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settlements

University of Tennessee settles Title IX lawsuit for more than $2 million

The University of Tennessee has settled a federal Title IX lawsuit filed by eight female plaintiffs who alleged the university maintains a "hostile sexual environment."

If approved by a judge, half of the $2.48 million settlement will be paid by the athletics department and half by the Knoxville campus. The lawsuit claims that the University of Tennessee violates Title IX in the handling of sexual assault cases, and under the settlement UT admits no guilt, but will appoint an independent commission to review sexual assault prevention programs and Title IX. The unidentified plaintiffs include women who accused former basketball and football players of sexual assault, and in one case, assault for refusing sex.

With this agreement, UT has paid about $40.1 million over the past two years in settlements and attorney fees for athletics-related lawsuits, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.