Gender Equity in College Sports
“Gender Equality In College Sports?”
An on going issue facing education today is the growing controversial topic of gender equality in sports participation and it’s so call quota for achieving equality. The most notable action that has taken place as women continue to strive towards equality in the athletic realm is what is known as, Title IX. The basic ideas underlying Title IX are that “if an institution sponsors an athletics program, it must provide equal athletic opportunities for members of both sexes.” (Yoshida p.3) Simply put, Title IX attempts to achieve “equality” of funding for male and female athletes. The problem with this idea of complete “equality” is that no one agrees as to what is considered equal. It is an ambiguous term, interpreted differently by many people.
The enactment of this Title has significantly changed the playing field for athletic departments through out the nation by altering their funding systems to comply with its rules. As a result, women have benefited greatly. There have been additions of female sports as well as an increase of the number of scholarships awarded to female athletes, and also a lot more funding to provide more “equitable” facilities for them. According to the NCAA Gender Equity Studies , “from 1992 to 1997 NCAA institutions have increased the number of female athletes by 5,800. But tragically during that time these colleges also eliminated 20,900 male athletes.” (Kocher p.1) This dramatic landslide has occurred because athletic departments are under pressure to rapidly increase the proportion of female athletes by whatever means necessary. As the path toward complete “equality” gradually brightens for women in college athletics, a dark path is now becoming evident. Male athletes, in a sense, are now being discriminated against because of Title IX.
This issue of Title IX affects our education system today because its rules are controversial as to what is really “equal.” For instance, if one particular sport at a university is extremely successful and is capable of supporting many other sports within the system, then, is it fair that that successful sports team should be penalized by limiting their funds? Should they have to support a team who has been added to the university to abide by Title IX rules, but are not making a profit? In the end, the university as a whole is negatively affected. The concept of equality in terms of Title IX does not seem to be evident in this case, when one team makes a majority of the profit, yet must surrender it’s share to support the others. A real example of this occurrence is when the National Organization for Women filed a complaint against UCLA and Southern California, alleging that they were noncompliant to Title IX. In order to comply with Title IX, UCLA made drastic efforts to meet satisfying gender quotas by terminating its men’s swimming team that produced 20-plus Olympic gold medals and...