A federal judge in Connecticut judge ruled Wednesday that cheerleading does not qualify as a sport under Title IX. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed against Quinnipiac University by members of the school's women's volleyball program over the school's plan to replace the volleyball team with a cheer squad. The cheer squad, the judge ruled, doesn't count as a valid substitute for the volleyball team, and can't be used to satisfy the requirement of "equal opportunities for men and women in athletics," summarized the Associated Press. It's a story that has caught the attention of cheer and cheer-nots alike.
- The Definition of a Sport Deanna Harvey of the New York Daily News--an ex-cheerleader herself--can't fathom how an activity that requires so much athletic prowess isn't a sport.
"I began cheering my freshman year of high school and it immediately gave me a confidence I'd never had before. It also made me appreciate what it takes to succeed in a competitive, challenging and dangerous environment - and isn't that the definition of a sport?"
- Frustration for Cheerleaders Cheer coach Eric Contreras told Britt Moreno of Fox 10 (Phoenix) that the ruling will kill scholarship oppurtunities for cheerleaders. The days of participants using cheerleading as a way to "get their educations paid for through these universities" might be over said Contreras.
- Regional Bias? Theresa Walsh Giarusso of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution complained that a judge from Connecticut lack the expertise to rule on an overwhelmingly southern pastime. "I will venture to guess that Judge Underhill has never been down South and watched a competition cheerleading squad prepare or compete!"
- How the University Screwed Up Quinnipiac's biggest mistake might have been not taking their cheer program seriously enough, suggests Chris Hansen of the Oregon Register-Guard. In his comparison of the Quinnipiac cheer program to the University of Oregon's, he notes Quinnipiac "didn't provide a locker room for its competitive cheer team, didn't allow off-campus recruiting during the first year, didn't have a national search for a head coach and ultimately turned its sideline cheerleading squad into its competitive cheer team."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.