University of Connecticut rowing alumni have filed a Title IX complaint about 10 months after the university announced the women’s program would be discontinued.
In a cost-savings effort, the UConn Board of Trustees voted last June to cut the women’s rowing team along with men’s tennis, men’s swimming and diving, and men’s cross country. The cuts, which were part of a directive to reduce the athletic department budget by 25 percent annually over the next three years, were scheduled to take place following the teams’ respective 2020-21 seasons.
According to the Connecticut Post, rowing alumni had been writing letters to the board since the announcement. After those efforts didn’t go anywhere, 23 rowing alumni filed a complaint Monday with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights against the university. The Connecticut Post reports that the complaint focuses on the implications of cutting the program and claims that the university is inaccurately reporting its compliance with Title IX in its annual reports with the Equity in Athletics Data Analysis.
“Part of being alumni being invested in this, is really because we’re looking for a culture change and we’re just trying to educate and enlighten people and we want to make people understand from our perspective, as it pertains to the UConn women’s rowing team, that this isn’t right,” UConn rowing alum Dana Haddad said. “You can’t manipulate these numbers and think you can get away with it. So plan B, isn’t necessarily what happens to the team, but can we create a little buzz around a culture shift and how women athletes are being treated.”
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