TAMPA — The Florida High School Athletic Association is devising a plan to ensure schedule reductions passed in April are compliant with Title IX.
The new plan offers two options. The first would allow schools to return some girls sports to full schedules from the 2008-09 school year. The other option would allow schools to cut varsity football schedules by 20 percent and JV by 40 percent.
An official announcement is expected Friday. FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing likely will call an emergency meeting next month to vote on the new proposal.
The FHSAA board of directors in April voted to reduce varsity sports by 20 percent and JV by 40 percent. Football and cheerleading were exempt, but Florida Parents for Athletic Equity, led by Nancy Hogshead-Makar, threatened to sue the FHSAA, alleging a Title IX violation. At issue was the number of boys' opportunities in football exempt from scheduling cuts (roughly 36,000) vs. those for cheerleading (roughly 4,600).
Reached Tuesday afternoon by phone, Hogshead-Makar said girls sports that could be exempt include volleyball, track, soccer and softball.
"Whatever proposal comes out there are a number of ways to come into compliance with gender equity," Hogshead-Makar said. "They've come up with a solution; we cannot sue them if they comply with the law. I do not endorse it. I do not agree with it. The FHSAA has a duty to comply with the law.
"They have to take ownership with whatever solution they create."