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HARTFORD — A federal appeals court has ruled that colleges cannot count competitive cheerleading as a sport when trying to comply with gender-equity requirements, upholding a U.S. district court decision against Quinnipiac University.

In a decision released Tuesday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that competitive cheerleading does not yet meet the standards of a varsity sport under Title IX, the 1972 federal law that mandates equal opportunities for men and women in education and athletics.

The ruling came on an appeal filed by Quinnipiac, a school with about 8,000 students in Hamden that had been sued successfully by its volleyball coach after it tried to eliminate the women’s volleyball program in favor of competitive cheering.

“Like the district court, we acknowledge record evidence showing that competitive cheerleading can be physically challenging, requiring competitors to possess ‘strength, agility, and grace,’” the court wrote. “Similarly, we do not foreclose the possibility that the activity, with better organization and defined rules, might someday warrant recognition as a varsity sport. But, like the district court, we conclude that the record evidence shows that ‘that time has not yet arrived.’”

The appeals court agreed with U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill, who found in 2010 that competitive cheerleading did not have the organization, post-season structure or standardized rules required to be considered a varsity sport.

NEW JERSEY

Tribal company to manage Resorts casino

ATLANTIC CITY — A tribal gambling company has taken over the operations of Resorts Casino Hotel, New Jersey’s oldest gambling hall.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority on Tuesday announced the management agreement with Resorts, which has been in flux. The move represents a major push for the Connecticut-based firm to get into a long-established gambling market.

“The timing is right,” MTGA CEO Mitchell Etess said. “We have long looked at the Atlantic City market as an excellent opportunity.”

Casino industry consultant James Karmel said Mohegan may be seeking to become one of the major players in Atlantic City, where casinos have struggled for years.

“You’re probably looking at consolidation,” he said. And Mohegan, which runs casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, could become one of a handful of firms to run the city’s gambling businesses, he said.

Resorts opened in 1978 as the first place to gamble legally in the U.S. outside of Nevada.

NEW YORK

Girl found clinging to floating body in lake

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