Kent State’s president announced Friday that an internal investigation into that school’s decision to end a Sept. 7 field hockey game between Temple and Maine during overtime so fireworks could be set off before a Kent State football game found no Title IX violations “or gender-related bias.”
Kent State president Todd Diacon added that his school would take action to “not only ensure that an incident like this does not occur again, but most importantly, will make all student-athletes — our Golden Flashes and visitors alike — feel supported and treated with respect, kindness and purpose in everything we do.”
Diacon did say that the school’s Intercollegiate Athletics Equity and Diversity Committee would conduct a self-study on gender equity in athletics. As evidence that no Title IX violation had occurred in this incident that received nationwide attention, Diacon noted that the investigation conducted by the university’s Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action cited how a similar scheduling situation occurred in 2016, “and in that case, the field hockey match continued, and fireworks for football were canceled. The current case involved new and different personnel and has provided an important opportunity to assess and improve our procedures and communication.”
Diacon added in a statement that “we deeply regret the negative impact of the match cancellation” on the Temple and Maine teams, adding that he had reached out to the presidents of the two schools with an offer to “reimburse reasonable and customary costs for their teams to play a make-up match this year, if possible.”
A Temple spokesman said the school had no comment. There are no indications that Temple and Maine are looking to replay the game, given the obvious logistical hurdles.
“It set a really bad tone for female sports,’’ Temple field hockey coach Susan Ciufo said several days after the cancellation. “I don’t know if it would have happened the same way if it had been for a men’s soccer game, but I do know it happened for women’s field hockey.”