Initial DSU Title IX lawsuit hearing canceled

    Delaware State University’s decision earlier this week to give its women’s equestrian team one more year means a hearing scheduled in U.S. District Court in Delaware Thursday has been canceled.

    Delaware State University’s decision earlier this week to give its women’s equestrian team one more year means a hearing scheduled in U.S. District Court in Delaware Thursday has been canceled.

    Judge Leonard Stark was to hear arguments for a preliminary injunction that would have forced DSU to scrap its plans to eliminate the program at the end of this school year, but DSU officials argued that isn’t necessary since they have decided to leave the program in place for the 2010-2011 school year.

    After a conference call with Judge Stark Tuesday, lawyers for the school and team members suing DSU agreed the hearing should be canceled as long as DSU promises the program full funding and staffing next year, and that any budget reduction not be greater than the lowest reduction of any other team’s budget.  The school is also promising to honor every team member’s scholarship throughout their stay at DSU and is prohibited from retaliating against team members involved in the suit.

    Today’s developments do not bring an end the case.  Lawyers for the team maintain DSU is still not Title IX compliant and their clients will continue to pursue their suit in an effort to change that.

    The second suit against DSU by equestrian recruit Melia Blakely was settled today.

    DSU’s 2009-2010 equestrian season concludes when the Hornets’ western riders compete at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships April 15-17 in Waco, Texas.

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