Title IX is not only about sex. It is a civil rights statute with broad scope designed to secure equality in all areas of higher education. Before about 10 years ago, Title IX was best known for its role in sports equity.
In 1972, when Title IX was passed, there were just 30,000 women competing in NCAA sports – a miniscule number compared to the 170,000 male athletes in NCAA programs. Women were not eligible for athletic scholarships from the NCAA and could not compete in NCAA championships. Title IX legislation sought to bring equity to the athletic world, threatening to withhold federal funds from colleges, universities, or any educational institution that did not provide equal opportunities for both men and women – whether in sports or in other educational experiences.
The law vastly increased participation in sports among women. The changes have made American women athletes consistently the most competitive in the world.
Some groups argue that Title IX harms male athletes by forcing schools to cut men’s programs when they cannot afford to create a women’s program that provides equal opportunities. When a school cuts programs, either women’s or men’s sports teams or other gender-based clubs and programs, it frequently means the school is failing to comply with Title IX. Schools can be forced to comply through legal action in federal court and if you win, the school can even be forced to pay your legal fees.
Allen Law can assist you if you believe your university is not providing equal opportunities in its sports programs.