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Several volleyball players and their coach had sued Quinnipiac University after it announced in March 2009 that it would eliminate the team for budgetary reasons and replace it with a competitive cheer squad.

The school contended the cheer squad and other moves kept it in compliance with Title IX, the 1972 federal law that mandates equal opportunities for men and women in athletics. But U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill, a 1999 appointee of President Clinton, disagreed in a ruling that those involved say was the first time the issue has been decided by a judge.

Quinnipiac has 60 days to come up with a plan to comply with gender rules.

ILLINOIS

Conrad Black released from prison

CHICAGO — Former media mogul Conrad Black quietly left a federal prison in the blazing central Florida heat Wednesday, free on bond after serving just two years of a 6½-year sentence for defrauding investors, officials said.

Earlier in the day, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve in Chicago set his bond at $2 million and ordered him not to leave the country, pending the outcome of the appeal of his 2007 conviction. She set a Friday court hearing for the former Hollinger International Inc. chairman to hear conditions of his release and also was considering a request from Black’s attorneys to let him return to Canada, where he owns a home in Toronto.

Black arrived at his oceanfront Palm Beach mansion after being released.

Black’s attorney, Miguel Estrada, said the Federal Bureau of Prisons issued Black an ID that would allow him to fly to Chicago. The bond was paid by Black’s friend and former business partner, Roger Hertog.

In 2007, Black and three former Hollinger executives were convicted of defrauding shareholders out of $6.1 million. One of the prosecutors’ arguments was that Black deprived the company of his faithful services as a corporate officer, breaking the so-called “honest services” law.

MASSACHUSETTS

Justice who wrote gay ruling to retire

BOSTON — The Massachusetts chief justice who wrote the state’s landmark ruling legalizing gay marriage has announced she’s stepping down.

Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, 66, said Wednesday she will retire by the end of October to spend more time with her husband, former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner retired in 2001 and has Parkinson’s disease.

Justice Marshall was first appointed to the bench in 1996 after four years as general counsel and vice president of Harvard University. She became chief justice three years later.

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