Title IX complaint follows UMD ex-coaches’ lawsuit

Current and former players joined the former coaches on the complaint.

Brian Edwards

Three former University of Minnesota-Duluth coaches and five former or current student-athletes lodged a Title IX complaint against the school Monday, two months after the coaches filed a lawsuit alleging gender-based discrimination.
The complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on Monday, alleges that UMD discriminated against women’s athletics and created a culture of exclusion at the school.
The school allegedly gave support to the men’s sports teams — such as extra financial benefits, larger facilities, larger equipment budgets and more extensive school media campaigns — while it actively denied the women’s teams the same benefits. The complaint listed 53 different allegations.
“The disparities in benefits and services are numerous, systemic and affect all female athletes at UMD,” the 12-page complaint read. “These disparities constitute gender discrimination in violation of Title IX.”
In the document, the eight women asked the OCR to investigate whether UMD treats all athletics equally and to require the University to fix any Title IX violations uncovered, as well as monitoring the school to ensure it adheres to Title IX.
The complaint also repeated allegations made in a lawsuit filed by former coaches Shannon Miller, Jennifer Banford and Annette Wiles in September against the University.
The former coaches have sued the school for alleged discrimination based on attributes including their sexuality, gender and nationality. Two of the coaches did not have their contracts renewed and one resigned from the school.
Dan Siegel, the attorney who filed the complaint on behalf of the women and one of the attorneys who represents the three former coaches in their lawsuit, said the case began to build when he was interviewing former and current athletes.
Although Siegel said he’s not sure whether the OCR will conduct an investigation, he believes there is a good chance that it will.
“These are not claims that lead to financial compensation for anyone; they are simply efforts to require a university to comply with the law,” he said.