The Impact of Title IX in Present Day

JMU eliminated 10 sports to comply with Title IX in the early 2000's (Breeze, 1).

JMU eliminated 10 sports to comply with Title IX in 2006 (Breeze, 1).

Since its inception, Title IX has had opponents and supporters. It has paved the way for gender equality in sports for women and has given women more opportunities for competition nationwide. Lawsuits have been brought against many schools and organizations in order for them to comply with Title IX. In some cases, some schools have had to cut men’s and even women’s programs in order to pass the three prong test guideline set up by the legislation. One of the more drastic sports cuts were made at James Madison University in 2006.

According to the JMU student newspaper, The Breeze, effective July 1, 2007 men’s archery, cross country, gymnastics, indoor track, outdoor track, swimming and diving, and wrestling were all cut (10 Sports, 1). Archery, gymnastics and fencing were cut on the women’s side (10 Sports, 1). To be compliant, athletic teams had to meet the male to female ratio of the student body. Since JMU was 61% female and 39% male in student population and 50.7% female and 49.3% male in sports, changes need to be made(10 Sports, 1,4). In order to fund programs with success, the Board of Visitors made the decision for the programs to be cut. Luckily for student athletes with scholarships, they could retain their scholarships throughout the remainder of their college career (10 Sports, 4). Many of these teams have become club teams and still compete, just not at the varsity level. At first student athletes were devastated, but since the decision is far enough removed, current students today do not miss the sports, as they did not come to JMU to play the cut sports.

Despite the cuts that have been made at schools, Title IX has opened many doors for women and equality in sports. Funding for women’s sports rose dramatically after the passing of Title IX and provided women with the opportunity to play varsity level sports in college, complete with financial assistance and notoriety through television deals and national championships. James Madison University was effected by and had ties to pioneering women’s sports in the 1970’s and became a model for compliance and equality in women’s sport.

Works Cited:

“10 Sports Eliminated.” Breeze 84, no. 11 (October 2, 2006): 1,4.