Kent State’s Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action announced on Friday that it found no violation of Title IX, or evidence of any sort of gender bias, from the school when officials shut down a game of field hockey the school was hosting for the football team’s pregame fireworks, according to the Bangor Daily News. Back in Sept. 7, the University of Maine and Temple University had just finished the first period of overtime when administrators from Kent State called off the game so that the Golden Flashes’ game could begin on time, fireworks and all.
UMaine was understandably upset at this recent decision, and released the following statement:
“[We] are disappointed that, according to the summary report, the investigation did not include interviews with the student-athletes who were affected and disrespected by the decisions made on Sept. 7,” the release read. “We appreciate, welcome and encourage the broader discussion of Title IX issues sparked by this incident and the investigation. The University of Maine stands with its student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff, firm in our commitment to equity and support to ensure their success, both in competition and in the classroom.”
For what it’s worth, Kent State officials do at least appear to be remorseful about this whole situation. Shortly after the stoppage caused an uproar online, athletic director Joel Nielsen noted that a “different decision should have been made to ultimately ensure the game reached its conclusion.” School president Todd Diacon offered to reimburse both teams if they would like to play a makeup game on the field sometime this season, and acknowledged that this was a pretty bad look for Kent State.
“Beyond the negative impact upon the visiting teams directly involved, we are sorry that this incident has reflected poorly on the proud tradition of academic and competitive excellence in women’s athletics at Kent State,” Diacon said.
“The actions we are taking will not only ensure that an incident like this does not occur again but, most importantly, will make all student-athletes, our Golden Flashes and visitors alike, feel supported and treated with respect, kindness and purpose in everything we do.”
Neither UMaine nor Temple have indicated a desire to follow through with a makeup match, and both teams have not counted this in their respective season results.