Editors Note: The original version was updated to include a quote from University of Maine's athletic director.
On September 7, 2019, Kent State cancelled a NCAA Division 1 field hockey game between the University of Maine and Temple University after going into double overtime in order to set off fireworks for the Kent State football game.
On September 12, Kent State University opened an internal investigation led by the Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.
The investigation’s results were released on Oct. 4 and found no Title IX violations or gender-related bias.
In an email to the university, President Todd Diacon states “beyond the negative impact upon the visiting teams directly involved, we are sorry this incident has reflected poorly on the proud tradition of academic and competitive excellence in women’s athletics at Kent State. Our female student-athletes, alumni, community supporters and coaches have established Kent State as one of the top women’s athletic programs in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the nation.”
In the report, Deputy Athletic Director Casey Cegles stated that David Rush, assistant athletic director for facilities & operations, contacted him during half-time of the field hockey game at about 9:45 a.m. Rush asked if 10:30 a.m. was a “hard-stop” for the field hockey game, and Cegles confirmed it was a hard-stop.
The Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator, Amy Densevich, was then called to the field, where she spoke to both head coaches and offered both teams the option to return at 5:30 p.m. that same day to conclude the game. Temple University’s team was also offered an additional overnight stay at Kent State’s expense since Temple was planning to leave at the conclusion of that morning’s game.
The report alleges that both teams knew of the stop time and were offered a resolution.
“If they heard the stories of the women who were impacted, they might have a very different view of the damage done,” Maine’s Athletic Director, Ken Ralph, told cleveland.com. “Kent State is writing this off to poor game management and that is too simplistic of a view to capture what really happened. The people most impacted by this were completely ignored in the report.”
Diacon reached out to both Temple and Maine and offered to reimburse reasonable and customary costs for their teams to possibly play a make-up match this year. Kent States Intercollegiate Athletics Equity and Diversity Committee will also start a self-study on gender equity in athletics and a climate study of student-athletes and departmental staff will be administered.
The report can be read in full at https://www.kent.edu/athletics/office-compliance-eoaatitle-ix-investigation-summary-report .
Contact Gina Butkovich at email@example.com.