Last month when I wrote about the University of North Dakota (UND) cutting its women’s hockey program, I mentioned that it was an issue that some people just wouldn’t let go of. Well, someone decided to take the issue to the federal level.
The Forum’s Brad Elliott Schlossman reported this morning that UND is now being investigated by the federal Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for Title IX compliance. The reason? Well, we don’t know exactly. The OCR declined to comply with an open records request, because this is considered an ongoing investigation for compliance.
They did verify that the complaint alleges that UND discriminates against female students on the basis of sex. And since the investigation began on April 14th – just two weeks after UND cut women’s hockey – I’m guessing that it has everything to do with that.
I should mention too that this is not a shallow investigation. There are 18 detailed requests for information about their athletic programs that were submitted to UND President Mark Kennedy. Some of these requests are for information dating back over 40 years.
For those not familiar with Title IX, this is part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. The law mandates:
"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."
The federal investigation doesn’t really come as a surprise to the university. It was something they prepared for early on when they hired Baker Donelson Law Firm to help guide them through the process. A process that requires the university to reallocate vacant scholarships in accordance with federal requirements.
Think about it. All of this over an athletic program? Forgive me, but it’s absurd. Especially since the university is trying to save money by cutting– a concept that I realize is foreign to a federal agency. Yet, as I pointed out in last month’s article, they’re not cutting enough. None of their athletic programs are sustaining themselves. They’re all losing money.
I hate to say it, but this is what states get when they decide to sell their souls to the federal behemoth. It’s one thing to have uninvited federal intrusion. It’s quite another to invite federal overreach by accepting their money.
A huge favor could be done for the taxpayers of North Dakota by eliminating all the failing UND athletic programs. Then another huge favor could be done for all of America by eliminating any role of the federal government in education.