A lawsuit filed Thursday by current and former Guilford College coaches alleges systemic Title IX violations.
The lawsuit charges that Guilford disproportionately supports men’s sports, noting that while women make up over half of Guilford’s enrollment, only about 30 percent of the school’s student-athletes are women.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Felice Duffy of Connecticut, said in a video statement that schools across the country are consistently in violation of federal Title IX rules. As an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut in 1978, Duffy successfully sued under the new Title IX law and forced the school to start a varsity women’s soccer team.
Guildford College president Jane Fernandes said in a statement that Guilford is committed to fair and equitable treatment of all students, including student-athletes.
“We are aware of the lawsuit filed this week by a Connecticut lawyer,” Fernandez said. “Though we believe the lawyer is misinformed regarding many of the facts, we recognize and obviously respect the need to let the court process work. We look forward to the opportunity to clarify the facts and to work toward justice in the outcome of this matter.”
Kimberly and Danny Cash are the lead plaintiffs in the case. The spouses are former Guilford cross country coaches. Among a number of violations, the lawsuit alleges that the men’s teams spent three times more than women’s teams on recruiting and twice as much on men’s sports overall. The suit also alleges that the women’s’ facilities and locker rooms were small and ill-equipped, while the women’s coaches were also paid substantially less than men’s coaches.
The lawsuit also specifically addresses both Danny and Kimberly Cash’s own experiences at the college. Danny Cash was the head cross country coach and Kimberly Cash was his co-coach. According to a report from the Winston-Salem Journal, as the two pushed for more resources the college balked and threatened to shut down all track programs.
Kimberly Cash resigned in 2016 under pressure, and Danny Cash was removed as coach of the women’s track and cross country teams. He remains a men’s coach of track and cross country at Guilford.