James Madison University
|James Madison University|
|Sports:||baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball|
|Mascot:||Duke Dog (Dukes)|
James Madison University is a public institution founded in 1908 in the Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia, about 100 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. It is ranked as a top public university in the South and is known in academics for its programs relating to the study of plants and agriculture. It has over 15,000 students, 61% female and 39% male.
For budgetary reasons, JMU announced on September 29, 2006 that it would reduce its large number of sports teams. Due to operation of the proportionality test under Title IX, JMU eliminated men's archery, cross country, gymnastics, indoor track, outdoor track, swimming, and wrestling, as well as women's archery, fencing, and gymnastics. JMU stated that its motivation for cutting far more male teams than female teams was to make the ratio of female-to-male student athletes 61% to 39%, just as the overall student population is. "After the cuts, 61% of its athletes will be women, 39% men. That's called proportionality, one of three ways schools can comply with Title IX's participation requirements."
On October 12, the United States Olympic Committee sent a letter to JMU asking it to reconsider its elimination of the ten teams.
USA Today reported that "[f]or freshman gymnast Elly Hart, it's a bitter pill. 'My dream was to come to college and compete,' she says. 'I thought Title IX would help me.'"