Equitable Treatment For Female Athletes Under Title IXCONTACT US NOW FOR A CONSULTATION
Is Your College Treating its Female Athletes Equitably?
- Case Results
- List of Schools
Here are some representative results we’ve achieved for our clients.
Female complainant’s rights, health, and safety protected throughout lengthy proceedings
Our client was sexually assaulted by a male student acquaintance. We became involved to support our client in getting proper medical treatment, preserving and collecting evidence and witness testimony, and securing therapeutic support. We helped her understand and navigate the many complex options available to her, including a criminal complaint, an informal complaint process, a formal complaint process, or doing nothing. We guided her through the informal process and then the formal process, including interviews with various school and law enforcement officials, and worked closely with the school to put in place appropriate accommodations ensuring that all interviews and hearings did not retraumatize her. The male student was found responsible and was expelled.
Large private university
Witness to sexual violence protected from intimidation
We represented a female witness to a dating violence case on campus who was being pressured to speak with the police and the school investigators about a violent matter she had witnessed on her dorm floor. We immediately communicated on her behalf to the local police, school administrators, and the Title IX investigators to protect her right to choose to not testify and ensure her safety on campus. She was very relieved not to be pressured by the school, the title IX office or the police to attend the hearing and testify about fellow students.
Small private college
Investigation of sexual assault complaint concludes with no charges filed
Our client contacted us immediately upon receiving notice by his school that a claim of sexual assault was made against him by a female student. We assisted him in preparing his detailed answer to the complaint, and then prepared him and accompanied him to his interview with the campus safety police officers. We worked with the school Title IX administrators and helped our client find evidence to show inconsistencies with the complaint. The complainant withdrew her complaint when presented with these inconsistencies and then recanted. The investigation ended and our client was not charged with anything.
Midsized private collegeSee More Case Results
"I am writing to let any college student who gets accused of something serious by their school know that they need a lawyer like Felice Duffy to defend them. I was accused of something terrible by a student that I would never do and didn’t do. Even though I knew exactly what actually happened, I was very scared that my university might not find me innocent. It was terrifying to think that I might lose my full basketball scholarship or could have been suspended or expelled and that me and my family’s name could have gotten a horrible reputation. I can’t even put into words how I excited I was when I got the letter from the school that cleared me completely of the charges against me and I have Felice to thank for that 100%. Since I’m not in Connecticut, Felice and her investigator used video conferencing to interview me and my witnesses, talk with my parents, and get me fully prepared for every meeting I had with my school. They got all my texts and email that proved my innocence and organized them perfectly for the Dean and the discipline committee. Felice was always very direct and respectful even though the subject matter was very personal, and she was always ahead of the school in terms of getting me and them important information at every step. It was like having the best scouting report ever." Felice obviously knows her stuff but she also deeply cares. You can tell that she loves the work she’s doing to help college kids in really difficult situations.
College Sophomre, Colorado
“The claims leveled against me were terrible, but the wonderful news is that I was fully cleared of all the allegations because of the outstanding work Christine Brown and the team at Duffy Law did on my behalf. The first thing that really impressed me was that from the very first call Christine quickly understood what was going on and was able to read between the lines to understand the complicated dynamics of the situation. Despite my entire career being spent in academia, I didn't know much about Title IX procedures. Her expertise and knowledge of the process was immediately apparent and critically helpful in guiding me and giving me as much peace of mind as possible.. Christine knew how to spot the important subtext throughout the process and made sure I understood the strategic options I had at every stage going forward. I felt very confident in the decisions we made together. I felt vindicated by the decision and that this situation will have no further effects on my career. I am very grateful to Christine and Duffy Law for guiding me through this stressful process and recommend them without reservation to any faculty member facing a similarly challenging situation. ”
Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at a midwest university
“I hired Felice Duffy in the middle of a Title IX sexual assault proceeding. While I had initially retained another attorney on a recommendation, it turns out they did not have much insight to the inner workings of university policy, which I learned is NOT required to follow the basic laws of due process. Felice was absolutely incredible, and as an athlete, she understood my thought process and feelings the entire way. This is what stood out the most to me. At the beginning of my school’s adjudication process, I was an absolute mess. Not only is Felice extremely knowledgeable in law and how school adjudication processes work, but she also really does care about her clients and their well-being. It was initially extremely tough for me to speak about what I was facing. Felice was able to assist me not only in compiling the proper evidence and responding to the school, but also put me in the right state of mind to defend myself and move on with my life after it was all completed. Prior to hiring Duffy Law, I was concerned that I would be relegated to working with a legal assistant or secretary being that my case was in a college setting as opposed to a state court. However, Felice always found a way to make time and was there every step of the way. I feel like an important part of hiring an attorney is being able to trust them to fight for you no matter what the scenario may be and you can rest assured you will be getting that with Duffy Law. I would recommend Felice Duffy of Duffy Law 10 times out of 10 to anyone that may be put in a tough situation like I was”
Female College Freshman, MassachusettsSee More Client Testimonials
Schools Where We've Handled Cases
Here are just some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:
- Amherst College
- Arkansas State University
- Belmont Abbey College
- Bowling Green State University
- Charter Oak State College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Columbia University
- Connecticut College
- Creighton Law School
- Dartmouth College
- Fairfield University
- Flagler College
- Florida State University
- Furman University
- Guilford College
- Howard University
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Indiana University
- Lesley University
- Louisiana State University
- Marist College
- Marquette University
- Miami University
- Mississippi University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Plymouth State University
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Rice University
- Sacred Heart University
- South Carolina State University
- St. John's University
- St. Lawrence University
- Syracuse University
- Swarthmore College
- Tallahassee Comm. College
- Touro University
- Trinity College
- Tufts University
- University of Connecticut
- University of Kansas
- University of Lynchburg
- University of Maryland
- University of Mass. Med. School
- University of Miami
- University of Missouri
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Texas
- University of Virginia
- University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
- University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
- Utah University School of Medicine
- Vassar College
- Virginia Wesleyan University
- Washington University, St. Louis
- Wesleyan University
- Westfield State University
- Western Washington University
- Wheaton College
- William Smith College
- Yale University
Alert: Biden Orders Fresh Look at Title IX Regulations
On March 8, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order requiring the Department of Education (“DOE”) to review federal regulations, orders and guidance put in place under the Trump administration that apply to how educational institutions handle complaints of sexual misconduct. The DOE will evaluate whether those regulations are “consistent with the policies” of the current administration. The executive order allows the DOE to suspend, revise, or rescind any or all the prior actions if they are found to be inconsistent. This review will likely result in another major shift in how colleges and universities across the nation handle sexual misconduct cases and alter the policies that schools enacted at their institutions in 2020. The attorneys at Duffy Law stay up-to-the-minute on all applicable Title IX regulations, as well as potential changes expected by mid-June, and are available to consult with you during this tumultuous time in Title IX law. The full Executive Order issued by President Biden can be found here.
Through Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, federal law mandates that “equal opportunity” be afforded to men and women in all education programs and activities – including athletics – if the school receives any federal funding. Sounds good, right? But what does “equal” mean? And how close are we in American higher education to meeting that goal? And at a practical level, how can you tell if your school is complying with the law?
While far more women are participating in college athletics now than in 1972, we still have quite a way to go before the opportunities provided to women are actually proportional to their population on college campuses (which is one of the standards set by the law to determine equal opportunity). So how are we doing overall – and how is your school doing?
The most current figures available from the National Center on Education Statistics show that as of 2013, women comprise 56% of American undergraduates. Yet, they represent only 43% of college athletes. And while expenditure differences alone do not necessarily mean a school is out of compliance, it’s interesting to note that as of 2012, Division I Football Schools typically spent around 28% of their total athletic dollars on women athletes. Approximately 31% of recruiting dollars went to women’s programs. And only 42% of athletic scholarship dollars went to women.
As set forth by The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Title IX’s implementing regulations list 10 factors that colleges and universities must take into account to determine whether they are providing “equal opportunity” in both men’s and women’s athletic programs.
- Whether athletic interests and abilities are equally accommodated
- Whether equipment and supplies are equally available
- The scheduling of games and practice times
- Allowances for athletics-related travel and per diem expenses
- Provision of equal opportunities for coaching and academic tutoring
- The assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors
- Provision of locker rooms and practice facilities
- Availability of medical and training facilities and services
- Availability of housing and dining services
- Publicity given to programs and teams
To be sure, Title IX is complex in its application. Indeed, it can be hard to determine if your school is treating its women athletes fairly under the law. For example, while it may, on its face, appear that schools have the number of sports opportunities for females proportional to their enrollment, some of the sports may not qualify as varsity level teams even if they are called “varsity”; and some of the opportunities for females may be double-counted – for example, when a school claims an activity is two programs when it is really one (such as cross-country and track where the same athletes participate in both programs).
As with any federal (or for that matter state or local) law, the details are what matters. It takes a “close reading” of the statute and regulatory language – in conjunction with the specific facts and data of your school’s circumstances – to know whether there are grounds to bring a complaint (either informally or through legal action) against your school.
If you suspect your school is out of compliance, we can help. As an undergraduate at UCONN in 1977, Attorney Duffy brought action against the school under the then-still-new Title IX law to compel the creation of its women’s varsity soccer team. She helped build the team, became its captain, was named a first-team All-American, and was selected to be on the first U.S. National Team. She then went on to serve as the head coach of the Yale women’s soccer team for ten years before going to law school and eventually becoming a federal prosecutor. Since opening her private practice in 2015, Felice has focused on Title IX, College Conduct Code, and Civil Rights law and the many ways these interrelated areas of law play out on college campuses across the country.