Case Brief FINAL-1

Case Brief FINAL-1 - Case Brief: Cohen v. Brown University...

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Case Brief: Cohen v. Brown University 809 F. Supp. 978; 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20278 Group #7: Hunter Hannon Xiao Wang Joshua Conyers Jessica Witten Tamarah Strauss
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Introduction In April 1992, Amy Cohen, and members from the women's gymnastics and volleyball teams of Brown University filed a class action lawsuit against Brown University for “discriminating against women in the operation of its intercollegiate athletic program, in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681” (809 F. Supp. 978). Plaintiffs also include all present and future women students and potential students who participate or seek to participate in intercollegiate sports supported by Brown University. Named Plaintiffs say these two teams were considered full varsity for almost 20 years. Once demoted the two teams believe their ability to compete had been undermined, and the university's discriminatory actions had affected women's equal opportunities to compete in intercollegiate athletics. Plaintiffs seek to reinstate the women's gymnastics and volleyball teams back to varsity status, and to prohibit Brown from eliminating or reducing the status of any other women's intercollegiate teams funded by Brown University, unless in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681. Statement of the Facts Brown University is a member of Division I of the National College Athletic Association. During the 1990 – 1991 academic year, Brown funded a total of 31 varsity teams, including 16 men's teams and 15 women's. Of the sports offered by Brown, 11 of them had teams offered to both men and women. On these teams there were a total of 894 intercollegiate athletes. Of the 894 undergraduate varsity athletes, 63.3% (566) were men and 36.7% (328) were women. Records of that same year show that 52.4% of the undergraduate student population was men, while 47.6% were women.
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Nearly all of Brown University's men's athletic teams had been created prior to 1927. In contrast, the vast majority of women's teams were created between 1971 and 1977. The only team created after this period was their winter track team in 1982. Before 1971, women's athletics did not run through Brown University. Instead Pembroke College, a sub-unit of Brown which bore no resemblance to the university, headed the women's athletic programs until the two schools merged in 1971. Since then however, women's programs have received little to no support from the university either financially or institutionally. In May 1991, Brown reduced the status of women's gymnastics and volleyball, along with men's golf and water polo, from “club varsity” to “intercollegiate club” status. Based on team sizes reported by Brown to the NCAA, the cuts affected 37 men and 23 women. Plaintiffs argue that after the demotions the ratio of men to women athletes were 63.4% to 36.6% respectively. The demotion to intercollegiate status of the four teams was due to university-wide
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This note was uploaded on 01/24/2012 for the course SPM 6726 taught by Professor Johnspengler during the Fall '11 term at University of Florida.

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Case Brief FINAL-1 - Case Brief: Cohen v. Brown University...

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