Former UND women’s hockey players appeal lawsuit dismissal

Rebekah Kolstad (44) and St. Cloud's Lexi Slattery battle for the puck at a game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. Jesse Trelstad/The Rink Live

The Rink Live

BISMARCK, N.D. — Former members of the defunct University of North Dakota women’s hockey team have appealed the dismissal of their discrimination lawsuit against the state’s university system.

The former players filed a notice of appeal to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in mid-July. Their attorney previously said they had not yet decided whether to appeal.

The lawsuit claimed the university’s decision to cut the women’s hockey program in 2017 violated Title IX, which bars discrimination based on sex in programs that receive federal financial assistance. The lawsuit aimed to reinstate the team.

The University of North Dakota cut the women’s hockey team, along with men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, in an effort to trim budgets with an expected drop in state funding. But the move was met with disappointment in a hockey-heavy culture in Grand Forks.

Attorneys for the former players didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. A spokesperson for the North Dakota University System declined to comment Tuesday morning, Aug. 13.

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