Following the Big Ten college football conference’s announcement that it would begin the season on October 23, Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Audrey Anderson examined the decision and legal implications under Title IX in an article in Inside Higher Ed.

The Big Ten announcement only covered the resumption of football, and the delay on announcements about women’s fall sports calls into question compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination at federally funded institutions. Audrey suggested that institutions could be out of compliance with Title IX if women’s fall sports are not played at all, as institutions must provide equitable opportunities for women and men to compete in athletics under the law. In addition, Title IX violations could occur if women’s and men’s sports receive disparate treatment “to the extreme” when it comes to COVID-19 testing protocols, Audrey said.

The full article, “Big Ten Reverses Course,” was published by Inside Higher Ed on September 17 and is available online.