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Female athletes file sex discrimination class action against San Diego State University

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Posted at 3:55 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 13:04:56-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Monday, seventeen female varsity athletes filed a sex discrimination class action against San Diego State University for violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by depriving women of equal athletic financial aid.

The federal class-action sex discrimination lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, alleges that "SDSU has not paid its female varsity student-athletes equal athletic financial aid for over a decade, failed to pay them over $1,200,000 in equal athletic financial aid in the last two academic years, and is not paying them equal athletic financial aid this academic year."

The lawsuit also claims the school has been habitually depriving women of athletic financial aid for several years based on their gender. It also asks the court to order SDSU to comply with Title IX gender-equity requirement and provide equal athletic financial aid for future athletes.

"SDSU granted its 315 female varsity student-athletes over $690,000 less—and its male varsity student-athletes over $690,000 more—than they would have received if SDSU had granted the aid in proportion to the number of students of each sex participating in intercollegiate athletics."

In response to the lawsuit, the University sent ABC 10news a statement Monday afternoon.

SDSU affirms its strong, long-standing commitment to supporting, training and providing competitive financial support to its female student-athletes. We have offered female student-athletes a choice of many and varied options in which to compete and be competitive -- this is a hallmark of SDSU’s athletics programming.

SDSU’s funding level for women’s scholarships is second-highest among Mountain West schools and among the highest in California and the NCAA. The truth is that SDSU awards approximately 95% of all possible scholarships permitted under NCAA rules for both its men’s and women’s teams, with the remaining fraction explained by legitimate reasons within SDSU coaches’ discretion. NCAA rules prohibit all schools, including SDSU, from giving unlimited athletic scholarships. To exceed these limits would make student-athletes ineligible to compete.

SDSU is proud of its record of promoting female athletic opportunities. Throughout the history of our program, our female student-athletes have represented a wide range of sports and are high achievers both on and off the field. SDSU’s female student-athletes consistently win individual and team championships, earn all-academic individual and team honors and are named scholar athletes. Also, SDSU has the highest female athletic participation among Mountain West schools, and among the highest in California and the NCAA. We are disappointed with the incomplete picture presented by the plaintiffs’ lawyers about the support for and successes of SDSU’s female student-athletes.

We have and will continue to put our students first. There are always opportunities to make additional improvements, and we will continue to prioritize equity, access and the full SDSU student-athlete experience.