In 2010, Quinnipiac University sought to replace its women's volleyball program with "competitive cheer." Cheerleading was not recognized as a sport by the NCAA or the federal Department of Education. Represented by the ACLU-CT in a class action lawsuit, members of the women's volleyball team and their coach sued to block Quinnipiac from eliminating its women's volleyball program. Quinnipiac, the plaintiffs argued, was discriminating on the basis of sex in operation of its varsity athletic program, in violation of Title IX, a federal law requiring gender equality in education. Ultimately, the federal courts agreed. Under a consent decree settlement, Quinnipiac was required to retain all of its existing women's teams (including volleyball), to allocate more scholarships to women athlethes, and to improve the benefits provided to most of its women's teams.
Biediger, et al. v. Quinnipiac University
David McGuire (ACLU-CT), Dan Barrett (ACLU-CT)
Pro Bono Law Firm(s)
Jonathan B. Orleans and Alex V. Hernandez, Pullman & Comley
April 16, 2009
U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
Stefan R. Underhill