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Title IX – Sports
The interpretation of Title IX in sports and education is surrounded by controversy. Title IX was designed with the intention of ensuring equality in sports between men and women. Although it seems obvious that some sort of equalization mechanism is needed, there has been considerable controversy in education regarding the interpretation of Title IX. Sports in particular contain many examples where Title IX has led to the demise of college sports teams, all in a misconstrued attempt to equalize sports for both sexes.
Rod Paige, the Secretary of Education, established the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics in mid-2002. COA, as the commission is abbreviated, is charged with ensuring equity for all athletes in the university finding ways to better apply and increase opportunities for beneficiaries. COA’s primary purpose was to collect information, analyze it, and obtain input from the public with the goal of using federal law enforcement to ensure that men and women, boys and girls, have equal opportunity and his participation in athletics.
Leading the COA was Cynthia Cooper along with Ted Leland, who served with Rod Paige as co-chairs. Cynthia, a former player with the Houston Comets, coached the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA and was a member of the women’s basketball team in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Leland is the director of athletics at Stanford University.
COA held 4 meetings at city halls in San Diego, Atlanta, Colorado Springs and Chicago. The purpose of these meetings was to provide the public with an opportunity to provide feedback on Title IX at that time, in the past, and in the future. At the beginning of 2003 the commission presented its final report. In the report there were 23 recommendations to the Secretary of Education. Many of the recommendations were unanimous, but the controversial ones passed 8 to 5. The controversial votes dealt with the compliance of non-scholarship athletes for the 1st point test along with interest surveys to determine compliance of the 3rd point test. Rod Paige, however, stated that he would only consider votes that passed unanimously. These required the Department of Education:
* Show your constant and unwavering support to ensure that boys and girls, women and men have equal opportunity.
* Ensure uniform application of the statute in the US.
* Guarantee that each of the 3 tests that regulated compliance with the statute had the same weighting.
* Make sure schools appreciate that the Department of Education was not in favor of the idea of cutting teams in order to adhere to the statute (Title IX, 2008).
Patsy T. Mink was the main author of the education law that guarantees all people equal opportunity in education. The Act, which was enacted in 1972, was formerly known as Title IX of the Education Amendments and generally states that no one shall be prevented from enjoying the benefits of a particular educational program or ‘a particular activity that receives financial assistance from the federal government based on your sex. Title IX’s greatest impact has been on both high school and college athletics, even though the original statute did not refer to athletics. The statute has broad coverage of educational activities, complaints of discrimination in mathematics, science education, other aspects of academic life, such as the ability to use dormitories and other health facilities. The same status applies to activities such as cheerleading, clubs and school bands, which are non-sports activities. However, the requirements of the statute exempt sororities along with social fraternities such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Boys State along with Girls State, which are gender specific (Title IX, 2008).
The Jimmy Carter administration interpreted the statute when the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare proposed a “three-prong test” of compliance for institutions in the late 1970s. The three prongs are the which are shown below:
* 1st point: that the sports opportunities provided are proportional to the number of students enrolled or
* 2nd point: Show more sporting opportunities for the sex that is underrepresented or
* 3rd point: Underrepresented sexual interest along with ability must be fully and effectively accommodated.
To demonstrate adherence to Title IX, any institution that is a recipient of federal funds should demonstrate compliance with any of the three points (Title IX, 2008).
The Federal Government has issued new guidelines regarding the enforcement of Title IX. Title IX has allowed women’s participation in sports to increase, but the new guidelines have allowed schools to reduce athletic opportunities if they find through Internet surveys that students aren’t interested.
However, critics have been quick to point out that these new guidelines have significantly weakened the law in place for the past 33 years, which had prohibited sex discrimination in schools that were recipients of federal funds.
Under the new guidelines, the Department for Education has allowed schools to demonstrate that they offer opportunities by asking students to fill out an online form to show their interest in sport. Schools are free to notify students of a survey by email. In the event that surveys elicit few responses, schools can still go the extra mile and use the limited responses to argue against forming new teams in a certain sport of the gender that is not adequately represented. For its part, the Department of Education accepted that the level of response may be low, but went on to state that it will be interpreted as disinterest in the gender in question.
Chaundry expressed concern that students may not open this email. However, not everyone was against the new guidelines, as College Sports Council Director Eric Pearson stated that the new guidelines were a good alternative to the gender quota. She went on to add that it would be easier for universities along with schools to argue their case in court if they have fewer women in a given athletic program compared to the total number of students at the school or college. The rule has been controversial especially in some schools where the less practiced male sports, say wrestling, have had to be discarded in order to balance the number of women and men participating in athletics taking into account the total number of students in the school or university.
Well, many people will argue that Title IX has been good for women’s sports. To a large extent this is true, but what has been the price for this? The law was based on the premise that universities receiving federal funding could not use sex as a means of discrimination. However, in trying to solve the problem of women’s lower participation in sports, Title IX has actually discriminated against men! This issue has been discussed several times before: the Department of Health, Education and Welfare required schools to ensure that the selection of sports along with the level of competition matched the abilities and interests of both sexes.
This is probably not a surprise; men show a greater interest in sports than women, just as boys show less interest in training equipment than girls. Some colleges have had difficulty trying to find enough women to play sports. To show it more clearly, a wrestling coach explained it this way, with 1000 boys interested in a certain sport and 100 girls interested in the same sport, you’ll end up with 100 boys and 100 girls getting a chance. This raises many questions. This issue of proportionality is so strict that even without a scholarship playing for a certain team is impossible because the numbers won’t add up.
The Office for Civil Rights established this strictness in proportionality in 1979. However, the original law clearly states that Title IX should not be understood to mean that a gender should be discriminated against if there is a imbalance in the number of people. of both sexes participating in a given sport. Therefore, even with the benefits that the law has brought to the sports field, it has caused discrimination against men especially in the sports commonly known (wrongly) as minor.
The last two years have seen significant progress in gender and racial equality. The wage gap between members of various races has been studied for many years. Gender discrimination and the underrepresentation of minorities in head coaching positions under the auspices of Title IX has been a hotly debated topic. This website aims to provide you with summaries of abstracts, reviews of academic literature and articles from major media outlets, etc. which show the disintegration of coaches along with players in top professional sports leagues due to racism.
Many people continue to question whether football in this country is institutionally racist, as generations past had to contend with racism in the NFL. Of the two hundred and seventy-six coaching and managerial positions in professional football, only about six people are black. About twenty-two percent of the players are African-American, but only two percent are in management. The good part, though, is that management has acknowledged that there really is a problem that needs their attention. The premier league, the Football Association, the League Managers Association along with the Football League have joined forces with the PFA. They agree that there is an urgent need to find aspects of the selection criteria that may be discriminatory against blacks so that in the future posts are filled only on merit.
It is well known that Title IX aims to ensure the equality of female athletes with their male counterparts in various sports. However, there is more to it than sports; there is theater, other extracurricular activities, band, etc.
So, for athletic programs, these are the Title IX requirements:
* Women and men should have similar opportunities in sport
* Women should receive equivalent funding/scholarship or according to their participation, can be found at the Women’s Sports Foundation.
* Women should receive similar benefits to men. These include coaching, practice facilities, travel and allowance etc.
Title IX is designed to promote equality in sports between men and women. It is useful to have some sort of equalizing force in place; however, there are many problems with how courts interpret Title IX. Title IX has generated quite a bit of controversy in education, and especially in sports. There are many cases where Title IX has led to the demise of certain college sports teams. It’s time to fix the loopholes and illogical fractions of Title IX.
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