Sidelined: Title IX Retaliation Cases and Women's Leadership in College Athletics
45 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2009 Last revised: 28 Dec 2011
Date Written: 2010
This Article examines the retaliation cases that have been filed in the wake of Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, a 2005 Supreme Court decision clarifying the applicability of Title IX's private right of action to retaliation claims. In recent years, dozens of coaches and athletic department officials have sued colleges and universities alleging that they were fired or suffered other adverse consequences after challenging athletic department practices that they believed to constitute violations of Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded schools. Several of these cases have already concluded in multimillion dollar jury verdicts and settlements, suggesting that the retaliation remedy has the potential to provide economic incentives to colleges and universities to avoid not only retaliation itself, but also address the underlying sex discrimination endemic in athletic department culture. This Article uses these cases to identify obstacles to women’s leadership in college athletics and to suggest ways in which the newly invigorated retaliation remedy might contribute to their demise.
Keywords: Title IX, retaliation, women, athletics
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