We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, more commonly known as Title IX, which protects students from sexual discrimination in educational programs and activities. It states "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
It was not that long ago where women were not allowed to participate!! Let's not lose sight of that. Title IX requires institutions to pass a three-prong test that covers participation, athletic and financial assistance, and treatment.
According to the NCAA, there were 151,918 men and 15,182 women in college sports in 1966-1967, a few years before the passage of Title IX, and 252,946 men and 191,131 women in 2010-2011. Yes, women’s college enrollment increased substantially over the years, but athletic opportunities would not have corresponded if not for Title IX.
However, hurdles still exist for female athletes, especially women and girls of color, and we are all aware that the nation is becoming more divided on the subject..
ESPN once referred to Pat Summitt "the face of the Title IX generation." Summitt was making $8,900 in 1974 as the teams assistant. She learned and pushed to legitimize women’s basketball. This was an uphill battle requiring perseverance, strong leadership and legislative change.
Title IX is not about how many girls are playing sports. Studies highlighted by the The New York Times reveal that girls’ participation in sports leads to increases in women’s education and employment rates and decreases in women’s obesity rates. Girls who play sports are less likely to experience teen pregnancy and depression and more likely to experience academic success, high self-esteem, and positive body image.
We are proud to celebrate this milestone with the incredible athletes out there.