Trial Over the University of Kentucky’s Title IX Compliance Begins

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Two former students of the University of Kentucky have taken the school to court, alleging that it has failed to provide adequate athletic opportunities for females and has not met the standards of Title IX.

Elizabeth Niblock and Ala Hassan, both ex-students of the UK, are bringing a lawsuit. They were both part of athletic clubs while they were attending the university.

The University of Kentucky is the defendant in the case, with its president, Eli Capilouto, and athletics director, Mitch Barnhart, noted in the filing documents.

In 2016, after a lengthy review, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) determined that Kentucky had not been abiding by Title IX, as they failed to provide enough opportunities for female students. The OCR presented two possible solutions to the University of Kentucky:

  • it could prove women had athletic opportunities proportional to its enrollment — which would have meant adding nearly 200 more roster spots to existing and/or new teams;
  • or it could assess female students’ athletic interests and abilities to determine whether it already was meeting their needs — and if not, it would add the sports those women wanted.

UK chose the second option. It also signed an agreement allowing the agency to monitor its progress.

Niblock and Hassan are now suing UK for not doing more to comply with Title IX, asking their lawsuit be viewed “as a class action on behalf of all present, prospective, and future female students at UK who seek to participate in varsity intercollegiate lacrosse, field hockey, or any other sport not currently offered by University of Kentucky.”




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