So says the 2nd circuit, coverage from the Hartford Courant (is that like a small raisin?)
Quinnipiac University, which apparently is not just a pollster, has/had a volleyball team, but attracting tall women to their school became difficult. So they switched to short ones by adding 30 scholarships to their competitive cheerleading team. Many of the scholarships were taken from volleyball (which is a sport*). However, that change might cause the university to run afoul of the legal standard for creating equal opportunities to both genders.
Most universities meet this challenge by having the number of male and female athletes roughly proportional to their representation in the student body as a whole. So just adding in cheerleaders to the women’s side of the ledger only works if it is a competitive sport. A Title IV suit commenced, and the court was forced to decide if cheerleading was a sport. Give me an “N”, give me an “O”, what’s that spell?
[W]e acknowledge record evidence showing that competitive cheerleading can be physically challenging, requiring competitors to possess “strength, agility, and grace.” Biediger v. Quinnipiac Univ., 728 F. Supp. 2d at 101. Similarly, we do not foreclose the possibility that the activity, with better organization and defined rules, might some day warrant recognition as a varsity sport. But, like the district court, we conclude that the record evidence shows that “that time has not yet arrived.”
Need further proof? My browser’s spell check insists “cheerleading” is two words.
*NBC’s position on women’s sports is the less they wear, the more sport they are.