Miltenberg: “Why Critics Say a Trump-Era Title IX Rule Hurts Coaches’ Ability to Discipline Athletes Accused of Sexual Misconduct,” ESPN


Title IX experts point to a separate case at Brown University as an example of the rule having an impact. A federal judge reversed Brown’s decision in November 2021 to suspend a lacrosse player from his team and studies after a woman claimed he had sexually assaulted her. The university had completed a threat assessment and, while it answered most of the questions “in the negative,” the school suspended him “due to the egregious nature of the alleged behavior,” according to court filings. The judge wrote in her Jan. 25 ruling in the breach-of-contract lawsuit that Brown’s threat assessment team merely “focused on the nature of the unproven allegations” and suspended the male athlete before performing any investigation, and she noted that the athlete had abided by a university-issued no contact order. “[Brown] faces little hardship in allowing the plaintiff to proceed with his academic and athletic activities while the disciplinary process plays out. The ramifications of the suspension to the plaintiff, however, are substantial,” U.S. District Judge Mary S. McElroy wrote. Andrew Miltenberg, a New York attorney who has represented several athletes making due process arguments in Title IX claims, said the new rule prevents impulsive reactions that could destroy athletes’ careers before an allegation is fully investigated. “Athletes, as we know, have a very limited window. And if they lose part of that window in college, it’s, in many cases, devastating,” he said. For any athletes on scholarship or contemplating a professional career, “being suspended is usually the death knell,” he said, and any move to roll back the provision would put athletes at a “very specific risk.”

Click to view article