Washington A federal law credited with transforming women's athletics discriminates against men in low-profile college sports, coaches and athletes said in a lawsuit against the government.
The suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia blames a 1996 rule clarifying the 1972 statute known as Title IX, which prohibits any school or college that receives federal funding from discriminating based on sex.
Federal regulations say schools can comply with Title IX's guarantee of equal treatment for female athletes in a number of ways: by showing that opportunities for women are proportionate to their enrollment, that opportunities correspond to the level of students' interest, or that new teams are being added.
The suit against the Education Department, financed by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, contends that as a result of those rules and court decisions interpreting them, many colleges have trimmed men's sports rather than adding women's teams. In the last decade, 350 men's programs have been cut. Those losses have come mostly in sports that don't bring in revenue, such as wrestling.