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Title IX lawsuit alleges that SMU provided inadequate medical treatment for women's rowing team

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Dallas News

Jan. 19, 2018

A Title IX lawsuit filed Friday alleges that SMU provided inadequate medical and training resources to its women's rowing team, leading to lifelong injuries for eight former and current student-athletes.

The plaintiffs say they suffered labral tears in one or both hips that will require multiple hip replacements throughout their lives. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Texas, alleges that these are rare injuries even in the rowing community and that the SMU medical staff provided substandard care that would not have been found acceptable on a men's athletic team.

"We know of at least 15 girls or more possibly just in the last eight years with the same exact injury," plaintiff Kelly McGowan said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. "I am almost positive that if there were 15 football players or 15 basketball players that had the same injury by the same coaches in eight years, I do not believe [SMU] would have let that go on."

The plaintiffs' attorney, Alex Zalkin, added, "SMU had the opportunity and the ability to correct this, to provide equality to its female rowers. It simply chose not to."

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