Kent State cleared itself of any Title IX violations after a month-long internal investigation into a Division I field hockey game between the University of Maine and Temple University.
The game was canceled after going into overtime in order to allow daytime fireworks to be set off for the football game. The investigation points to scheduling as a reason for the cancellation.
The internal investigation probably guarantees Kent State won’t suffer any consequences. We believe it was well-intentioned, but flawed. An independent, outside reviewer would have been better. Plus, the investigators failed to talk to any of the players on either the University of Maine or Temple team, something Maine’s athletic director already criticized.
But beyond these flaws the main problem remains: The idea the Kent State field hockey team cannot schedule a home game whenever there is a home football game because a fireworks show takes precedence is wrong-headed, and shows the football team is given more importance than a secondary women’s sport.
We highly doubt the reverse would ever be true, that a football game would be scheduled differently to accommodate a field hockey event, even if the team’s budget allowed for fireworks shows.
The university’s actions, intentionally or unintentionally, told the world field hockey and women’s athletics are less important at Kent State.