Court Case: Bull v. Board of Trustees of Ball State University

Case Adopted 02/12

Case Update (07/12):
In late June 2012, LAF-supported plaintiff Kathy Bull reached a settlement with Ball State University. She was awarded more than $700,000 in cash and benefits.

“I am proud that I stood up and asked for equity in my department. Because of my advocacy I know that Ball State athletics are in a better place for my former colleagues and all the current and future female student-athletes,” said Bull. “Victories in retaliation lawsuits should send a loud message to administrators across the country. Our recent win is a victory for all women who advocate for gender equity.”

Case History

Kathy Bull was the head coach for the women’s tennis team at Ball State University in Indiana for 21 years. There she advocated for Title IX issues and mentored young female coaches.

She was fired midseason in 2009, allegedly as the result of NCAA violations. However, Bull argues that she was fired in retaliation for speaking out in favor of gender equity in the athletic department. Over the course of five years, 11 of the 12 head coaches for women’s sports teams resigned or were fired. The U.S. Office for Civil Rights asked the university to investigate. Less than two weeks later, Ball State University said there was no evidence of discrimination.

In July 2010, Bull filed a lawsuit against the university in the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana (case number 10-CV-08-78). The university filed a motion to dismiss Bull’s claims. In December 2011, the court decided not to dismiss the primary claim of retaliation.

Read more about the case in the New York Times and on the Title IX Blog.