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TITLE IX: Still a long way to go, baby!

Letter by Roseann Martinez, Tacoma on June 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm with 39 Comments »
June 24, 2012 12:49 pm

I am dismayed to find that on the 40th anniversary of Title IX, women’s sports still gets dismal coverage in the sports section, where the Seattle Storm win gets third-page coverage and the Mariners’ loss gets the front page.

Leave a comment Comments → 39
  1. lylelaws says:


    When an English literature Professor at a major university aked why the head football coach was paid ten times as much as he was, he was told, “When you can get fifty thousand people to come here and pay to hear your lectures, we will talk.”

    It might not be right, but it is a matter of supply and demand.

  2. $$$$$ talks!

  3. SwordofPerseus says:

    I agree with Lyle and BORG-OMG. Must be one of those universal truths, money makes the world go ’round. Seattle (Storm) who?

  4. Title IX:

    No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…

    So first off, Title IX has virtually zippo to do with any private institution that takes no federal money, except as mandated for NCAA participation. As for professional sports, Title IX is completely non-applicable.

    It’s pretty simple, Roseann; when women’s professional basketball franchises (WNBA) are located in some 30 major markets, and when such franchises average attendance is at least 12K, then you may begin complaining about lack of coverage – if in fact that would still happen to be the case (some how I doubt it).

    It’s not that money has nothing to do with it. It’s just that money and sponsors are attracted to professional activities that have a much larger fan base. Don’t believe me? Explain women’s tennis.

  5. took14theteam says:


    A letter posted on a Sunday?????

  6. C0, well said.

  7. Thanks CT. But as you know, the real test of the validity of any comment is Looney-Larry’s… opinion, LOL.

  8. Need one wonder why the US lags so far behind other nations in academic excellence and achievement?

  9. In all the articles I have read in the last few weeks about Title 9 I have read none of the negatives that have happened because of it…If you are interested in knowing the MAJOR negative of title 9, please ask any college wrestler in the great state of washington. Oh wait, you can’t because there are none.

  10. It all boils down to why college sports exist. What is their function? Are they to promote the “Olympic ideal” across several sports with student/athletes or are they semi-professional entertainment that brings prestige and money to campuses.

    As jrdndd points out – several “minor” sports don’t make money (actually – on most campuses the big money making football/basketball teams are rare). But the suggestion that wrestling was cut because women’s basketball exists is a false equivalence. Men’s wrestling programs were cut because they don’t bring in the bucks like football or basketball.

    btw – I prefer wrestling over basketball and football but I understand financial realities.

  11. commoncents says:

    not entirely true beerBoy – they were cut because participation must be equal in terms of people, treatment, benefits, and facilities. If it were entirely about revenue then explain the fact that cross country and golf are still varsity sports at the UW. Scholarships, participant count, and required facilities have a whole lot to do with it. Yes, if wrestling brought in big money like football – it would still be around but we’d have seen other sports cut in its place.

    Personally, I think title ix is a good thing but for smaller universities the equal participation rule has been the ruin of many a program.

  12. spotted1 says:

    beerboy, I do partly agree with your sentiments. That minor programs were cut because they don’t make money. That being said, at several programs including Central Washington, money was put up by supporters of the program to support the wrestling programs, and they were cut anyways. So, some other considerations were in place beyond just the idea of the team not making money. More likely a false sense that “cutting” male athletic programs would some how make things equal at the univesity, which is not the basis of Title IX.

    But yes, the idea that a football/basketball team is an automatic money maker is simply a myth.

  13. spotted1 says:

    Beerboy, a quick note…some football programs have been cut as well. But it is inevitable in the economy we are in. The universities have to do something to level the playing field. Sadly, cutting sports is the fastest and easiest way to do that.

  14. Fibonacci says:

    Afraid I have to agree with the others on this one. Title IX forced equal num her of opportunities to participate in athletics. There were cases where the only way to make them equal was to cut men’s programs because there was no other woman’s programs to add.

    Another little know fact about Title IX is that while most male “athletic scholarships” are paid for out of the athletic program, the female “athletic scholarships” are paid for out of tuition forgives, which means that money that could have been used in other areas (or tuition reduction for ALL) is used for these female athletes instead.

    But as to the letter, Roseann, you can’t force people to care about women’s sports. Many do, and rightly so, but the day where the WNBA matches the NBA is far far down the road. The “Michelle” l Jordan is not out there.

  15. slugoxyz says:

    I’m not opposed to universities being forced to support less lucrative women’s sports. Look at institutions like University of Portland. Women’s soccer is king…or queen. There is no football. Money maker? I doubt it. We shoot for equity over profit right? In theory…

    I have two athlete daughters in college or heading there. I would rather watch women’s soccer or women’s basketball but I’ve been doing that for the last 14 years as a parent. I still love professional football but 2 female MMA fighters can make a crowd excited. There is money to be made in women’s sports and I would compare a Mia Hamm to a Michael Jordon but we have trouble with consistently making female heroes. Abby Wambach’s World Cup goal in the final seconds was enough to propel her (along with the Nike endorsements) but… We’re a fickle crowd here in America. We forget heroes pretty quick when they’re out of the lime light. Even women’s tennis is a weird mix of athletic prowess and sexy. I guess we as a society do it with male athletes too (Beckham, Henrik Lundqvist etc.) but the sex appeal aspect seems to be a chauvinist fact of life. Many of us love our female athletes but as a society, we a slow to embrace a woman with muscles or a scary aggressive or muscle bound female. We like them like Mia Hamm. Pretty, feminine, quiet, humble. We’re changing slowly but surely. We’re just not there yet.

  16. SandraKirstan says:

    Who is Larry?

  17. alindasue says:

    commoncents said, “not entirely true beerBoy – they were cut because participation must be equal in terms of people, treatment, benefits, and facilities.”

    There are several girls on the wrestling team at my daughter’s school. It doesn’t have to be just a men’s sport at the college level.

    Fibonacci said, “Another little know fact about Title IX is that while most male “athletic scholarships” are paid for out of the athletic program, the female “athletic scholarships” are paid for out of tuition forgives, which means that money that could have been used in other areas (or tuition reduction for ALL) is used for these female athletes instead.”

    Doesn’t that violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the title IX law?

  18. aislander says:

    Now, if there only were Title IX-type quotas for progressive talk radio–Utopia!

  19. Your husband.

  20. commoncents says:

    Alinda – Who actually participates on an individual team is immaterial. It’s the participants that must be equal to the same percentage of students at the university. Thus, if a university has a 53/47 ratio of men/women then the athletic department must meet that same standard when it comes to athletic participation. While there might be 3 women on a wrestling team of 45 it must be offset by a +42 in another sport. With Football around – that’s tough to do unless you rid yourself of another sport. My guess is that some other male dominated sport disappeared at your daughters university. Though this actually goes against the spirit of the law. They should have simply provided more opportunities for women – though this would have been costly.

    Additionally, the rule states that if 200k of scholarship money is given then it must be split according to that same ratio. So, I would also imagine that those women at your daughters university are actually on scholarship while the men are not. (See Crew at WSU)
    Title ix doesn’t specify where the funding of the scholarships comes from or that they are from the same pool…just in the award. So you have some universities that do as Fibonacci says and yes, that’s against the spirit of the law and pits men against women.

  21. Cutting men’s sports so you don’t have to add women’s sports ain’t the only tactic that can be utilized.

    When I was in high school the head of the PE program (assistant coach in football, wrestling and track) dealt with Title IX by aggressively recruiting athletic boys into the modern dance class and club. When I was a senior there were 12 boys in the class/club and 10 of us were starting varsity athletes. 5 of those boys went on to professional careers in dance.

  22. Aislander – once again the freedom loving right shows its true colors –if they don’t control it, censor it.

    90% of talk radio is right wing.

  23. aislander says:

    xring: What the HELL are you on about?

  24. aislander says:

    I was advocating that Title IX-type quotas be used IN FAVOR of progressive talk-radio hosts as a way of “balancing” the airwaves.

    It was a joke and a way of impeaching the unfair “fairness” of so much of the progressive agenda…

  25. SandraKirstan says:

    Someone called me “Larry” on another blog. My name is Sandy.

    I don’t have a husband

  26. LeePHill says:

    “on about”????????????

    SK – LOL Welcome to the TNT LTE threads

  27. aislander – here pull my finger.

  28. aislander says:

    Doing so is sure to elicit a more-cogent-than-typical remark from you, x…

  29. spotted1 says:

    beerboy, after going through coaching this year, our district just looks at numbers. They, rather the government, doesn’t care if you have 40 boys in dance, if you have fewer females participating in sports than males, you are out of compliance.

    To the point that girls can play baseball but boys can’t play softball. Apparently softball and baseball are two entirely different sports allowing women to compete. Girls can play football, but boys can’t play volleyball. Go figure.

    It has come down to a numbers game and the bean counters win…

  30. It has come down to a numbers game and the bean counters win…

    That is the rub with almost every thing in bureaucratic structures – the bean counters only see beans – the trick is to figure out ways they count carrots and peas as being the same as the beans.

  31. And there be bean counters in every large institution – including private business.

  32. There was a brilliant elementary PE teacher in the town I grew up who had, along with all the other physical education offerings, created a very successful creative dance program (we had them come and perform at the University dance concert and, truth be told, they were better than most of the college kids’ output).

    Parents at other schools complained that their kids didn’t have the same program. So the School Board did the “sensible” bean counter thing – they forced the teacher to stop offering the wildly successful program.

    Title IX isn’t the problem. The problem is with the bean counters who can only see beans.

  33. Tangent here –

    Why does American TV coverage of the Olympics focus so much time and attention to “aesthetic” sports? They are this weird hybrid that isn’t really aesthetic and not really sport. Hours upon hours of Ice Skating (they got rid of “figures” because of ratings) – mens, womens, pairs – followed by Ice Dancing……arrrgh….I would prefer to watch the preliminary rounds of Curling – at least there it isn’t all pre-determined by the judges unless the favorite totally screws up.

  34. Which is why I watch the Canadian Coverage.

  35. commoncents says:

    BeerBoy – re: ice dancing/skating. I have two words for you..American Idol. Oh wait…4 more! Dancing With The Stars.

  36. itwasntmethistime says:

    beerBoy — You’re not getting what Title IX does. It’s not a matter of “boys” sports and “girls” sports, it’s a matter of having an equal number of boy and girl participants and equal scholarship funding. Recruiting boys into a traditionally female activity doesn’t alleviate the problem, it makes it worse because every time you add a boy you have to find another girl to participate.

  37. Like I said…..bean counters only see beans.

  38. spotted1 says:

    itwasntmethistime…Title IX also levels the pay structure in most places between men’s and women’s sports of equal types. For example, at the high school level you have to have equal pay levels for both men’s and women’s basketball. OF course, that also depends on seniority, years in the job, etc.

    Scholarships are easy, cause they only allow a certain number per sport.

    But the participation numbers kill most places. Unfortunately, we don’t allow equal opportunity, we just count bodies. To quote Beerboy, “bean counters only see beans”…

  39. aislander says:

    It is impossible to impose “fairness” without being unfair.

    Nothing is perfect, and Title IX proves nothing is perfectible…

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