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Sports Bra Controversy Prompts Department Review

Jason Scott

Rowan University is undergoing a review of its athletic department handbook and policies after female student-athletes raised gender inequality allegations last year related to sports bras, the Courier Post reports.

In a November blog post, track athlete Gina Capone detailed accounts of female athletes being told to cover up at the school’s shared practice facility, because their attire was deemed ‘distracting’ to football players who were using the facility at the same time. A statement posted by the school at the time said that it’s general policy that one team uses the practice facility at a time, and that extenuating circumstances in this case were part of the dustup.

In addition to the incident with the football team, Rowan had a “ longstanding verbal policy” banning any athlete — regardless of gender or sex — from practicing without a shirt. In the wake of the sports bra controversy, the school revised its policy, stating explicitly that sports bras without shirts would be allowed.

 

The Courier Post now reports that while a university investigation didn’t turn up evidence of a substantial Title IX violation, it did highlight areas of concern “related to harassment, bullying and incivility.” A human resources department investigation into those concerns is underway.

In addition, the school has hired Cheryl Levick, a former athletic director at Maryland, Georgia State, Santa Clara University and Saint Louis University, to evaluate the school’s athletic department policies for Title IX compliance. Levick will reportedly deliver a final report in June.

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