Bozzlife: Title IX and the Equity of Sports

in GEMS7 months ago

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know that new sports content is at a premium right now. With most season and leagues being cancelled or postponed, there isn't much to watch besides reruns of old games/matches.

That doesn't mean that we have to stop talking about them though. I have actually been thinking about this post for quite a while now and I was just waiting for the right inspiration to pull it all together.

According to Wikipedia, Title IX is a federal civil rights law that was put into effect back in 1972. The TL;DR of it is, Title IX applies not just to sports, but to all aspects of education. It was implemented to ensure equal opportunities for females and also to address instances of sexual abuse or harassment.

One of only instances of being impacted by Title IX that I can remember happened many years ago and it shifted the schedules of many schools throughout the US.

When I was in high school, girls volleyball was played in the Winter and girls basketball was played in the Fall. In 1998, some parents filed a lawsuit claiming that was a violation of Title IX laws because the seasons didn't match up with the NCAA seasons and high school seasons in other states.
Therefore, it put those students at a disadvantage for recruiting and things of that sort.

Ultimately after ten years and several appeals, the seasons were changed and now volleyball is in the Fall and basketball is in the Winter. Like many legal things, most of Title IX takes place in the background but this is one thing that was very front and center about the law.

These days, there are only a handful of people that ever remember it being different.

That was my sole experience with Title IX until just recently, when this happened:


A couple of years ago, a community member whose son(s) played baseball for the district and was very involved with the baseball program donated skills and money to upgrade the varsity baseball field with new seating and dugouts.

It was a nice gesture and ended up creating a very nice facility in the picture see above.

Fast forward to a couple of years later when the softball parents came to a school board meeting claiming the district was violating Title IX by not building new softball dugouts. I thought surely this was a joke since the funds were donated, there was no way the district would be required to maintain equity.

Boy was I wrong.

I looked it up and even though the funds were donated, because the district deposited them into their general fund, they were then obligated to maintain equity across the board.

It was only a few short weeks after that school board meeting that I drove in to my office and saw this happening:




Unfortunately, I am not sure where the school came up with the money to do this project. I know our budget it tight and money doesn't grow on trees. I am sure the threat of a lawsuit can probably get you to find money pretty much anywhere.

Personally, I feel like a conversation between the parents and the athletic director or the superintendent before taking it to the board level would have been the smarter way to go, but in the end, I guess you can't argue with the results.

So you can see, even though many of you have probably never heard of Title IX, it has had, and continues to have a tremendous impact on the world of sports.


all pictures were taken by me and my wife except the one cited above

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Never heard about Title IX, interesting read my friend, thank you for diverting my attention from the madness and paranoia surrounding us here in New York/ New Jersey.

No problem. I wasn't very familiar with it either. Especially all of the background and all of that. It is pretty important.

I finished High School and College before title IX so I may have a little perspective on before and after.

Before: Girls didn't play sports. The only sport a girl could letter in at my high school was tennis. In 1972 WSU had about 40 scholarship women and around 300 men and being in the PAC 8 they had more women's scholarships than the SEC or the Big 10.

Now, the scholarships and facilities are equal. It's just the right thing.

Has Title IX been abused from time to time? Of course it has, just like The Civil Rights Act. It's still a hell of a lot better than it was.

For sure, and great info. The equity in scholarships alone is definitely worth it. Quite honestly, the schools around here aren't that huge and it is going to be a one in a million shot for a DI school to come around recruiting. We see more of the benefits that don't garner all the publicity.

I had never heard of this and interesting to read and think about something other than the crazy numbers all around here

Wow, I guess what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Not sure I agree with it but it does give girl's a new softball field. Which is a good thing. Just as you said wondering where the funds came from ??

I'm familiar with Title 9 and agree that some of it is actually good. My own family member got to go to college for free playing a sport that while very popular with the mens' side, is a non-issue for womens'. So in that sense I am happy it exists even if my reasoning is a bit selfish.

However, like most things it gets taken too far such as when this notion has extended into professional sports when women's teams that barely draw an audience start demanding equal pay to the men's sports that pulls in millions upon millions in revenue.

Let no good deed go unpunished I suppose.

Indeed, I do kind of agree with the women's soccer team though, they have win enough titles that they deserve a little more compensation. I think Title IX is good, I just don't like when people jump to threats without sitting down and having an adult conversation about it.