UCO facing Title IX lawsuit over female athletic facilities

The University of Central Oklahoma is facing a Title IX lawsuit for discrimination against female varsity athletes as a result of alleged unequal treatment and benefits compared to their male equivalents and for allegedly retaliating against female athletes when they complained about sex discrimination, according to court documents.

Female athletes on the varsity track and field team are suing UCO to try to bring awareness to the unequal treatment they are receiving compared to male athletes, as well as requiring UCO to treat its male and female varsity students equally moving forward.

According to Robertson et al. v. University of Central Oklahoma et al., UCO does not offer equal athletic benefits and treatments to its female athletes. Female student athletes are given inferior equipment and supplies, lesser travel accommodations, unfair practice time and game schedules, fewer coaches, lesser locker rooms, and less formal recognition from the university than their male counterparts allegedly receive. 

In addition, the filing alleges Martha Brennan, director and head coach of the UCO women’s varsity cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams, was fired when she voiced female student athletes concerns about “the numerous ways in which UCO was depriving [female student athletes] and their teammates of equal treatment and opportunities.”

According to the United States Department of Justice, Title IX ensures that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, in be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

UCO is federally funded, which means it must follow these Title IX requirements. 

This is a developing story. The Vista will continue to follow it and update as more information is released.

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