Title IX Lawsuit Likely Against Florida High School Athletic Association
The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) may face a Title IX lawsuit in response to its plan to save school districts money by reducing the number of scheduled games. In April, the FHSAA passed a resolution called Policy 6, which would cut varsity games by 20 percent and junior varsity games by 40 percent. Football and cheerleading schedules would be exempt from the reductions. The group Florida Parents for Athletic Equity is protesting the plan because female athletes would be disproportionately affected: 36,000 boys are on football teams while only 4,600 girls are on cheerleading squads in Florida.
Law professor and former Olympic gold medal swimmer Nancy Hogshead-Makar is spearheading the fight against Policy 6. Her legal team was working with the FHSAA on a plan that would have cut football games or added back games to some girls' sports. However, the FHSAA failed to announce any policy changes by a deadline last week. Hogshead-Makar said in an e-mail to the Association, "we have exhausted our good faith attempt to obtain resolution of this matter and we will be filing the lawsuit the first of next week," reported the Orlando Sentinel.
Last week FHSAA Executive Director Roger Dearing suggested that a board meeting might be called for mid-July, but according to The Ledger, Hogshead-Makar is not satisfied with this date because any changes to Policy 6 would be made too late to stop implementation of the plan prior to the 2009-2010 school year.
Media Resources: The Ledger 6/12/09; Herald Tribune 6/12/09; Orlando Sentinel 6/12/09; St. Petersburg Times 6/13/09