Katie Thomas of the New York Times wrote a thought provoking article on Title IX and some of the strategies used by Division I institutions to “manipulate” athletic opportunities for women. In fact, the article states “many institutions have resorted to subterfuge to make it look as if they are offering more spots to women.” This article is a must read for anyone involved or interested in intercollegiate athletics.
The article points out that Title IX has “spawned a cultural transformation” that has seen participation opportunities at the college level grow from 30,000 in 1972 to 186,000 in 2010. At present, women make up fifty-three percent (53%) of the student body at the Division I level, but only forty-six percent (46%) of all student-athletes. Thomas points out that several schools are manipulating statistics to disguise the true facts. The article provides the following examples:
Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Title IX activist and a former Olympian, was quoted as saying “[t]he fraud is disheartening. Intercollegiate athletics are rare educational opportunities, subsidized with our tax dollars, which deliver superior lifelong returns on investment. When an athletic department engineers itself to produce only the appearance of fairness, they flout the law and cheat women.”