A proposed class action alleges San Diego State University (SDSU) has discriminated against female student-athletes by failing to pay equal athletic financial aid for more than a decade.
The 27-page complaint alleges the Board of Trustees of the California State University and SDSU have violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by failing to afford female varsity student-athletes financial aid equal to that of male athletes in proportion to the number of students of each sex participating in intercollegiate athletics. According to the lawsuit, SDSU has failed to pay female student-athletes more than $1.2 million in equal financial aid over the last two academic years, and is not paying them equal financial aid this academic year.
Title IX prohibits educational institutions who receive federal funds from engaging in discrimination on the basis of sex.
In the 2019-2020 academic year, SDSU, according to information submitted by the school to the federal government under the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, granted its 315 female varsity student-athletes more than $690,000 less in athletic financial aid than they would have received had the aid been granted proportionally to the number of students of each sex participating in sports, the lawsuit says. In the 2020-2021 academic year, SDSU granted its 305 female varsity student-athletes more than $570,000 less in sex-proportionate athletic financial aid, the case states.
“None of the Plaintiffs received all of the athletic financial aid for which they were eligible at SDSU,” the complaint alleges.
Per the lawsuit, the difference in proportion between the financial aid afforded to female student-athletes and males has for more than a decade always been greater than one percent. Although SDSU’s 315 female student-athletes equaled more than 58 percent of the school’s total student-athletes, they received only slightly more than 50 percent of the $9,198,841 in athletic financial aid the school awarded that year, the lawsuit says.
The following academic year was no different, as SDSU’s then-305 female student-athletes comprised more than 57 percent of its total student-athlete population yet received only slightly more than 50 percent of the school’s athletic financial aid, the lawsuit relays.
“Defendants have not asserted or attempted to demonstrate any justification for SDSU’s failure to provide female student-athletes with equal athletic financial aid that does not reflect underlying discrimination—and Plaintiffs are not aware of any,” the complaint reads.
The 17 plaintiffs, past and present members of SDSU’s varsity rowing and track and field teams, look to represent all current and former female students who participated in intercollegiate varsity athletics at SDSU from the 2019-2020 academic year to the present and did not receive all of the athletic financial aid they could have received.
Per the suit, SDSU announced in November 2020 that it was eliminating the women’s rowing team at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, ending the varsity athletic careers of nearly 60 female student-athletes.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter here.
Camp Lejeune residents may soon have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.