Two female students at the University of Kentucky are suing the school for gender-based discriminatory practices in athletics which are in direct violation of Title IX rights, according to a Kentucky Sports report.
The suit filed by Elizabeth Niblock and Meredith Newman alleges the school officials of failing to provide equal opportunities for its female student-athletes. President Eli Capilouto, board of trustees, and athletic director Mitch Barnhart have been named in the lawsuit.
Both the students say that they were forced to file a lawsuit after the university officials denied their request to add field hockey, lacrosse, and triathlon as varsity programs.
The lawsuit states that the university is far from complying with requirements mandated under the Title IX regulations and has to add nearly 183 women to its athletic programs.
“These women are not asking for special treatment. They are merely asking to receive the same opportunities to be able to play, receive scholarships and all the benefits that come along with being a Division 1 student athlete at Kentucky, ” Jill Zwagerman, the attorney for the students told ABC 36.
A Title IX lawsuit has been filed against UK, alleging UK’s athletics program doesn’t provide sufficient opportunities for women. Many universities have similar Title IX numbers, and I won’t be surprised if more lawsuits like this are filed. https://t.co/qirkJQvDAH
— Mit Winter (@WinterSportsLaw) September 26, 2019
In comparison to male athletes, the suit alleges school of not extending equitable opportunities and scholarships to female athletes
“UK historically has not provided and currently does not provide its female students with such equitable access and opportunity,” the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount in damages and have prayed for a court order asking the university to immediately put an end to gender-discriminatory practices.
Meanwhile, the university in a statement has denied the accusations and said that it fully complies with the guidelines stipulated in the federal law.
“The University of Kentucky fully complies with Title IX and its regulations concerning participation in intercollegiate athletics,” university spokesman Jay Blanton told the Courier Journal. “As a campus community, we care deeply about these issues.”