The Supreme Court rejected a case over Michigan State University's decision to end its swimming and diving teams.
Female athletes at the college sued the school after it ended the sports programs after the 2021 season, citing cost as a major factor.
SCOTUS has declined to consider how strictly to interpret the landmark Title IX civil rights law's protections for gender equality in college sports in a lawsuit challenging Michigan State University's elimination of its women's swimming and diving team. https://t.co/hpMX9C80GG
— Nate Raymond (@nateraymond) December 12, 2022
"Members of the women's team sued to say the decision violated federal anti-discrimination law, commonly known as Title IX," Reuters reported.
"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," it added.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined Michigan State University's appeal to hear the lawsuit from members of the women's swim and dive team. MSU is disappointed by the decision because of a disagreement on how Title IX should be interpreted. https://t.co/S28BpsrlDK
— The State News (@thesnews) December 12, 2022
Attorney Lori Bullock, who is representing Sophia Balow in the case, shared a statement following the court's decision.
"We're preparing for trial, getting everything that we need to do to be able to go in and improve our case," Bullock said. "We remain open to settlement as we have all throughout the case."
MSU expressed its disappointment with the court's decision to turn down the case.
"The court's decision leaves in place a regressive and unworkable standard for gauging Title IX compliance in athletics," university spokesperson Emily Guerrant said in a statement. "However, over the coming days and weeks, the university will be focused on submitting a compliance plan and cooperating with court requests."
The 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. https://t.co/0ksZxPepPr
— MLive (@MLive) December 12, 2022
Despite legal efforts by student-athletes, a settlement with the university is a more likely scenario.
The athletes involved are unlikely to be successful in a reasonable time, making their best decision for competing being a move to another school with a swimming program.
The new ruling extends the legal battle rather than bringing the case to an end, leaving only more discussion without a resolution for swimmers in the important case.