Title nine has lasting effects on athletic scholarships

Hudson Villeneuve, Content Editor

In the early 1970s, boys played basketball and girls cheered. Big brother got all the glory on the court while little sister’s only option was to join the cheer squad. If a girl wanted to play basketball, her opportunities may not have extended past her driveway hoop. In 1972, this began to change with introduction of the Title IX Education Act.

The act was intended to create equality among the sexes, however some disparities have arisen. According to the NCAA Gender Equity Report, 65 scholarships out of an average 97 are going to football players. Because of the number of college scholarships given to football athletes, sports other than football suffer from a lack of scholarships.

“Sometimes you hear about colleges cutting the wrestling program or some other sport to make sure the money is equal between men and women,” physical education teacher Chad Logan said. “It was meant to create equal opportunities in education, but it has unintentionally changed the sports landscape.”

Since 1972 the scholarship distribution between female and male athletics was altered. For example, in division I basketball, men’s teams are allotted 13 scholarships while women’s teams are allotted 15. Before Title IX, the opportunity for women to even play collegiate athletics was minimal.

“This act absolutely gave me the opportunity to succeed and continue my softball career in college,” senior Paige Dean said. “Title IX is important for every woman wanting to play collegiate athletics. Women and men are already equal, but this act has made playing collegiate athletics more equal than before.”
While this act has helped bridge the gap between men and women, there is still a hurdle toward full equality for the sexes. The revenue certain sports generate can determine the money a sport is entitled to.

“Getting into money is a slippery slope; if you are at the University of Michigan, the football team funds the whole athletic program,” Logan said. “Nothing against girls soccer, but the revenue they bring in is not equal. That’s why football is going to get more money than girls soccer. Title IX does not necessarily help colleges save money.”

Title IX has been proven to create discrepancies in college athletics. But it has, opened the door for women in the sports world. Before the act, women could not participate in many sports; their options were limited and the only opportunities were given to men. The culture of many high schools and colleges are based on sports and now women are given the chance to be a part of that experience.