Celebrating The 45th Anniversary of Title IX
Becca Longo made history when she became the first female athlete to be rewarded a football scholarship from a Division II school or higher. This grand milestone was not only a personal accomplishment; it was an accomplishment for women in sports and Title IX.
Title IX of the Education amendment was passed in 1972, 45 years ago this week. This law allows girls to play sports at educational institutions (from pre-k to college) that receive federal funding. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, the three parts to Title IX that apply to athletes are:
- Accommodate to their interest and abilities in participation.
- Provide financial assistance to athletes, such as scholarships.
- Provide adequate resources and services of benefits to athletes. For example, equipment, coaching, locker rooms, etc.
All these elements allow female athletes to be treated fairly by providing equal opportunity in sports. According to the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, Title IX has substantial health and social benefits. It decreases the likelihood of drug use, obesity and a range of other diseases like breast cancer and heart disease. It is, with no doubt, a significant historical milestone and achievement that allows women, like Longo, to pursue their passion in sports.
Although Title IX has helped women across the United States, it has not been implemented or enforced in all institutions. The consequence for an education institution not abiding to Title IX is withdrawal of federal dollars. According to Women Sports Foundation, 80 to 90 percent of these institutions are not complying with Title IX athletic requirements, yet, withdrawal of federal funds has not occurred.
Further, Title IX requires educational institutions to provide financial assistance, like scholarships, to be distributed in proportion to participation rates. So for example, if there is a participation ratio of 50/50 of girls to boys, half of the scholarship fund goes to females and the other half goes to males. If there is an imbalance, the school must explain the reason for the disproportion.
CWEALF has long supported Title IX and its many benefits for female athletes in Connecticut. A lack of enforcement of Title IX will have a negative impact on equal opportunities for female athletes. Hence, this is an important law and it must be treated as such. If not, female athletes will not be able to reap the many benefits of Title IX.
CWEALF Communications Intern Cindy Pena starts her junior year at Central Connecticut State University this fall. She’s majoring in Political Science/Public Administration with a minor in Journalism.
By Cindy Pena, Communications Intern at 23 Jun 2017, 10:14 AM
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