The University of Tennessee settled a Title IX case involving its handling of sexual assault

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The University of Tennessee has agreed to pay almost $2.5 million to settle a case brought by eight women against the university for its handling of allegations of sexual assault, particularly against student-athletes.

The case first came to light in early February when six unnamed women filed a federal lawsuit against the university claiming it had violated Title IX. The university, according to the lawsuit, had created a "hostile sexual environment," because of its indifferent responses toward allegations of assault.

The six women all claimed to have each been sexually assaulted and then reported their individual cases only to find themselves in an unfair review process that mostly left their perpetrators off the hook. Later, the complaint was amended to include two other women who also said they had experienced similar treatment.

In the settlement agreement, the University of Tennessee is clear about not admitting any guilt or wrongdoing, ESPN reports. The university's statement indicates that they had already spent more than $220,000 in litigation fees and the case would have cost more than $5 million if it proceeded to trial. Lawyers for all parties involved agreed to the settlement two days before the University of Tennessee had to respond to the lawsuit in court.

See photos from the unfolding story:

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Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones, second from left, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, in Knoxville, Tenn. The school's coaches held the news conference two weeks after a group of unidentified women sued the school over its handling of sexual assault complaints made against student-athletes. From left are women's basketball coach Holly Warlick, Jones, track & field/cross country coach Beth Alford-Sullivan, swimming and diving coach Matt Kredich, and diving coach Dave Parrington. (AP Photo/Patrick Murphy-Racey)
Tennessee men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, top left, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, in Knoxville, Tenn. The school's coaches held a news conference two weeks after a group of unidentified women sued the school over its handling of sexual assault complaints made against student-athletes. (AP Photo/Patrick Murphy-Racey)
Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick, left, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, in Knoxville, Tenn. The school's coaches held a news conference two weeks after a group of unidentified women sued the school over its handling of sexual assault complaints made against student-athletes. From left are Warlick, football coach Butch Jones, and track & field/cross country coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. (AP Photo/Patrick Murphy-Racey)
FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 file photo, Tennessee coach Butch Jones talks into his microphone as he walks along the sideline in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. Tennessee football coach Butch Jones briefly referred to the Title IX lawsuit facing the university while speaking at a coaching clinic, Friday, March 4, 2016.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 05: Head coach Butch Jones of the University of Tennessee Volunteers yells during the first half of a game against the Bowling Green Falcons at Nissan Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones is introduced before speaking at a legislative planning session sponsored by The Associated Press and the Tennessee Press Association on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Jones was the recipient of the Tennessee Press association Headliner of the Year Award. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones is greeted by Daniel Williams after speaking at a legislative planning session sponsored by The Associated Press and the Tennessee Press Association on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Jones was the recipient of the Tennessee Press association Headliner of the Year Award. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Knoxville, TN - December 7, 2012: Butch Jones, head coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team during his press conference at Neyland Stadium. (Photo by Wade Rackley/Tennessee Athletics/Tennessee Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)
Knoxville, TN - December 7, 2012: Butch Jones, head coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team during his press conference at Neyland Stadium. (Photo by Tennessee Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)
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The president of the University of Tennessee also said in a statement that he will appoint an independent commission to review the university's current programs involving Title IX and recommend ways to improve.

"We are satisfied that, while universities everywhere struggle with these issues, the University of Tennessee has made significant progress in the way they educate and respond to sexual assault cases," David Randolph Smith, told ESPN.

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