Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Brought by Anti-Title IX Group

Apr 7, 2006

A federal court in the District of Columbia has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the College Sports Council (CSC), a non-profit group in favor of altering Title IX to favor men’s sports programs, against the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and some of its employees.
The CSC had alleged that the defendants purposely “misled” the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, which a group charged with evaluating the impact of Title IX and assessing any need for possible reform.
Specifically, the CSC charged that “material misstatements” in the GAO report entitled Intercollegiate Athletics: Four-Year Colleges’ Experiences Adding and Discontinuing Teams “misled” the Commission and the courts “into believing that men’s teams increased during the affected period.” It further charged that this affected the courts’ “analysis of the standing inquiry.”
In its suit against the GAO, the CSC also charged Comptroller General David M. Walker, and a low-level GAO staffer with “continued violations of standard accounting ethics and practices.” It asked that Walker acknowledge the GAO’s errors and correct them.
The fact-gathering and conclusion that raised the most ire with the CSC centered on an assumption that men’s sports programs had increased from 1981 to 1999. The CSC claimed in its suit that more colleges and universities came on line during that period, outpacing the actual growth in men’s programs. The “alleged increase in fact is a significant decrease, masked by the 134 schools moving into the survey population,” read the complaint.
On May 20, 2005, the defendants moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which any relief can be granted.
The panel of judges concluded “that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
“The defendants produced and submitted the 2001 GAO Report in accordance with Section 805, a congressional reporting statute that creates no private cause of action, and the sufficiency of such a report is a matter for Congress to decide. Neither do the defendants owe a judicially enforceable duty to the plaintiff under the relevant governmental and professional standards of ethics. Accordingly, notwithstanding the plaintiff’s evident disagreement with the scope, methodology, and conclusions of the 2001 GAO Report, it has articulated no cognizable right to judicial relief.”
College Sports Council v. Government Accountability Office, et al.; D.C.; Civil Action No. 03-1911 (Rbw); 3/15/06.
Attorneys of Record: (for plaintiff) Lawrence J. Joseph, Law Office of Lawrence J. Joseph, Washington, DC. (for defendants) Peter Bryce, Joseph W. Lobue, US Department Of Justice, Washington, DC.


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