Title IX


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Department of Labor Title IX Amendments

Mythbusting provided by the Women's Sports Foundation.

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is the landmark legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools, whether it be in academics or athletics. Title IX states:

"No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid."
Athletics has created the most controversy regarding Title IX, but its gains in education and academics are notable. Before Title IX, many schools refused to admit women or enforced strict limits. Some statistics highlighting the advancements follow:
  • In 1994, women received 38% of medical degrees, compared with 9% in 1972.
  • In 1994, women earned 43% of law degrees, compared with 7% in 1972.
  • In 1994, 44% of all doctoral degrees to U.S. citizens went to women, up from 25% in 1977.

Intercollegiate Athletics

Title IX governs the overall equity of treatment and opportunity in athletics while giving schools the flexibility to choose sports based on student body interest, geographic influence, budget restraints, and gender ratio. In other words, it is not a matter of women being able to participate in wrestling or that exactly the same amount of money is spent per women's and men's basketball player. Instead, the focus is on the necessity for women to have equal opportunities as men on a whole, not on an individual basis.

In regard to intercollegiate athletics, there are three primary areas that determine if an institution is in compliance:

  1. athletic financial assistance
  2. accommodation of athletic interests & abilities
  3. other program areas

Appraisal of compliance is on a program-wide basis, not on a sport-by-sport basis.

While many resources have been written specific for intercollegiate sports, the general components of Title IX apply to interscholastic sport as well.

I. Financial Aid

First, financial assistance must be awarded based on the number of male and female athletes. The test is financial proportionality. The total amounts of athletics aid must be substantially proportionate to the ratio of male and female athletes.

II. Accommodation of Interests & Abilities

Second, the selection of sports and the level of competition must effectively accommodate the students' interests and abilities. There are 3 factors that are looked at consecutively.
  1. Whether the intercollegiate level participation opportunities for male and female students are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.
  2. Where the members of one sex have been and are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes, whether the institution can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion which is demonstrably responsive to the developing interests and abilities of that sex.
  3. Where the members of one sex are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes and the institution cannot show a continuing practice of program expansion, whether it can be demonstrated that the interests and abilities of the members of that sex have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program.

III. Other Areas

Third, all other benefits, opportunities, and treatments afforded sports participants are to be equivalent, but not necessarily identical. Title IX specifically looks at the following program components:

    1. Equipment & Supplies: quality, suitability, quantity, availability, maintenance, & replacement.
    2. Scheduling of Games & Practice Time: number of competitive events per sport, number and length of practice opportunities, time of day competitive events and practice opportunities are scheduled, opportunities to engage in available pre-season and post-season competition, the season a sport is scheduled, & the length of season.
    3. Travel & Per Diem Allowances: modes of transportation, housing furnished during travel, length of stay before and after competitive events, per diem allowances, & dining arrangements.
    4. Opportunity to Receive Academic Tutoring: availability of tutoring, tutor qualifications and experience, rates of pay, & employment conditions.
    5. Opportunity to Receive Coaching, Assignment, & Compensation: availability, assignment, & compensation of full-time coaches, assistants, graduate assistants, or restricted earnings coaches.
    6. Locker Rooms, Practice, & Competitive Facilities: quality, availability, exclusivity of use, maintenance and preparation of facilities.
    7. Medical & Training Facilities and Services: quality and availability of medical personnel; athletic trainers; weight and conditioning facilities; training facilities; & health, accident, and injury insurance coverage.
    8. Housing & Dining Facilities and Services: housing and dining benefits available during the regular year, the provision of pre-game and post-game meals, & housing and dining services provided when classes are not in session.
    9. Publicity: availability and quality of sports information personnel, access to publicity resources, & quantity and quality of publications and other promotional devices.
    10. Support Services: administrative support, clerical and secretarial support, office space, equipment and supplies, & availability of other support staff.
    11. Recruitment of Student-Athletes: opportunities for coaches or other personnel to recruit, whether financial and other resources are equivalently adequate, & treatment of prospective student-athletes.

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