High court won’t hear Title IX case involving Michigan State

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (IL file photo)

The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t take the plunge into a dispute over Michigan State University’s decision to end its swimming-and-diving teams, a decision female athletes sued over.

The case was one of many the high court rejected Monday. As is typical, the justices didn’t comment in turning away the case.

The dispute the justices rejected stems from MSU’s decision to end its men’s and women’s swimming-and-diving teams after the 2021 season. The school cited cost as the reason, saying its swimming and diving facilities needed millions in upgrades.

Members of the women’s team sued, saying the decision violated federal anti-discrimination law, commonly known as Title IX. A judge rejected a request to keep the women’s team alive while the lawsuit proceeded, saying she doubted the female swimmers would prevail at the end of the litigation. But a three-judge federal appeals court panel later ruled 2-1 that the judge should take another look at the case.

The court said Judge Hala Jarbou miscalculated a key metric in determining if Title IX is being violated. On reviewing the case a second time, the judge didn’t order the team reinstated but told MSU it must develop and submit its own Title IX compliance plan. School officials have said they’re discussing reinstating the swimming-and-diving program.

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