Female Athlete Salaries versus Male's
For many years women have been fighting for equal pay, equal benefits, and
equal rights. When Congress passed Title IX, women thought they had won the battle, but still they have a long way to go.
In 1972,Congress passed the Educational Amendments. One section, Title IX prohibits discrimination against girls and women in federally funded education, which includes athletic programs (Feminist Majority Foundation). Congress developed Title IX because of the gross inequities in college sports (McCullough). The effect has been stunning: the ratio of high school girls on teams has risen from 1 in 27 then, to 1 in 3 today.
In 1972, the year Title IX was signed, men coached over ninety percent of women's teams (Feminist Majority Foundation). Now, men coach half of women's college teams, but women coach only two percent of men's teams (Feminist Majority Foundation) The average salary difference between a head coach of a men's team and a head coach of a women's team was between $18,000 and $25,000 dollars (Gender Equity). Even in a female dominated sport like gymnastics, the men coaches were paid more on average (Feminist Majority Foundation). Women coaches aren't just short changed on their salary, the Division I athletic department spent more than twice as much money on recruiting male athletes (Welch). The NCAA found that men receive 70% scholarship money, 77% of operating budgets, and 83% recruiting money (Feminist Majority Foundation). As of women athletes performing, in 1972, women comprised only 15.6 % of college athletes, and as of 1993 the percentage has grown to 34.8 % (Feminist Majority Foundation).
All Division I Male coaches Female coaches
Head coaches of men's teams 2,389 57
Assistant coaches of men's teams 5,738 320
Total number who are coaching men 8,127 377
Head coaches of women's teams 1,394 1,245
Assistant coaches of women's teams 1,827 2,440
Total number who are coaching women 3,221 3,685
Four different attempts to found a women's basketball league have been made in the last two decades-and failed (Kaufman, Gegax, 68-69). Olympian and Women's National Basketball Association player Rebecca Lobo says, " The salary is still far from the million dollar mark" (Kaufman, Gegax, 68-69) WNBA rookies start out at $26,500$ a year plus benefits, and some top draft picks earn as little as $56,000, "The league is caught between the need to recruit talent with drawing power and the need to keep costs low enough to maintain five to ten dollar tickets" (Woellert, p.105). Tickets are fifteen dollars less than the men's National Basketball Association tickets (Leland, Rosenberg, p56). Early play of the WNBA was sloppy, in part because the teams were new, and many players were new, and many players had trouble adjusting to the oatmeal and orange ball. (Welch). Teams had only had three weeks of preseason, and many of the women seemed sluggish from the travel schedule...