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The proper analytical framework for assessing a claim under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C.S. §§ 1681-1688 (1994) (Title IX), can be found in the Policy Interpretations to Title IX, which require an analysis of the disproportionality between the university's male and female participation, the university's history of expanding opportunities for women, and whether the university effectively accommodates the interests of its female students. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Policy Interpretation, 44 Fed. Reg. 71,413, 71,414 (1979). Specifically, the Policy Interpretation explains that Title IX's application to athletic programs covers three general subject areas: scholarships, equivalent treatment, and equal accommodation. 44 Fed. Reg. 71,415, 71, 417. As a matter of law, a Title IX violation may be shown by proof of a substantial violation in any one of the three major areas of investigation set out in the Policy Interpretation.
In two district court cases plaintiff alleged defendant public university and officials (defendants) discriminated against women under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C.S. §§ 1681-1688 (1994) (Title IX), in the provision of facilities and teams for intercollegiate athletic competition. The district court found defendant for years had continued to assume athletics was a male domain, and that its women students did not want to participate in the same manner and to the same extent as its male students. Plaintiffs appealed the district court's decision to decertify a putative class, its holding that defendants did not intentionally violate Title IX, and its dismissal of certain claims for lack of standing. Defendants challenged inter alia the district court's conclusion that defendants violated Title IX.
Did the defendant public university discriminate against women under Title IX in the provision of facilities and teams for intercollegiate athletic competition?
The court affirmed the finding of Title IX noncompliance, but reversed the finding of no intentional violation, holding that defendant had persisted in a systematic, intentional, differential treatment of women, and that actions resulting from an application of archaic attitudes towards women constituted intentional discrimination.