complaint against Phillipsburg (NJ) High School that its preferential treatment of football violates Title IX. The Express-Times reports:

According to the complaint, football players were given free game-day breakfasts, post game parties in the school, shirts, rings and jackets.

The complainant alleges football players were provided SAT tutoring and allowed to practice during the school day. The complainant also claims the football, boys basketball and wrestling teams hire a paid videographer for all games while the girls basketball team only has home games taped.

Another local paper, the Morning Star, adds that one school board member who supports the charges discovered on his own "several inequities including that the varsity baseball coach earns more than the varsity softball coach, and there is a baseball program but no softball program at the middle school." Now it's not per se unlawful to pay a boy's team coach more than a girl's team coach, or to field baseball but not softball. But if the rest of the allegations against Phillipsburg hold true, the greater the likelihood that that these isssues are part of inequality at the program level. If OCR does find that the school has treated the boys athletic program better than the girls athletic programl, then it will likely leverage the threat of lost federal funding to compel the school to come into compliance.

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