Thursday, May 31, 2007

Universities Working on Pregnancy Policies

In the wake of ESPN's high profile coverage of pregnant athletes and the discriminatory treatment they often face in the absence of university policies (see this prior post), athletic administrators are starting to take action. According to this report from the Eugene Register-Guard, the University of Oregon and Oregon State are both working on official policies that would prevent unlawful discrimination against pregnant athletes, such as the revoking of scholarships. Both schools currently leave decisions in such matters to the discretion of coaches.

The article also notes that the NCAA's Committee on Women's Athletics plans to meet in July to address its pregnancy policies. Currently the NCAA allows schools grant an extra year of eligibility to athletes who miss a season due to pregnancy. By not requiring this accommodation, the NCAA leaves its members open to Title IX violations, as the federal regulations expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.

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