Female student athletes sue University of Oregon over Title IX

The complaint alleged a stark contrast with the men's football facilities, which include a weight room and movie theater with Ferrari leather seats.
Posted at 9:47 PM, Dec 04, 2023

Students in Oregon say their school is violating Title IX, the federal law that gives male and female student athletes equal treatment in college sports.

"I've never seen any school treating any women's varsity team anywhere near as badly as this University of Oregon is treating the women's beach volleyball team," said Arthur Bryant, attorney at Bailey & Gasser LLP.

In a 115-page complaint, 32 current and former female student athletes say the school is violating Title IX by "depriving women of equal treatment and benefits, equal athletic aid, and equal opportunities to participate in varsity intercollegiate athletics."

In the complaint, athletes say that the university does not provide a space to play or compete in. Instead the athletes use a public park miles from campus.

The complaint alleges a stark contrast with the men's football facilities, which include a weight room, a movie theater with Ferrari leather seats and a fitting room with a literal throne in it.

The women on the beach volleyball team use lockers on campus dedicated to visiting teams, which the complaint says they can't access when the visiting teams are there.

"To learn that for almost the entire time the team has been in existence, the school was lying to recruits and telling them, 'Oh, we're going to have facilities for you soon. And we're going to have athletic financial aid for you soon.' Here we are 10 years later and none of it has happened," Bryant said.

Another part of the suit concerns the distribution of funds from Name Image Likeness collectives.

The complaint says the university's NIL collective is one of the most ambitious in the country, and the fact that female athletes see little to none of the money that comes in is not right.

"The men, as at least we know from public reports, are getting way more NIL-related opportunities and income than the women. And that's part of what Title IX prohibits," he said. 

In a statement to Scripps News, the University of Oregon says it is "committed to providing a quality, positive experience for all our student-athletes" and that "UO has previously committed to increasing scholarships and is in the process of building a facility for the beach volleyball team. The University believes it complies with Title IX. We are reviewing the complaint."

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