The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a settlement between Brown University and student athletes who challenged the school last year when it downgraded several women’s varsity sports to club status.

Twelve current athletes on the women’s gymnastics and ice hockey teams objected to the settlement, which was approved by U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell Jr. of the District of Rhode Island in December 2020. In its opinion published Wednesday, the three-judge panel said the settlement “conferred demonstrable benefits” to students.