MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech announced today that it has reached a tentative settlement in the rowing lawsuit.
Both the university and the plaintiffs have signed the agreement, but the court must still accept it.
“This is a win for Florida Tech and our students,” said President John Nicklow. “We retain the ability to make Title IX decisions and other decisions regarding our athletic programs within our ongoing commitment to Title IX compliance.”
Key terms of the settlement include:
- Florida Tech guarantees men’s rowing and men’s cross country will remain varsity sports for this academic year plus four more academic years (through 2028). That period of time gives appropriate opportunity to discuss future financial support.
- Florida Tech will have an independent expert verify compliance with Title IX in athletics for this academic year plus two more academic years (through 2026).
- Esports will not be counted as a varsity sport until it is recognized by the NCAA or another court. However, nothing in the settlement prevents the university from continuing esports as in the past.
“We are dedicated to providing athletics for students that enhance their collegiate experience, whether at the varsity or club level,” Nicklow said. “Students are more successful when they are engaged, and we have never wavered in the commitment to foster those engagement opportunities.
“We are pleased that we have come to an agreement within Title IX law that balances the needs of our student-athletes and fits within our overall athletics program in a fiscally prudent approach,” Nicklow continued. “We have a long, rich history of rowing—another point never in dispute. We look forward to appropriately supporting our rowing students in the future. Florida Tech enjoys our relationships with student-athletes, alumni, and the community. As this case settles, we look forward to renewed trust between these various groups.
“We all have a shared top priority—providing what is best for students,” Nicklow added. “This settlement demonstrates that we can all come together to reach equitable solutions to real challenges.”