A U.S. District Court judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order just one day after Iowa swimmers asked the court to stop the school from moving forward with its cut of the women’s swimming & diving program.
The request was part of a Title IX lawsuit brought by four University of Iowa swimmers. In August, Iowa announced it would be eliminating four sports programs, including both men’s and women’s swimming & diving, at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The following month, four swimmers sued the school, arguing that cutting the women’s swimming & diving program would violate federal laws requiring gender equality in education.
The four swimmers (and two other Iowa students filing the suit) asked the court for a temporary restraining order and injunction, preventing the school from moving forward with any plans to cut the women’s swimming & diving program.
But on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose denied that request, saying the athletes hadn’t sufficiently proven that moving forward with the cuts would do irreparable harm to the athletes. Their motion had argued that even if the program was spared from elimination, the school’s current course would cause athletes to transfer away and effectively halt the team’s recruiting activities this year.
The suit says that 15 of the 35 members of the Iowa swimming & diving team have entered the NCAA transfer portal after Iowa announced the program cuts.
Rose did agree that the swimmers’ suit is time-sensitive, and set a hearing for December 18.