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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. While it seems obvious that some sort of balancing mechanism is necessary, there has been quite a bit of controversy in education over the interpretation of Title IX. Sports, in particular, contain many examples of Title IX leading to the end of college sports teams—all in a misconstrued attempt to equalize sports for both sexes.
Rod Paige, Secretary of Education, established the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics in mid-2002. The COA, as the commission is abbreviated, is tasked with ensuring fairness for all college athletes by finding ways to better enforce and increase opportunities for recipients . The main purpose of the COA was to collect information, have it analyzed and obtain input from the public to ensure that men and women, boys and girls have equal opportunities and involvement in athletics.
COA was led by Cynthia Cooper, along with Ted Leland, who served with Rod Paige as co-chairs. A former player for the Houston Comets, Cynthia 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 athletic director at Stanford University.
COA held 4 town hall meetings in San Diego, Atlanta, Colorado Springs and Chicago. The goal of these meetings was to give the public an opportunity to comment on Title IX at the time, in the past, and in the future. In early 2003, the commission issued its final report. The report contained 23 recommendations to the Minister of Education. Many of the recommendations were unanimous, but the controversial one saw it pass by an 8-5 vote. The controversial vote was about matching non-scholarship athletes to the 1st Test, along with a contribution to interest surveys to determine matching to the 3rd Test. However, Rod Paige stated that he would only consider votes that were unanimously approved. These required the Ministry of Education to:
* Show your continued and unwavering support to ensure that boys and girls, women and men have equal opportunities.
* Ensure uniform enforcement of the law in the US.
* Ensure that each of the 3 tests that governed compliance with the law were given equal weight.
* Make sure schools understand that the Department of Education was not in favor of the idea of restricting teams to comply with the statute (Title IX, 2008).
Patsy T. Mink is primarily the author of the Education Act, which guarantees equal educational opportunities to all people. The law, which was formulated in 1972, was formerly known as Title IX of the Education Amendments, and generally states that no one should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of a given educational program or activity that receives financial support from the federal government based on their gender. Title IX had the greatest impact on athletics at both the high school and college levels, although the original statute did not mention athletics. The statute has a wide scope from educational activities, complaints about discrimination in mathematics, science education, other aspects of academic life, e.g. the possibility to use dormitories and other medical facilities. The same is true for activities such as cheer leaders, clubs, and school bands, which are non-sports activities. However, gender-specific sororities along with social fraternities such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Boy State along with Girl State are exempt from the statute’s requirements (Title IX, 2008).
The Jimmy Carter administration came up with an interpretation of the law when the Department of Health, Education and Welfare came up with a “three-point test” of compliance for institutions in the late 1970s. The three prongs are shown below:
* 1st point – that the sports opportunities provided are proportional to the number of enrolled students or
* 2nd spike- show increased sporting opportunities for a gender that is underrepresented or
* 3rd point – underrepresented sexual interest along with ability should be fully and effectively satisfied.
To demonstrate compliance with Title IX, any institution that receives federal funds should demonstrate compliance with any of the three points (Title IX, 2008).
The federal government has issued new guidance regarding the implementation of Title IX. Title IX allowed for more female participation in sports, but the new guidelines allowed schools to limit athletic opportunities if they determined from online surveys that they were not interested in female students.
But critics were quick to point out that the new guidelines significantly weakened a 33-year-old law that banned sex-based discrimination in schools that received federal funds.
Under the new guidelines, the Ministry of Education has allowed schools to show they offer opportunities and asked students to fill out a form online to indicate their interest in sports. Schools can notify students about the survey via email. In the event that surveys receive few responses, schools may still jump in and use the limited responses to argue against creating new teams in a sport of a gender that is not properly represented. The Ministry of Education, for its part, agreed that the response rate might be low, but went on to state that this would be interpreted as a lack of interest of the gender in question.
Chaundry expressed concern that students might actually open such an email. However, not everyone was against the new guidelines as the director of the College Sports Council, Eric Pearson stated that the new guidelines were a good alternative to the gender quota. He went on to add that it would be easier for colleges, along with schools, to argue in court if they have fewer women in a given sports program compared to the total student body of the school or college. The rule has caused controversy, especially in some schools, where less popular male sports, say wrestling, have had to be dropped in order to equalize the number of women and men participating in athletics with respect to the total number of students in the school or college.
Many people will argue that Title IX was good for women’s sports. For the most part this is true, but what was the cost? The law was based on the premise that universities that received federal funding could not use sex as a means of discrimination. However, by trying to solve the problem of fewer women in sports, Title IX actually discriminates against men! This topic has already been discussed several times: the Ministry of Health, Education and Social Welfare has imposed an obligation on schools to ensure that the choice of sport, together with the level of competition, corresponds to the abilities and interests of both sexes.
This is most likely not a surprise; males show more interest in sports than females, just as boys show less interest in practice squad than girls. Some colleges had trouble finding enough women to play sports. To make it more clear, the wrestling coach explained it this way, if 1000 boys are interested in a sport and 100 girls are interested in the same sport, you end up with 100 boys and 100 girls getting the opportunity. This raises many questions. This issue of proportionality is so strict that even without a scholarship it is not possible to play for a given team because the numbers do not 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 construed to discriminate against one gender when there is an imbalance in the number of people of both sexes participating in a given sport. Therefore, despite the advantages that the law brought to the sports arena, it led to discrimination against men, especially in the generally known (erroneously) smaller sports.
Significant progress has been made in gender and racial equality in the last few years. Racial pay gaps have been researched for many years. Gender discrimination and the low representation of minorities in head coaching positions under the auspices of Title IX have been the subject of much debate. This website would like to provide you with summaries of abstracts, peer reviews, and top media articles, etc., that show the breakdown of coaches and players in the top professional sports leagues due to racism.
Many people still question whether football is institutionally racist in this country because generations past have had to deal with racism in the NFL. Of the two hundred and seventy-six coaching and managerial positions in professional football, only a measly six are black. About twenty-two percent of the players are African-American, but only two percent are in management. But the good thing is that management has recognized that there is, in fact, a problem that needs their attention. The Premier League, Football Association, League Manager’s Association along with the Football League have merged with the PFA. He agrees that there is an urgent need to find any aspects of the selection criteria that might discriminate against blacks so that in the future positions are filled only on merit.
It is well known that the goal of Title IX is to ensure equality of female athletes with their male counterparts in various sports. But there is more to it than just sports; there is drama, other extracurricular activities, band, etc.
Thus, Title IX requirements for athletic programs are:
* Women and men should have similar opportunities in sports
* Women should receive funding/scholarship that is equal or commensurate with their participation – this can be found at the W omen’s Sports Foundation.
* Women should receive similar benefits to men. These include coaching, practice facilities, travel and allowances etc.
Title IX is designed to promote equality in sports between men and women. It is useful to have some sort of balancing force in place; however, there are many problems with how courts interpret Title IX. Title IX has caused 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 fragments of Title IX.
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