Quinnipiac University will keep all of its existing women's sports team and add women's athletic scholarships as part of a settlement after a women's volleyball coach sued the school over plans to eliminate the program in favor of competitive cheering.
The case made national headlines as it moved through appeals courts, which found that colleges cannot count competitive cheerleading as a sport when trying to comply with gender-equity requirements.
“This litigation advanced the cause of equality for female collegiate athletes across the nation, and the settlement will bring tremendous benefits to female athletes at Quinnipiac University. The parties have worked hard to achieve this agreement,”Sandra Staub, Legal Director of the ACLU Foundation of Connecticut, said in a statement.
As part of the settlement, Quinnipiac will keep all of its existing women’s teams, including volleyball. The school will allocate more scholarships to female athletes and will improve the benefits provided to most of its women’s teams.
Quinnipiac has already added varsity women’s golf and rugby and expanded its women’s track program, according to a news release from the ACLU of Connecticut.
According to the settlement, Quinnipiac will increase scholarships for women’s rugby and women's track. They will also improve the rugby field and build an indoor track and field facility that meets NCAA competition standards.
The school will authorize the maximum number of competitions for all of its teams and spend at least $5 million to improve the facilities used by women’s varsity teams, including locker rooms.
Quiinipiac will also spend about $450,000 each year to improve its women’s athletics program by increasing coaching salaries, hiring more coaches and academic support staff and providing greater access to athletic training and conditioning services.
The school will allocate $175,000 during each of the next three years for additional improvements for women’s sports.
It will also hire a "referee," mutually agreed upon by the parties and confirmed by the court, to monitor its progress.