Among the legal questions still swirling around Penn State, one has drawn little attention but continues to pose a threat to the university: Did the school’s handling of sex abuse allegations against assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky violate Title IX?
The 40-year-old federal law is most commonly associated with access for girls and women to sports teams. But it governs how colleges and universities must respond to reports of sexual assault.
On paper, colleges failing to comply with Title IX can be stripped of access to all federal funds.
Experts say that’s extremely unlikely to happen to Penn State. But the Department of Education has been aggressively pushing Title IX enforcement, and some experts believe it might still impose harsh penalties.