Monday, April 02, 2007

Breaking News: Cert. Denied in Communities for Equity

The Supreme Court announced today that it would not review the 6th Circuit's decision that held Michigan High School Athletic Association in violation of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause for scheduling a number of girls' sports out of season. According to the Detroit Free Press,
That means that in the next school year, six sports — including girls basketball and volleyball — will switch seasons. Those switches will affect about 70,000 athletes. Michigan high schools must now juggle practice times and scheduling, specifically during basketball season, which starts in December. Schools with limited facilities will feel the crunch the most.
Just to put that last point into perspective: Michigan's separate seasons for girls and boys basketball is unique. Schools in every other state manage to find a way to run girls' and boys' basketball together in the winter. Some might even argue that it's more efficient to have them in the same season, because schools can consolidate travel costs by scheduling double-headers. And it's also worth noting that up to now in Michigan, girls volleyball was a winter sport, so many schools are probably used to having a boys and girls team use the same gym in the winter.

It's also important to keep in mind that the case was not about logistics -- it was about discrimination. The issue was not whether MHSAA could schedule certain sports out of season for reasons relating to facilities or coaching or any other issue of convenience. The issue was, rather, whether it violated Title IX and Equal Protection that all six of the sports that MHSAA did schedule out of sync with the rest of country were girls' sports. The 6th Circuit said it does, and now we know that that decision will stand.

See earlier posts about Communities for Equity here, here, and here.

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