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SPORTS: COACHING : LAW: CASES: Does Title IX Prohibit Retaliation Against Coaches Who Point Out Sex Discrimination?

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  • David P. Dillard
    SPORTS: COACHING : LAW: CASES: Does Title IX Prohibit Retaliation Against Coaches Who Point Out Sex Discrimination? Does Title IX Prohibit Retaliation Against
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2004
      SPORTS: COACHING : LAW: CASES: Does Title IX Prohibit Retaliation Against
      Coaches Who Point Out Sex Discrimination?

      Does Title IX Prohibit Retaliation Against Coaches Who Point Out Sex Discrimination?
      The Supreme Court Hears Argument On This Issue Today
      By JOANNA GROSSMAN
      lawjlg@...

      ----

      Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004
      <http://writ.news.findlaw.com/grossman/20041130.html>


      Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Jackson v. Birmingham
      Board of Education. In the case, Roderick Jackson -- formerly a basketball
      coach at a public high school -- alleges that he was removed from his
      coaching position in retaliation for his complaint that the school
      discriminated against female athletes. The Court will decide whether -
      assuming these allegations are true - he can bring a Title IX lawsuit.

      The question the case raises is an intriguing one. Title IX is a federal
      statute that targets sex discrimination, including sex discrimination in
      athletics, when committed by public institutions, or private institutions
      receiving federal funding. But the coach does not argue that he himself
      was the victim of such discrimination; rather, he says he suffered
      retaliation for reporting discrimination against his team members. Can he
      still sue?

      The case is interesting for two main reasons. First, the position of the
      United States is unusual. Solicitor General Theodore Olson has often taken
      positions hostile to discrimination claims -- and even positions contrary
      to those of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the
      federal government's main anti-discrimination enforcer. But here, the
      brief of the United States strongly sided with Coach Jackson by arguing
      that Title IX does allow retaliation claims.

      Second, as I will explain, the case may determine how difficult - or
      straightforward - it will be to enforce equality within federally funded
      educational institutions. Can coaches and teachers report sex-based
      inequalities without fear? The Court will soon tell us.

      Coach Jackson's Allegations: Blatant Violations, And Retaliatory
      Termination

      In 1999, when Coach Jackson began working for the high school at issue, he
      observed some severe inequities in the treatment of male and female
      athletes. The girls car-pooled to games; the boys took a team bus. The
      girls practiced in a nearly-century-old gym without heat; the boys
      practiced in the new arena where both the boys and girls played their
      games. The girls - unlike the boys -- shot into smaller-than-regulation
      hoops, with bent rims and no fiberglass on the backboards. Finally, unlike
      the boys, the girls had no access to the expense account.

      It seems clear, assuming Coach Jackson's allegations are true, that the
      girls on the team could have brought a Title IX suit. Title IX has long
      been applied to correct inequities in athletic programs at the high school
      and collegiate level. And most lawsuits brought by girls' athletic teams
      under Title IX have, at their heart, just the kind of disparity in
      resources that Coach Jackson observed.

      One might have thought, then, that the high school would have thanked
      Coach Jackson from saving it from litigation - by pointing out its blatant
      violations of federal law. Instead, Coach Jackson says the school
      responded to his complaint by removing him from his coaching position.

      ----------------------------------------

      The complete article may be read at the URL above.


      Sincerely,
      David Dillard
      Temple University
      (215) 204 - 4584
      jwne@...
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/net-gold>
      <http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/ringleaders/davidd.html>
      <http://www.kovacs.com/medref-l/medref-l.html>
      <http://listserv.temple.edu/archives/net-gold.html>
      <http://www.LIFEofFlorida.org>
      World Business Community Advisor
      <http://www.WorldBusinessCommunity.org>
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