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Professor Manley
EN 102
27 March 2015
The Unleveled Playing Field: Females in Collegiate Sports
Imagine being one of thirty eight females. Now of those thirty eight females, imagine you
are only one of ten that participate in sports. Welcome to my reality. To be a female at Valley
Forge meant joining a miniscule, under-recognized group of people. But there wasnt really any
sense of how underrepresented we would be as student athletes. Upon my arrival, as I walked to
meet and join the remainder of my classmates, I noticed something was extremely peculiar. The
amount of male collegiate athletes was overwhelming; the disproportion minding-blowing. To
make matters even worse, out of the approximate one hundred ten males placed in H Company
(the athletic company for the residential students at VFMC), about 85% of them (if not more)
financed their education through athletic scholarships after being recruited. In complete contrast,
out of the ten females at VFMC for athletics, only six of them financed their education through
athletic scholarship upon recruitment. Noting these major differences, I decided to compare the
athletics offered at VFMC side by side.
At the conclusion of volleyball season, which initiates the beginning of female and male
basketball season, several large differences sent up immediate red flags. For one, the mens
bench barely had any room. The bench, at any given time, held fifteen members, which meant
there were approximately twenty members on the mens team. However, in great contrast, the
womens team struggled with five members. The players would have to take on forty minutes of
playing time and were expected to play through exhaustion and injury. This also became a

problem when two females (my roommate and I) were requested to play basketball or at least sit
on and fill the bench by both our Head Coach of Womens Volleyball and the Head Coach of
Womens Basketball. Along with being well aware that I had a serious injury at the time and was
not cleared and that we didnt possess the qualifications to play this sport, my roommate and I
were uninterested in playing as we had come to play softball and volleyball, respectively.
Another large issue is that the sports offered are uneven for the men and women. The mens
teams include football, basketball, lacrosse and baseball, while womens teams include only
volleyball and basketball. While the VFMC website advertises the school offers that there are
soccer and softball programs, neither program exists. (vfmac.edu)
Unfortunately, incidents such as this are not just exclusive to Valley Forge Military
College; they happen in colleges and universities all across the United States. The acts
introduced above are all illegal under the Title IX law. Enacted in June of 1972, the main
objectives were not only surrounding the basis of athletics, but for the gender equity in all things
education, healthcare, job availability, etc. Though edited to meet the growing demand and
issues of the public, the fundamentals of Title IX are particularly straight forward. Through
athletic Title IX and female equity are seen something that has been solved already through the
passing of the Title IX law, it is evident in my case and similar cases nationwide that this is still a
relevant problem that needs to be improved.

The History of Title IX

Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana, who was the chief Senate sponsor and the author
of Title IX, first introduced the law to Congress. Bayh was also attempting to rework various
constitutional issues in regards to womens rights at the time of Title IXs introduction. One
major amendment he incorporated was the Equal Rights Amendment, built to abolish
discriminatory differential treatment based on sex. The Higher Education Act of 1965, reworked
and eventually reauthorized, was finally introduced as an amendment on February 28, 1972.
When making some remarks on the Senate floor, Bayh stated, "We are all familiar with
the stereotype of women as pretty things who go to college to find a husband, go on to graduate
school because they want a more interesting husband, and finally marry, have children, and never
work again. But the facts absolutely contradict these myths about the 'weaker sex' and it is time
to change our operating assumptions. While the impact of this amendment would be farreaching", Bayh concluded, "it is not a panacea. It is, however, an important first step in the
effort to provide for the women of America something that is rightfully theirsan equal chance
to attend the schools of their choice, to develop the skills they want, and to apply those skills
with the knowledge that they will have a fair chance to secure the jobs of their choice with equal
pay for equal work". Title IX became law on June 23, 1972. When President Nixon signed the
bill, he spoke mostly about desegregation busing, which was also a focus of the signed bill, but
did not mention the expansion of educational access for women he had enacted.
Title IX in its entirety is quite brief and therefore requires specific language, phrases and
clarifications when understanding the implemented regulations. President Nixon delegated the
Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) with belief that they could handle the task.
There was growing concerns about how exactly Title IX would affect mens athletic programs

and there were several notions looking for ways to limit Title IXs overall influence. Senator
Bayh spent the following three years watching the HEW formulate regulations that would end
discrimination, based on sex, in higher education. When the regulations were issued in the
summer of 1975, they were contested. The House Subcommittee on Equal Opportunities held
hearings about the discrepancies between the regulations and the actual law. Also to be
monitored were colleges and universities, to ensure that implementation of the law took place.
However, there were cases in which some did not want to comply with the law. Senator John
Tower was one of these cases, in 1974. He introduced the Tower Amendment, which would have
exempted revenue-producing sports from complying with Title IX. In that same year, the Tower
Amendment was rejected and in its place came the Javits Amendment. Senator Jacob Javits
proposed that the HEW must include reasonable provisions considering the nature of particular
sports.
In June of 1975, HEW published the final regulations about Title IX and how it would be
enforced. It was not until then that the general public fully understood the entirety of Title IX and
its application to collegiate sports. Three years was the time frame in which the government gave
universities that received federal assistance to comply with Title IX regulations. However, the
NCAA claimed that Title IX and its implications were illegal. This is when the Tower
Amendment was brought back into debates, with revisions. However in the end, Title IX stood,
untouched.

Female Athletics Under Title IX


When the final clause of Title IX was signed into law, in 1975, it was discovered that
provisions were made that prohibited sex discrimination in high school and collegiate athletic
programs. The regulations required that the institution which sponsored any of the four tiered
sports (interscholastic, intercollegiate, club or intramural) must provide an equal opportunity for
athletics for members of both sex. It is not uncommon to find that since the passing of Title IX,
many institutions belonging to the NCAA have had several compliance issues. The Office of
Civil Rights (OCR) is one of the governing bodies is one of the groups that tries to ensure that
the different aspects of Title IX are enforced. They were delegated the power to take away
federal funding from schools and organizations who arent abiding with Title IX. Though they
have the power, OCR has never exercised it. Rather than take away the federal funding, OCR
works with the school/ organization to become more compliant by setting up a schedule or an
action plan that should be followed. (ncaa.org)
Title IX has had a large impact on collegiate athletics since its passing. In high school
athletics programs, female participation has increased by nearly tenfold and most double in
collegiate sports. Before the law was passed in 1972, it was estimates that less than 30,000 girls
in high school and less than 30,000 women in college participated in athletics. Now, more than 3
million high school girls and 400,000 college women participate in athletics. Title IX is just 37
words in length, yet it has been both credited with and blamed for a lot of things that have
happened in college athletics in the past four decades. Studies on the gender equity of sports
found on college campuses have provided an examination of how Title IX is perceived.
Questions have been raised over the equity between male and female student athletes. Females,
regardless of whether an administrator, coach, or athlete, thought there to be less equity than

males when it comes to these five factors: program support, financial support, sports offerings,
scheduling, and changes in the past two to three years. (aauw.org)

Problems Under Title IX


As previously stated, Title IX is a particularly brief law and as such, is open to a lot of
misinterpretations that require quite a bit of explaining. Many schools have found their way
around Title IX or seemingly ignore the law completely.
At the University of South Florida, more than half of the 71 women on the cross-country
roster didnt run a race in 2009. When confronted about it, several of the women made it be
known that they werent aware that they were on the team. At Marshall University, the womens
tennis recruited three members though they didnt have the skill level to play, or even practice,
with its senior members. Invited by the coach, he made it known to them that they could come to
practice whenever they liked and would not have to travel with the team. At Cornell, 15 of the 34
members of the womens fencing team are actually men, just reported as females. There is even a
federal loophole that allows them to report male practice players as female participants, which
Texas A&M and Duke take full advantage of. (nytimes.com)
Why is it that certain schools feel that it is acceptable to do this to its female teams? A
major aspect of all of this has to do with the football team. The mens football team is believed to
be one of the biggest revenue making amenities at major colleges and universities. The games,
the events and the teams in general are believed to bring in the most money for the school, which
explains the salary of football coaches. But what does this mean exactly? This means that in

order to be able to expand the team, according to Title IX, there must be an equal amount of
female athletes and athletic programs available at the school. Without the aforementioned
requirements being fulfilled, football coaches would have to cut down their team sizes. On
average, a team in this day and age is about 111 men strong as opposed to previous years, were
the team was made up of approximately 96 men.

Solutions to the Problem


What can colleges do about this Title IX issue? Well, there are several ways to go about
this. It is part of the Title IX law that every federal assisted institution must submit a Title IX
report, showing and detailing the statistics for the different areas and the growth that it may have.
However, this report is not made public and may not portray the correct information. One school,
Chadron State College, had made this report public.
On the report, each of the sports is listed, set side by side according to what gender it is
based off of. Then, there are statistics which include the amount of recruits and the amount of
scholarship money provided for each of the teams and have the totals so that viewers can
compare the results. They also show the amount that the coaches get paid based on gender and
whether they hold positions as head coach or assistant coach. In doing this, the school is showing
how they try to be as equal as possible and dont intend to hide anything or leave the students not
knowing.

The total unduplicated number of student athletes at Chadron State College in 2013-2014 was
348. There were 252 men and 96 women who participated in intercollegiate athletics. 69.2% of
the participants were men and 30.8% were women. The breakdown by individual sport is below:
List all sports and number of participants by gender as below.
Mens:

Women:

Basketball

16

Basketball

12

Cross Country

15

Cross Country

15

Football

156

Golf

Indoor Track

59

Softball

21

Outdoor Track

60

Indoor Track

38

Wrestling

29

Outdoor Track

39

Volleyball

17

Total*

335

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*Participant totals may be duplicated due to athlete participation in more than one

2. Athletic Financial Assistance


Athletic Student Aid
The total athletic student financial aid expenditures for athletics in 2013-2014 were $858,728.
The mens program was awarded $568,001 and the womens program received $290,727.
66.2% of athletic student financial aid was granted to men and 33.8% was granted to women. A
breakdown by individual sport is below:

List all sports and dollar amount of financial aid by gender as below
Mens:

Women:

Basketball

$88,307

Basketball

$67,409

Football

$273,987

Golf

$13,844

Track Combined

$131,118

Softball

$55,633

Wrestling

$574,589

Track, Combined

$85660

Volleyball

$68,181

Total

$568,001

$290,727

3. Other Program Benefits


Operating Expenditures
The total operating expenditures for athletics in 2013-2014 were $728,418. The mens program
spent $455,409 and the womens program spent $273,009. 62.5% of operating expenditures
were spent by men and 37.5% spent on the womens program. A breakdown by individual sport
is below:
List all sports and dollars spent by gender as below.
Mens:

Women:

Basketball

$77,667

Basketball

$57,874

Football

$215,479

Golf

$19,029

Track Combined

$104,728

Softball

$75,893

Wrestling

$57,535

Track, Combined

$72,742

Volleyball

$47,471

Total

$455,409

$273,009

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Recruiting Expenses
The total recruiting expenditures for athletics in 2013-2014 were $38,561, with the mens
program spending $26,715, the womens program spending $11,846. 69.3% of the recruiting
dollars were for men and 30.7% for women. A breakdown by individual sport is below:
List all sports and dollars spent by gender as below.
Mens:

Women:

Basketball

$6,046

Basketball

$4,735

Football

$18,099

Golf

$98

Track Combined

$1,528

Softball

$3,810

Wrestling

$1,042

Track, Combined

$1,075

Volleyball

$2,128

Total

$26,715

Head Coaches Salaries Mens and Womens Teams


Average Annual Institution Salary per Head Coach

Mens Teams $85,597

Womens Teams $60,418

Assistant Coaches Salaries Mens and Womens Teams


Average Annual Institution Salary per Assistant Coach

Mens Teams $36,812

Womens Teams $23,658

$11,846

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Now, imagine your mother, sister, wife, daughter. Imagine them having to deal with what
thousands of women have to face on a yearly basis. The amount of hours they put into the sport
of their choice, perfecting their skill just to find out that they arent being properly represented or
are being pushed to do things that they arent interested in to make their school look better.
Everything that they had wanted is put on the line for things that seem to be beyond their control.
Being able to understand and possibly solve the issues would be the best way to fix this problem
of Title IX infractions and the inequity seen in collegiate sports, By budgeting money fairly
between the scholarship funds and the actual team funds for each sport, the equity issue could be
more easily avoided. It would also make sense to be sure that if there arent many female teams
with an abundance of male teams, several of the male teams that arent as popular would ideally
be cut to better accommodate both men and women. There are things that everyone can do to
ensure that these things are more fairly run.
Through Title IX, women have been given rights that they should have always had. While
this law was enacted approximately 50 years ago, the ability to treat females as though they are
equal to men remains a challenge. Everyone aspires to be great. So to limit the greatness of
females is a definite injustice. To live this reality firsthand and to have experience several athletic
Title IX offenses in my first year of college, I would hate for other women with goals, hopes and
dreams to have to experience this as well.