PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Brown University is taking issue with a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union regarding a court order that requires the Ivy league school to pay more than $1 million to cover fees and expenses related to a legal challenge to the university's plan to drop some women's varsity sports.
Several women student-athletes said the plan to reduce the varsity sports to club status in 2020 violated a consent decree from 1998 that stemmed from the landmark Cohen v. Brown Title IX case when students fought the school's decision to eliminate women’s gymnastics and volleyball.
Tuesday's order includes $1.135 million for the attorneys’ fees.
“This order should send a message to schools nationwide,” Arthur Bryant, who represented the student-athletes, said in a statement from the ACLU. “Title IX is the law. It prohibits sex discrimination. If schools violate Title IX, they will pay."
Brown called the ACLU's statement “blatantly misleading”
Brown “has at no time since the original decision in Cohen v. Brown more than 25 years ago been found in violation of Title IX," a university spokesperson said.
Brown disagreed with all claims in the 2020 case and settled with no finding of liability, the spokesperson said.