Recruit sues Delaware State University
Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Canadian equestrian recruit Melia Blakely is suing Delaware State University over its decision to drop the women’s sport before she even arrived on campus.
Blakely filed her class action federal suit in Delaware District Court Tuesday, claiming the decision to drop equestrian at the end of this school year violates Title IX gender discrimination provisions. The Coldwater, Ontario native, who signed a letter of intent to attend DSU last November, also accuses the university of fraud, breach of good faith and breach of contract. She claims she learned of the school’s decision from a Facebook posting, adding that the timing of the decision, after national signing day, keeps her from pursuing a scholarship elsewhere.
Delaware State announced it was dropping equestrian and men’s tennis last month for budgetary reasons.
Blakely’s suit seeks to keep DSU from eliminating the equestrian team and damages.
The women’s equestrian team protested the school’s decision last month and retained the same lawyer representing Blakely, Ron Poliquin, to determine their options legally.
Blakley was called “one of the top young riders in North America” by DSU head coach Jennifer Ridgley when she signed with the Hornets . She won the 2009 Canadian Appaloosa 18 and under Reining Championship and finished fifth in the 2008 World Reining Horse Association 14 to 18 competition.