Duke argued that Mercer was cut from the team based on her abilities.
Former head coach Fred Goldsmith testified that Mercer’s lack of speed, size and leg strength kept her from being considered for play. Title IX is often referred to as the gender equity statute.
In 1979, Congress split the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) into the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Education (DOE), transferring all the education and enforcement functions of the former HEW to the DOE.
Despite being officially listed as a member of the team, she was not allowed to dress for games or sit on the sidelines during games.Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in athletic programs at institutions that receive federal funds.What happens to a college that is cut off from federal funds?Soon after the game, Duke head football coach Fred Goldsmith told the news media that Mercer was on the Duke football team.Shortly thereafter, assistant football coach Fred Chatham, Duke’s kicking coach, personally told Mercer that she had made the team.In the spring of 1995, she participated in conditioning drills with the football team and was selected by the seniors on the team to participate in the Blue-White Game, an intrasquad scrimmage played each spring.In the game, Mercer kicked a 28-yard game-winning field goal, giving the Blue team a, 24-22, victory.Title IX has been a controversial law involving amateur sports.Since it was enacted, the number and quality of female high school and college athletes have increased tremendously as a direct result of this federal law.At the beginning of the 1996 season, Goldsmith informed Mercer that she had been dropped from the team.Mercer claims that Goldsmith’s decision to drop her from the team was based on her sex since Goldsmith allowed other, less qualified walk-on kickers to remain on the team.