East Carolina University announced on Jan.7 the reinstatement of the women’s swimming/diving and women’s tennis teams, effective immediately.
ECU cut these respective teams along with the men’s swimming/diving and tennis teams in May 2020 due to a projected $20 million of lost revenue from athletics as a result of COVID-19. With this reinstatement, ECU will have 18 cumulative athletic programs and 11 women’s programs.
“We are looking forward to having women’s swimming and diving along with tennis return as a part of our sports offerings,” Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said.
In November 2020, anonymous individuals from the cut women’s teams filed a lawsuit against ECU, which claimed that removal of these teams was a violation of Title IX due to opportunities for women to participate in sports at ECU no longer being proportional to the population percentage women hold on campus. Arthur Bryant, an attorney who works for the Bailey and Glasser law firm office in Oakland, California, represented these individuals.
These respective teams will compete in fall 2021 or later. A coaching staff will be hired for both programs and a competition date will be assessed among completion of this.
“We worked with a Title IX consultant on how best to address our compliance with Title IX while also addressing our financial issues,” Gilbert said. “Title IX is an ongoing commitment and it’s a priority for our university and athletics department.”