Title IX: Blessing or Curse?

Title IX: Blessing or Curse?

As the 50th anniversary of title IX approaches, let’s look back into how the world of college athletics has changed, possibly for the better?

What is Title IX?

Title IX is also known as “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance” according to hhs.gov.

Before President Nixon signed this into law, women athletes were significantly outnumbered by their male counterparts. The Civil Right Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination based on gender, race, religion, etc. but it did not end/prohibit discrimination in education ie: athletic programs.

Division I schools are required to sponsor 14 or 16 sports, in which a minimum for those sports should be 6 sports dedicated to men and at least 7 to women.

One school could have sports such as soccer, volleyball, and rowing exclusively for women, football exclusively for men while sharing basketball and track and xc.

Football allows 85 athletes to play on full scholarship. In order to satisfy the requirements of Title IX, 85 scholarships need to be given to women elsewhere. This is where you see some schools partake in some sports that other schools don’t.

The overall impact

Overall, Title IX has impacted the women’s sports world significantly but has altered men’s sports as well. Title IX, mandates “proportional” opportunities for both men and women, but during the signing of the law, it was mainly for women.

College athletics are affected in three categories when dealing with Title IX: participation, scholarships, and things such as tutoring, per diem, locker rooms, etc. If colleges do not comply they could lose funding.

The impact on Men’s sports

Although women’s sports have made positive strides in the sports world, its b safe to say men’s sports might be taking the backseat in recent years. Men’s sports teams have been eliminated in order to be compliant with NCAA rules. Track and Field, Wrestling, and Soccer, all of which are Olympic sports have been hit the hardest in terms of cuts.

Society and the world have drastically changed since the passing of Title IX. With the ever-evolving world, Title IX needs to evolve as well.

Men’s soccer is a sport that has been greatly affected by Title IX. This is a sport played worldwide yet “there are 198 men’s soccer programs, and 320 women’s soccer programs in Division I”.

Around the world, professional soccer players start as young as 17, if given a college season, young athletes can see anywhere from 2-3 months of play. Many soccer athletes see its more beneficial to turn pro than to play collegiately. The USMNT is losing a lot of potential players overseas.

If soccer is ingrained in US culture it is possible to start positively seeing a rise in views as well as pride in the overall sport. In order to see progress in the USMNT, there needs to be a change in order to provide for soccer athletes and that change could potentially start with college athletics.


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