MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota's football team barred the younger sister of former kicker Dan Nystrom from trying out.
"It's men's college football, and it is not a co-ed sport," assistant athletics director of football operations Tim Allen told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.
Mary Nystrom didn't return phone messages left by The Associated Press on Friday. Dan Nystrom could not be reached for comment.
"I was a little disappointed I couldn't go out and compete with the boys too," Nystrom told KARE television of the Twin Cities.
Nystrom responded to an advertisement in the college newspaper for a kicker and punter for the football team. With thoughts of filling her brother's cleats, she went to a tryout.
Gophers coach Glen Mason was happy she gave it a try, but said the team was not obligated to give her a tryout because, under Title IX legislation, schools can ban women from men's contact sports.
"As many of you know, in contact sports such as football, Title IX explicitly exempts those sports from having to provide tryouts to female athletes," Mason said in a statement. "At this time we thought it was in the team's best interest to limit the try out to male participation."
According to Title IX, once a woman is allowed to participate, she must be treated equally. Duke University was sued in 1997 by Heather Mercer, who made the football team in 1995 but the next year.
Nystrom said Gophers coaches cited Mercer's lawsuit as a reason for not allowing her to try out.
Based on her success in an intrasquad scrimmage in April 1995, head coach Fred Goldsmith put Mercer on the team. But in at the beginning of the 1996 season, Goldsmith cut her.
Mercer alleges that Goldsmith's decision was based on sex because Goldsmith allowed other, less qualified kickers to remain on the team.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.