Cuesta College

Title IX probe at Cuesta College is over

A federal gender equity investigation into Cuesta College — sparked when the athletic department dissolved a championship-level women’s tennis program more than three years ago — is over, the college said Thursday.

According to a news release from Cuesta College, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights found “there is insufficient evidence to support a conclusion of noncompliance” with federal legislation, attributing the findings to a letter from Office of Civil Rights attorney Zachary Pelchat.

The complaint was filed in January 2010, five months after Cuesta College announced it was “suspending” the women’s tennis program to alleviate budget constraints following the retirement of head coach Mike Napoli, a seven-time Western State Conference Coach of the year, two-time state coach of the year and the 2002 ITA National Community College Coach of the Year.

After women’s tennis was the lone discontinued program on campus, Napoli took issue with the decision and led the effort to investigate the action.

According to the news release, Pelchat concluded that Cuesta College offers proportionally similar opportunities for male and female students, satisfying one of the tests used to determined compliance with Title IX, the a 1972 law banning sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding.

Cuesta College currently offers eight women’s sports and seven men’s sports.

“Throughout the process, we have steadfastly believed we were in compliance with Title IX edicts,” Cuesta College President Gil Stork said in the release, “and we feel vindicated by the OCR’s conclusion.”