Civil Rights

Girls' Hoops to Get Equal Prime-Time Play in Southeast Indiana; 7th Circuit Refused to Toss Case


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Girls who play basketball at 10 high schools in Southeast Indiana will play as many “prime-time” games as the boys because of a consent decree in a Title IX lawsuit.

Lawyer William Groth, who represented plaintiff Amber Parker, says the case sets a precedent because of a ruling (PDF) earlier this year by the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Associated Press reports. In its Jan. 31 ruling, the appeals court refused to dismiss the case, saying the claim was actionable under Title IX.

Parker was fired as a coach after filing suit and won a separate $28,500 judgment for retaliation. “As a coach, I feel it has been a long time coming,” she said of the consent decree.

The agreement approved on Monday calls for the number of girls’ games played on Friday and Saturday nights to gradually increase until the 2016-17 school year, when they should equal the number of boys’ prime-time games.

Education Week covered the 7th Circuit ruling, saying it “painted a picture right out of the movie Hoosiers.”

The opinion began this way: “A packed gymnasium, cheerleaders rallying the fans, the crowd on their feet supporting their team, and the pep band playing the school song: these are all things you might expect to see at an Indiana high school basketball game on a Friday night. The crowd becomes part of the game; they provide motivation, support, and encouragement to the players. After all, what would a spectator sport be without the spectators? Unfortunately, this is a question the Franklin County High School girls’ basketball teams must answer every season because half their games have been relegated to non-primetime nights.”

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