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ECU reinstates women’s swimming & diving and tennis after lawsuit threat

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 11:15 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 12:16 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - East Carolina University is reinstating two women’s sports programs that were cut last year in an effort to save money.

The university said this morning it would immediately restart women’s swimming & diving and women’s tennis.

ECU Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson and AD Jon Gilbert Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBhx_CdBGj8&list=PLrq4Z5fnt6x5rIo5TwhYRTMQaQ0vQ-d5j&index=1

The programs were cut in May amid financial difficulties due to the pandemic and late last year team members, backed by a California-based lawyer, threatened a potential Title IX lawsuit. The attorney said women made up about 57% of the undergraduate enrollment, while sports opportunities for women was about 50%.

The university said it was in the process of hiring head coaches so recruitment programs can begin. Athletics director Jon Gilbert said a timetable of when games will actually begin will be determined after the staff is hired.

ECU said it is developing a Gender Equity Plan over the next year with input from student-athletes on each team.

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