EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision on a case involving Michigan State University and Title IX after the school got rid of its swimming and diving programs.
Supporters of the MSU swim and dive teams have continued to push the university to reinstate the programs.
And now, the Supreme Court has officially refused to hear MSU’s appeal on the matter.
The highest court in the country says it’s not going to jump in on the case and because of a lower court ruling, the university has 14 days to submit a plan to come into compliance with Title IX.
The Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive group says the best way to do so is to reinstate the disbanded teams.
“The Supreme Court basically denied Michigan State’s request to hear the case,” said Tom Munley of the Battle for Spartan Swim and Dive group. “So what that did was effectively kicked it back down to the 6th Circuit and eventually the district court to proceed with the trial for the Title IX suit that the women swimmers currently have pending.”
Those female student athletes filed a lawsuit last year in hopes of reinstating the women’s team over allegations of violation of the requirement for equal sports participation opportunities for men and women.
The group says they’re viewing today as a step in the right direction.
“We were pleased that the Supreme Court denied it because we believe that the law is correct and has been interpreted the correct way for the last 40-some years,” Munley said.
And their fight still remains the same.
“It really, for practical purposes, doesn’t change things from where we stand,” Munley said. “We still want to see the programs reinstated. But it certainly does put the pressure on Michigan State at this point in time, given that there is a trial date of Jan. 23.”
But before that, what’s still pending is the school’s compliance plan with Title IX.
“So Michigan State owes the district court judge a compliance plan, which I think is due 14 days after today, so that’ll be due before the end of the year,” Munley said.
They hope the plan includes reinstatement of the program. If not, they’ll look towards the scheduled trial date in January.
“The next question then becomes ‘what happens with the trial itself?’ Does Michigan State continue to go through trial and really take any chance of settlement out of their own hands, or do they look for a path to settle, which would hopefully involve reinstatement,” Munley said.
6 News reached out to MSU for a comment, and they sent us the following statement:
“While disappointed, we accept the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. Over the coming days and weeks, MSU will focus on the trial court proceedings, including the submission of a compliance plan,” said Dan Olsen, MSU’s deputy spokesperson.