Is Title IX still needed to ensure equal opportunity in athletics for men and women?

This is What YOU Think: Title IX

Earlier this week, presented the fifth installment of This is What I Think, giving WNBA players a chance to weigh in on the issue of Title IX, and whether it was still needed to ensure equal opportunity in athletics for men and women. We also asked you what you thought about the issue, and received a tremendous amount of feedback. Here are some of your responses:


It gives me the chance to play

I think Title IX is one of the greatest things to happen for women and our right to play. I am a freshman in high school, and I have never experienced not having a chance to play. But playing basketball is a passion of mine and I get the chance to make it a profesion. This is thanks to Title IX and the great women before me. And yes it is unfortunate that men's college teams have been cut, but I agree with Chamique Holdsclaw about cutting down players so they can save money. I think it would be a real shame if they were to end Title IX, not just for me but for the generations behind me.

--Sophia (Baltimore, Md.)

Chamique Holdsclaw thinks colleges should reduce the number of football scholarships they give out in order to save money.
Garrett Ellwood/WNBAE/Getty Images
We've come a long way, but still have room to improve

I grew up in Illinois in the 60's, when high school interscholastic competition was prohibited for girls. Our only avenue was halfcourt, three-dribble, don't-stop-the-clock-for-free-throws intramural games through the Girls Athletic Association--when the girls' locker room wan't needed for the visiting boys' junior varsity swim team. College "play days" didn't cut it either. We've made a lot of progress since enactment of Title IX, but 30 years isn't enough to level the playing field from which women were so long excluded.

--Rose (Little Rock, Ark.)

Male-dominated sports machine will never stop

Title IX forced the male-dominated college sports industry to spend money on women. And I do mean forced. It was not volunteer. And I believe that the male sports machine will continue to attempt to push women aside. Look at how many male coaches are now in the WNBA. All WNBA teams should have (female) coaches. There are no (female) coaches in the NBA. But fair and equal is not what happens when it is the issue of men and women. I predict there will only be (a minority) of women coaches in the WNBA soon. Sexism is sexism. It never stops ... When men take responsibility for sexism instead of totally making this a "women's issue," then there is some real hope. When would a male step aside and say, "Hey, hire a woman to coach this team!" Instead they just think they can do it better. So any help, such as Title IX is vital. Any inroad to letting women really develop as athletes is so important to improving the life of all of us.

--Claire (Tucson, Ariz.)

Sexist Title IX ignores differences between levels of interest

Title IX is great in theory and intent, but the way it is being applied is just plain sexist. To force fifty-fifty funding in all comparable sports for both sexes is (ridiculous). It ignores the fact that there are some differences between the sexes. I know that you can't continue to set back women in order for men to have oppurtunities, but you can't set back men in the name of women having oppurtunities either. The two go hand (in) hand. It is not that the funding isn't there for men's college sports such as wrestling, it's just that the inability to create a female interest in the same or comparable sport makes it illegal for colleges to fund it. That's not fair, it's sexist. And it's just one example of how Title IX wasn't properly thought out. It is in desperate need of revisions. It is not acceptable to knock down one sex's interest in a sport just because the other isn't interested.

--Jerry (Wilmington, Del.)

It needs to be updated, but keep it around

I believe Title IX is good for women's sports. When I graduated from high school in 1969, there were no women's sports teams at all. The only way we could be involved in sports was through the Girl's Athletic Association. I belonged to a track club, but it was associated with the local playground in my neighborhood. I do think the program needs to be updated to be adminstered to today's sports standard. Based on the indiviudal (needs) of each school.

--Loretta (Inglewood, Calif.)

I'm with Chamique

I agree completely with what Chamique said. The universities wouldn't have to cut men's programs if they would scale down the amount of football players or make them fly commercial instead of charter. I can't imagine life wihtout Title IX, because without it there would be no WNBA and I wouldn't be playing high-school basketball.

--Kaitlin (Herndon, Va.)

Keep it, but find some other solutions as well

Truthfully, I have mixed feelings about Title IX. On the one hand I feel very strongly about girls and boys, women and men, having equal opportunities to play sports. Thirty years ago I think Title IX was necessary to let girls play sports but now I think it should be updated. On the other hand, since it's about equal opportunities for both genders, we need to make sure that men's programs aren't unfairly cut.

Despite 30 years of Title IX, there are still many schools that give better attention to men's sports. Can we have fundraisers to buy uniforms when necessary? Maybe have a booster club like some colleges have. Because sports provide so many benefits for girls, we must keep our options open. We must do what we can to make sure girls and women have equal access to sports.

--Kris (Green Bay, Wis.)

Just as important now as it ever was

Title IX has been instrumental in allowing young girls and women the opportunity to compete in their sport of choice, or at least something very close. Having been an educator and coach back before its passage, I have seen the growth and development of female sports in this country. Progress has been slow, but it would have been even slower, if not impossible, without Title IX. It needs to remain in place because we are finally seeing the real benefits of the programs the law suppported. I applaud Sue Bird and others who give credit to the existence of this important legislation. I believe that the WNBA is one of the professional outcomes of Title IX, because of the female athletes and coaches who are available and willing to play pro sports. As a woman, athlete, former coach, and current public school counselor, I believe that Title IX is just as important now as it was with its passage. Thank you for asking for our opinions.

--Linda (Seattle, Wash.)

Football is the problem

The real problem that colleges won't discuss is football. There is no need for a college football team to have 85 scholarship players. You have to play a minimum of three years to be eligible for the NFL draft, so there is no danger of kids leaving after one year. Colleges blame Title IX when they cut non-revenue men's sports, instead of looking at the exorbitant amounts of money spent on football, like some schools spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on shipping weights to a bowl game ... The NFL gets by with 45 players; why can't the college game get by with 60?

--Barry (Columbus, Ohio)