Vol. 14, Iss. 11
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
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On appeal, the court ruled that an injured student-
athlete participating in a contact sport had a con-
stitutional right to be protected from further harm.
However, the panel observed that the coach had
asserted the defense of “qualiﬁed immunity.”
It said the doctrine protected a coach who violated
a student’s constitutional right to bodily integrity
unless that right was obvious to any reasonable
person. The court explained the doctrine protected
all but those who knowingly violated the law.
Because it decided concussion protocols were
neither well-settled nor well-known in 2011, the
panel ruled that Walkowiak didn’t knowingly violate
any of Sheldon’s rights. ■
Judge throws out Title IX claim
because no alleged gender bias
Case name: Ruff, et al. v. Board of Regents of the
University of New Mexico, et al., No. 16-CV-1140 (D.
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 play-
ers 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 investi-
gation. Ultimately, UNM found there was no action-
able 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. ■
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