GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — An attorney representing members of the East Carolina University women’s teams cut by the school earlier this year due to budget constraints sent a letter to the interim chancellor seeking to have those teams reinstated under Title IX.

The letter was from Arthur H. Bryant of Bailey Glasser LLP of Oakland, Calif., and was addressed to Dr. Ron Mitchelson. The three-page letter lays out specifics on why the teams should be reinstated. It stated that — if necessary — a class action lawsuit would be filed against East Carolina University “for depriving women athletes and potential athletes of equal participation opportunities, athletic financial aid, and treatment in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.”

The letter asks Mitchelson to respond as soon as possible, “no later than Thursday, November 19, 2020.”

ECU announced the cuts back in May. The cuts also eliminated men’s tennis and men’s swimming and diving.

“Today’s decision came after a deliberate review and in-depth analysis of the athletics department’s
budgets and programs,” Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson said in the May press release. “The current athletics budget was not sustainable pre-COVID-19 and the university was working closely with athletics to decrease the annual deficit over the next year. With the pandemic, the deficit began to grow significantly where the impact was immediate and will affect future revenue and expenses for years to come. Ultimately, the reduction of sports aligns ECU with our American Athletic Conference peers and provides a road map to a more sustainable future for the University and athletics.

Click here to read the full letter.