Case name: Ruff, et al. v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico, et al., No. 16‐CV‐1140 (D. N.M. 09/30/17).Ruling: The U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico dismissed a Title IX claim that had been made against the University of New Mexico.What it means: An accused student suing a university for violations of Title IX must allege facts suggesting gender bias.Summary: University of New Mexico football players Crusoe Gongbay and SaQwan Edwards were arrested in April 2014 on charges of kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration. However, those criminal charges were eventually dismissed.A separate investigation was conducted by the university contemporaneous to the criminal investigation. Ultimately, UNM found there was no actionable evidence against either student‐athlete.The two players filed a lawsuit asserting several claims. One of them was that UNM and the campus police had violated Title IX by failing to scrutinize the accuser's ever‐changing and inconsistent accounts, and by accepting her testimony as undeniable truth. The players alleged the university was motivated to appease the student body because there were numerous complaints before April 2014 that it failed to respond adequately to reports of sexual assaults. They also alleged UNM was motivated to appease the U.S. Department of Justice because of a possible DOJ investigation that threatened its federal funding.The defendants filed a motion for dismiss.The district judge said there were no allegations allowing an inference that UNM employed a gender bias. She explained there were no facts suggesting the defendants acted in the way they did because the accuser was female, or because the plaintiffs were male.She dismissed the Title IX claim.
College Athletics and the Law – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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