Former Saluki tennis greats file complaint against SIU - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Former Saluki tennis greats file complaint against SIU

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CARBONDALE -- Two former Saluki women's tennis greats say they filed the Title IX complaint against SIU. It comes on the heels of SIU cutting its tennis program, without adding a women's sport in 26 years.

Saluki tennis player Sofia Cordero thought her team's program was safe from being cut from SIU athletics.

"We did have like a little warning the year before, but then they told us at the end of the year, 'No, you guys are good. If someone's going to get cut, it's going to be the men's tennis. You guys are fine because of Title IX,'" said Sofia.

But things changed quickly as she learned in December that both the men's and women's tennis program would close at the end of the season.

"Because it came from unexpected, and I feel like we performed very well, so there's no reason for us to get cut," she said.

This marks the 4th women's athletic team to have been cut from the program over the last 26 years.

A report filed by The Grant Group claims SIU fails to meet Title IX requirements of equal gender student-athlete populations, as well as not adding women's sports to SIU athletics.

This prompted former Saluki tennis greats Molly Card Deckmann and Judy Auld to file a Title IX complaint with the university.

"I'm hopeful that all kids are given the opportunity, and by them dropping the program, I guess she and I sort of felt that opportunity was being taken away," she added.

SIU Athletic Director Tommy Bell released a statement saying the following:

"SIU Carbondale and its athletics programs are committed to an inclusive campus. We take our Title IX obligations seriously and believe we are in compliance with the law."

Cordero hopes her alma mater can work out the issues within the program.

"I feel like the school could get more in trouble if they find out they're not really like being equal with scholarships right now, male and female, so I just hope they can work that out," she said.

Cordero hopes the Title IX complaint leads to the return of women's tennis to Saluki country.

Below is a copy of the full report:

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