It’s no secret that women in collegiate sports have come a long way since Title IX. For those not familiar with the Education Reforms of 1972, 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 educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance (U.S. Department of Justice, 20 U.S.C. §1681).”
The greatest legal implications came in the field of sports as many schools had already proved to be providing equal opportunities educationally. Now, greater opportunities were presented to women in sports at all levels of education. However, some current implications of Title IX contradict the civil rights legislation’s original intention.
Government officials and educational administrators have transformed Title IX into a quota-driven system. Reverse discrimination can happen as a result of this when athletic programs fear legislations. Schools install systems of “statistical proportionality” so athletic opportunities are available to the genders, as they comprise the student population. The problem with this is that at an increasing rate at higher levels of education- less women are interested in participating in athletics.
Football presents another problem for schools fearing Title IX legislative action. Football is a lucrative sport for many schools, so this requires a deep roster, and therefore has no female equivalent. The roster number can be balanced with multiple female sports to fulfill opportunity quotas, but likely at the expense of smaller, less-lucrative men’s sports.
With every civil rights issue, legislation often lays the ground work for change, but social leadership is needed to concretize equality. Women in sports need leadership.
Administratively, this means bringing more women into coaching and administrative positions for athletics. Women are underrepresented in coaching positions, even though many female athletes could be more empowered by female leadership. In her book, Are We Winning Yet? How Women are Changing Sports and Sports are Changing Women, Mariah Burton Nelson describes what she calls a “partnership model” for female athletics. In this model, athletes, coaches, and even competitors are bound by a camaraderie that pushes them to greatness together. The basis of the model is strong female leadership.
The National Football League’s Roger Goodell presented their idea of introducing a Rooney Rule for women at the first ever “Women’s Summit” at Super Bowl 50. The Rooney Rule requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. Enacting changes like this will facilitate female athletic empowerment.
Social leadership can also come from professional athletes and how they are portrayed in the media. In the Rio Olympic Games U.S. men took home 55 medals -U.S. women took home 61. Media coverage continued to concentrate around the men’s sports even with the impressive performance from the women. This was more disconcerting, since most of the viewers for the Olympic Games were female. Even during the Games, notable news outlets like The Chicago Tribune were criticized for their sexist headlines. Women have to take advantage of the opportunities offered to them by the Title IX initiative to do away with the quota system. The media has the power to change the way female athleticism is stigmatized, combatting the retention issue faced by female athletics.
Equal participation in athletics at the elementary level shows that it’s not a matter of females not wanting to compete, but more females not having the same support from direct leadership and society to continue athletics through high school and college. Title IX has laid the ground work for change but it will take a supportive social climate and strong female leadership to get women off the sidelines.
You May Also Like:
Posted on November 4, 2016 in News & Events
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.