Women win an appeal in dispute over ending MSU swim team

Associated Press

East Lansing — Swimmers who are trying to revive the women's team at Michigan State University were thrown a partial life ring Tuesday by a federal appeals court.

Michigan State plans to eliminate men's and women's swimming and diving at season's end.

The court told a federal judge in Lansing to take another look at a request for a preliminary injunction against the school. MSU killed the swimming-and-diving program for men and women after the 2021 season, citing cost.

In a 2-1 opinion, the court said Judge Hala Jarbou miscalculated the “participation gap," a key issue when determining if federal anti-discrimination law, commonly known as Title IX, is being violated.

Nearly a year ago, Jarbou rejected a request to keep the women's team alive with an injunction, saying she doubted the female swimmers would prevail at the end of the litigation.

“MSU is best positioned to steward its financial resources for the benefit of the institution and its students,” the judge said at the time.