Victory off the field: LIU softball team to stay in Brooklyn amidst Title IX lawsuit

July 31, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Long Island University’s (LIU) softball team, facing potential relocation, has secured a victory off the field as the university agreed to keep the team at its Brooklyn campus for another two years. This decision comes in the wake of a Title IX lawsuit, filed by some team members, accusing the university of less favorable treatment towards women’s sports compared to their male counterparts.

The plaintiffs, who felt disadvantaged and overlooked by the institution, took the legal route to halt a planned move of the team from Downtown Brooklyn to the university’s secondary campus in Brookville, New York. After successfully filing a complaint and a motion for a temporary restraining order in the District Court of Eastern New York, the students alleged the university’s relocation plan was a retaliatory act for voicing Title IX violations to LIU President Kimberly Cline.

In late May, District Judge Brian Cogan granted the temporary restraining order. In an agreement reached in early June, both parties consented to extend the restraining order till the conclusion of the spring 2025 softball season, marking a significant, albeit temporary, victory for the players.

The plan to relocate the team was revealed to the student-athletes in a meeting with the administration in mid-March. Since 2018, the players were given the impression of an upcoming new turf complex on the Brooklyn campus, compliant with NCAA Division 1 standards. The sudden announcement of the move to Brookville led the students to perceive this as retaliation for their earlier expressed concerns about Title IX violations.

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Frustrated with the administration’s apparent lack of empathy and their feeling of being reduced to mere “dollar signs”, the students felt compelled to file the lawsuit. In its defense, LIU insisted that the relocation was a financial decision, citing challenges in completing the proposed Brooklyn softball field as anticipated.

Despite the school’s refusal to comment on the issue, the agreement’s outcome brought some relief to the team. The litigation process has been paused till mid-August to enable both parties to explore a mutually agreeable resolution. The team’s battle has resulted in the continuation of their sporting journey in Brooklyn.


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