Most colleges and universities around the country receive Title IX funding.
By receiving those funds, the institutions agree to follow the rules of Title IX or risk losing the funds.
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that 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.”
Title IX also addresses sexual violence and requires schools to proactively address, remedy and eliminate sexual violence on their campuses. Under Title IX, everyone is protected regardless of your gender and how you identify.
However, when it comes to sports Title IX law, the line sometimes begins to blur. Each college that receives Title IX funds has a percentage that goes to the sports department. After it reaches the sports department, the funds are supposed to be dispersed equally, 50 percent to male athletes and 50 percent to female athletes.
According to Sports Foundation, female college athletes receive $183 million less in NCAA athletic scholarships ($965 million female v. $1.15 billion male). In addition, female high school and college athletes continue to lag behind males in the provision of equitable resources like equipment, uniforms and facilities. We have to rectify this issue soon.
When we accept inequality at any level, we open the door for inequality at all levels. Women don’t even receive the same recognition.
Take the city of Atlanta. Its NFL team is building a new stadium. The city has renovated the NBA Hawks arena. The WNBA Atlanta Dream has been to three WNBA finals in nine years of existence. The Atlanta Hawks have been to zero. Where is the Dreams’ new stadium?
You want more inequity? Look at the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team. It had a record-breaking streak of 111 games without a loss. No team, men or women, has ever had such a streak. But that team didn’t receive the recognition it would have received had it been a men’s team.
With the 45th anniversary of Title IX, there is a huge myth that Title IX has done its job. Truth is we haven’t come that far. Most people look at the fact that we have made progress and assume that progress is fine even when you are not equal.
In fact, we have not really made progress in the last 10 years. While we have more women who are attending college we extremely short-changed when it comes to the amount of scholarships dollars that are awarded.
One of the biggest factors of all, whether we are talking about high school, college or leadership is the lack of women of color in all areas. Sixty percent of girls do not have access to high school sports and they are primarily African American and Latina girls.
We know from the latest Sports Foundation reports that only three percent of head coaches in college sports are women of color. The myth that Title IX has done its job is just that, a myth and we have to hope that it will not take another 45 years to see better progress and equality overall.
Shaquita Newton is a sports blogger. She can be reached at email@example.com.