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Quinnipiac Responds To Judge’s Cheerleading Ruling

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A UConn cheerleader hits a heel stretch during the NCAA tournament.

A UConn cheerleader hits a heel stretch during the NCAA tournament.

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS 2/AP) – Quinnipiac University says it has plans to add more women’s sports teams, after a judge rejected its attempt to replace the women’s volleyball team with a competitive cheer squad.

U.S. Judge Stefan Underhill ruled that cheerleading can’t be considered a college sport under gender equity requirements.

The university now says it’s keeping both the volleyball team and cheer squad and is proposing to add women’s golf and rugby teams.

Underhill’s ruling had many up in arms last month.

“Today, the cheer activity is still too underdeveloped and disorganized to be treated as offering genuine varsity athletic participation opportunities for students,” Judge Underhill said.

It’s the first time a judge has decided whether cheer squads keep schools in compliance with Title IX, which mandates equal opportunities in athletics for men and women.

“Very controversial decision, especially college-level,” said David Stapleton, director of the Future Stars Cheerleading camp on Long Island. “Here, we have young athletes here at the cheer camp and amongst other programs as well. I’m sure we all disagree.”

The judge wrote competitive cheer may, some time in the future, be considered a sport under Title IX.

An activity can be considered a sport under Title IX if it has coaches, practices, and competitions during a defined season – and a governing body.

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