WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Independent Women’s Forum announced today that it has filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule a lower court decision that would force Brown University and other schools to drop many men’s sports in order to comply with Civil Rights Act Title IX regulations.

As a result of last November’s appellate court ruling in Cohen v. Brown University, courts and the federal government now require schools to meet quotas for male and female student athletes based on the percentage of each sex represented in the student body. Brown University, like most schools, is at least 52 percent women. But fewer women than men show interest in sports, so Brown and other schools find that they must eliminate men’s sports to bring their programs into “gender balance.”

According to IWF’s brief, prepared by the Washington Legal Foundation, a nonprofit public interest law group, “Whole sports — most notably, men’s wrestling, swimming and gymnastics — have been nearly extinguished at the university level.” Universities are the training ground for Olympic athletes in these sports. Once a team has been eliminated, it takes years to build it up again.

The Brown case has also caused universities to limit the size of men’s teams, “effectively eliminating ‘walk-on’ opportunities for non-scholarship athletes.” The courts’ distorted interpretation of Title IX “inflicts tremendous harm on male student athletes without providing a comparable benefit to female student athletes.”

Anita Blair, IWF Executive Vice President and General Counsel, said, “Why deny men sports opportunities simply because relatively fewer women are interested in athletics? This is mean-spirited, dog-in-the-manger feminism at its worst.”

Blair also noted that, if this “absurd” interpretation of Title IX stands, it will ultimately reduce, not increase, educational and extracurricular opportunities for women. Noting that Title IX applies to all school programs, not just sports, Blair predicts that schools looking to cut costs may limit access to programs such as drama, dance and the arts, which attract more women than men. Even academic departments are at risk under the Brown case interpretation of Title IX. “What will they do,” Blair asks, “draft women into civil engineering courses, or radically limit the number of male engineers? Never mind the bridge to the future — what will we do about bridges in the future?”