Title IX Information

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Now known as the ”’Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act”’ in honor of its principal author, but more commonly known simply as ”’Title IX”’, this amendment is a 37-word United States law enacted on June 23, 1972 that states:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The law applies to educational institutions that receive any federal funds and prohibits discrimination in all educational programs and activities, not just athletics. Athletic programs are considered educational programs and activities. The penalty for non-compliance with Title IX is withdrawal of federal funds. Title IX requires that every educational institution have a Title IX Compliance Coordinator. 

There are three parts to Title IX as it applies to athletics programs: (1) effective accommodation of student interests and abilities (participation), (2) athletic financial assistance (scholarships), and (3) other program components including equipment and supplies, scheduling of games and practice times, travel and daily per diem allowances, access to tutoring, coaching, locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities, medical and training facilities and services, publicity, recruitment of student athletes and support services. 

Title IX does not require equal expenditure of funds on male and female athletes. The only dollar for dollar expenditure requirement is in the athletic financial assistance area, where schools are required to spend dollars proportional to participation rates. Thus, if $200,000 is awarded in athletic scholarships and the participation ratio of male to female athletes is 50/50, $100,000 must be awarded to female athletes and $100,000 must be awarded to male athletes. In other areas, the equality standard is one of equal opportunity.

Individual participation opportunities (numbers of athletes participating rather than number of sports) in all men’s sports and all women’s sports are counted in determining whether a school meets the Title IX participation standard. The basic philosophical underpinning of Title IX is that there cannot be an economic justification for discrimination. 

It is also important to recognize that Title IX does not require the reduction of opportunities for male athletes in order to increase opportunities for female athletes. Schools that choose this manner of compliance are not meeting the spirit of discrimination laws, which is to bring members of the disadvantaged group up to the participation or benefit levels of the advantaged group rather than to bring male athletes down to the current level of poor treatment or no opportunity to play experienced by female athletes. 

Title IX is an important federal civil rights act that guarantees that our daughters and sons are treated in a like manner with regard to all educational programs and activities, including sports. 

“Title IX has had a profound effect on our lives and our nation.  It is up to us to honor its legacy by extending its promise to every girl with talent and the desire to play.”  Judy Vredenburgh, President & CEO of Girls Inc.

“We have to pass on a sense of vigilance to the next generation.  Do not take this (Title IX) for granted.”  Nancy Darsh, coach of NY Liberty and President Elect of the WNBA for 2013.

When asked about Title IX, many young girls and women do not know.  “How are you going to shape the future it you don’t know the past?”  Billie Jean King, tennis champion