Title IX: Time for Change
By Kevin Gabrielson
What if someone told you that you could not play the sport you love? What if a coach said that you had to be cut, not because you weren't good enough, but because of a quota? This situation and others like it happen all to often today in college athletics, all because of a law called Title IX. The Federal law passed in 1975 states that "No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance". This law basically means that schools must prove that they have equal participation in men and women's teams. Colleges can show that they meet these standards by one of three ways: by showing that they have a program of expanding the opportunities for the underserved sex, by showing that they meet the interests and abilities of that sex or by showing that the number of male/female athletes is proportionate to their enrollment (Lesher 38). Unless the school meets one of these three prongs they risk losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal aid.
Title IX has been a highly controversial topic ever since it was put into effect. The original intent of Title IX was to rid gender discrimination in universities receiving federal aid. However, it now seems to be serving more as a wall around men's Olympic sports such as wrestling, gymnastics, soccer, etc.
There are many problems with the structure of Title IX; the biggest of them is with trying to meet the proportionality requirements of the law. Proportionality means that the ratio of men's athletic positions to women's athletic positions offered must be within 5 percent of the schools enrollment ratio. For example if a college has an enrollment ratio of 60% male and 40% female, the college must make at least 37.5% of their total athletic positions offered for female sports....