A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s decision that said Quinnipiac University violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by failing to give female students equal participation opportunities in varsity sports. The latest decision, issued on Tuesday by a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, rejected the university’s argument that the lower court had excluded some roster positions from its survey of Quinnipiac’s athletic teams, including the university’s 30-member competitive-cheerleading squad. The lower court found that for the purposes of complying with the federal gender-equity law, the university could not count competitive cheerleading as a sport. The appellate court agreed with that finding. Five members of the university’s women’s volleyball team and their coach had sued the Connecticut institution over its plan to eliminate their team and two men’s teams and to establish a new competitive-cheerleading team.