The California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) (defendant) was a large public university with a female-to-male student population of approximately 64 percent to 36 percent. However, male students made up approximately 61 percent of CSUB’s athletic rosters. Due to this imbalance, CSUB was sued by the National Organization for Women for violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. CSUB settled the case by agreeing to a consent decree that required CSUB to have a proportion of female athletes within five percentage points of the total proportion of female students. In order to comply with the consent decree, CSUB adopted squad-size targets that encouraged the expansion of female teams and limited the size of men’s teams. The men’s wrestling team was capped at 27 for the 1995-96 academic year. This cap was protested by the coach and by the team captain, Stephen Neal (plaintiff). In the 1996-97 academic year, the men’s wrestling team was capped at 25 members. In January 1997, Neal and the wrestling team sued CSUB, alleging violations of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause. The district court granted a preliminary injunction against CSUB, and CSUB appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.