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College Sports Council Criticizes Court Decision Rejecting Varsity Status for Competitive Cheer

CSC Chairman Says Varsity Status is "All About Safety"

Contact: Eric McErlain

July 22, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- July 22, 2010 -- The following is a statement from Eric Pearson, Chairman of the College Sports Council, concerning a decision yesterday by a federal judge in Connecticut that determined that NCAA member institutions could not grant varsity status to competitive cheer teams under Title IX:

"Varsity status for competitive cheer is all about safety. The ruling by the judge in the Quinnipiac case is very unfortunate. Schools, not the courts, should determine what sports they choose to grant varsity status. More female athletes suffer catastrophic injuries from competitive cheer than from any other women's sport. Competitive cheer is one of the nation's fastest growing sports for women, and in the interest of the safety of the athletes there is no logical reason not to allow schools to recognize it as a varsity sport.

The judge seemed to follow the lead of the Obama administration, which in its Amicus brief constructed bureaucratic barriers against varsity status for competitive cheer. The Obama administration and the judge were wrong -- they should put the safety of student athletes above politics."

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