Equal Tweets, Equal Cheers: Is Your School Athletics Program Providing Equal Publicity under Title IX?  

With Matthew A. Reed, Counsel, Thompson & Horton

As we noted last year, K-12 athletics programs are facing increasing Title IX enforcement efforts. Whether with OCR or in the courts, complainants increasingly claim schools do not provide equal benefits to male and female teams in categories such as facilities, game scheduling, coaching, and travel.   

One category that gets less attention—despite hiding in plain sight—is a school’s publicity efforts on behalf of its sports teams and athletes. Publicity includes traditional methods such as school newspaper coverage and marquee announcements, but it also includes social media posts and even the use of cheerleaders and school bands. What are some of the most common complaints we see in this area and what can your school, college, or university do to limit the risk of problems?