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Judge Throws Out Gender Bias Suit Against NCAA

A U.S. district judge has thrown out a proposed class-action lawsuit that accused the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) of gender discrimination.

New Jersey federal judge Madeline Cox Arleo dismissed the lawsuit filed by three former Kean University (N.J.) student-athletes last Tuesday because the complaint’s racketeering claims are “woefully inadequate” and most of the other claims are too old, Law360 reported.

Soccer players Shannon Pedersen and Jaclyn Janicky and basketball player Emily Cristaldi filed the original lawsuit in April 2014. They alleged that they and eight other student-athletes at the NCAA Division III school had their James A. Dorsey scholarships revoked after the NCAA put the school on notice for NCAA violations. The former student-athletes claimed they were forced to choose in 2011 between giving up their scholarships and leaving their teams.

Related: NCAA Wants Gender Bias Suit Thrown Out

The judge ruled that gender bias claims under Title IX and claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act are “doomed to fail and can’t be saved with a new complaint.” From Law360:

Judge Arleo said that under New Jersey law, the athletes had two years to bring claims for negligence, Title IX violations and other federal and New Jersey civil rights violations. Therefore, the judge said, those claims were time-barred before the April 2014 complaint, and the plaintiffs can’t avoid that result by arguing that the NCAA and Kean committed “continuing violations” after the initial scholarship revocation.

James A. Dorsey scholarships are academic based. Candidates must be African-American or Latino, have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, a minimum combined SAT score of 1000 and demonstrate leadership participation of school and community services. NCAA Division III schools do not give out scholarships for athletics.

Representatives of the NCAA and Kean University did not respond to requests for comment by Law360 last week.

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