Friday, April 22, 2011

Delaware athletes filed OCR complaint

There has been a lot of press about the cutting of men's outdoor track and cross country at University of Delaware since the announcement was made in January.
We haven't commented on it because it has been the usual blame game: blame on Title IX mostly, but also blame on administrators, and blame on the economy. None of it very productive.
But the news out today about the filing of an OCR complaint is quite interesting. The student athletes who were affected by the cuts have filed the complaint asking OCR to investigate whether there was gender discrimination involved in the decision to make the cuts. The athletes, and others, believe this is an instance of reverse discrimination.
We're a little surprised and concerned that OCR has said that it will indeed investigate the complaint--unless there's something more to the complaint that we don't know about. But Title IX protects the historically underrepresented sex. Men at UD have not been underrepresented in athletics.
Yes, it is lousy that such a storied program is being cut, and the manner in which it was done doesn't reflect too well on the university. But it isn't reverse discrimination. Equity in Athletics tried to make that argument (in the courts) in the JMU case and it didn't work there. We suspect it won't work here either.