Quinnipiac Volleyball Team Reinstated After Injunction

quinn1On the heels of a Federal Court injunction preventing Quinnipiac from dropping its women’s volleyball team until a full trial could be held, the university announced that the team had been reinstated.  However, that was not the last word for Quinnipiac, which also announced that it was cutting its men’s indoor track team.  Quinnipiac has now dropped men’s golf, men’s indoor track and men’s outdoor track.

Here are some of the essential questions and answers concerning this matter:

Why did the Judge issue an injunction?

U.S. District Court Judge Stefan Underhill granted a temporary injunction, requiring Quinnipiac to maintain its women’s volleyball program until a full trial could be conducted.  The basic standard used to evaluate a claim for injunctive relief is whether the claim has a “substantial likelihood of success on the merits.”  Accordingly, Judge Underhill found a substantial likelihood that the plaintiffs in the Quinnipiac case would prove that the university violated Title IX.  However, it is important to keep in mind that the parties have not had a full opportunity to conduct discovery, take depositions of important fact witnesses or present final arguments on the issues.  The injunction does not necessarily indicate that the the plaintiff will succeed at trial.

What happens to the lawsuit?

It remains to be seen what will happen to the lawsuit.  On one hand, if Quinnipiac intends to restore the volleyball program on a permanent basis, it would appear that the plaintiff’s have been made whole.  On the other hand, the plaintiffs seek more than the reinstatment of the program in their complaint – they claimed monetary damages.  Furthermore, Quinnipiac’s announcement that it was now cutting men’s indoor track appears to have added fuel to the plaintiff’s fire.  Andrew Schneider, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut was quoted by Ed Stannard of the New Haven Register as follows:

[T]oday’s decision to cut the men’s indoor track team to keep the women’s volleyball team is a false choice that unnecesarily pits men athletes against women athletes.

Why did Quinnipiac let this case go this far?

This is a difficult question to answer.  The vast majority of all lawsuits come as no surprise to the parties involved.  One would assume that Quinnipiac knew that cutting the women’s volleyball team could result in a Title IX lawsuit and were likely put on notice of the suit before the ACLU went public.  However, the suit was allowed to proceed, and virtually all of the information made public to this point has portrayed Quinnipiac in a negative light.  Perhaps most damaging is the testimomy that Quinnipiac teams manipulated rosters for reporting purposes.  This lawsuit has been, and may continue to be, a source of negative attention for Quinnipiac.  The university should use the injunction and reinstatement of the volleyball team as an opportunity to resolve this matter before more damaging facts come to light.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Quinnipiac Volleyball Team Reinstated After Injunction […]

  2. […] Quinnipiac Volleyball Team Reinstated After Injunction Share this:FacebookTwitterPrintEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Filed Under: Colleges and Universities, Connecticut Local News, Title IX Tagged With: Pat Eaton-Robb, Quinnipiac University, Second Circuit, Title IX « Upholding Olympic Values […]

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