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Missouri State tennis players sue to keep program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Four Missouri State women's tennis players are suing the university for cutting their program as part of a sports reduction, contending the move violates Title IX rules.

The lawsuit asks a federal court to order the state's
second-largest university to reinstate the women's tennis program
and seeks a temporary injunction to keep the sport going after the
planned shutdown at the end of this academic year.

Missouri State decided in December to drop five of its 21 sports at the end of the school year, looking to reduce athletics costs it said were growing faster than the university budget. It cut men's indoor and outdoor track, men's cross country and men's and women's
tennis.

The lawsuit filed seeks class-action status for all current and future female tennis players. It was filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield by the American Civil Liberties Union in the name of
four players who contacted the group.

The university said it is complying with Title IX, the 1972 law
that prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program that
receives federal funds.