Title IX: For Women and Football Players Only?



“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.”

Title IX passed in 1972 and was passed in the intention to no longer have girls face discrimination in schools and athletics. The intention of the law was something that everyone wanted: girls to be able to do what boys could do. It was great, something people liked. It gave their daughters, sisters, nieces and granddaughters the opportunity to be whatever they wanted without fear.

Going to an all-girls high school, I didn’t truly see effects of Title IX. Our school only had girls so the sports were only girls’ teams. I played ice hockey, field hockey and lacrosse, which are very rare for co-ed high schools to have due to higher popularity sports that require funding as well.

It wasn’t until I got college and my dad would joke with me that I should have gone to Adrian because they have a wrestling team. With him saying that, I looked into Siena’s history, and Siena had a wrestling team, a good one for that matter. But once Title IX passed, wrestling became one of the sports cut due to unequal funding.

Most of you may think, “Who even cares about wrestling?” Many of you don’t, but I wouldn’t ask that question to the men who were on the team and were told their team was being cut and they couldn’t depend on a scholarship to pay for school anymore. I also wouldn’t ask that to all of the high school wrestlers whose dreams of going college are slimmer because colleges and universities cut their programs to fund others.

Another thing that hits home for me is that my boyfriend plays lacrosse at SHU. Since I’m in-season, and so is he, there are a lot of times that I can’t make it to his away games. I try to watch them online. Most of the schools his team plays don’t stream games because they are clubs teams, while the women’s teams are varsity sports. Yes, I am a women’s lacrosse player, and a part of me likes that a women’s lacrosse team is a varsity sport over a men’s lacrosse team. But these men are paying to play their sport rather than getting paid to do it because of Title IX.

So, how is it that this funding is unequal? I thought that Title IX was supposed to end this.

Well, it’s one sport that throws off the entire law: football. Football teams are great for colleges because they bring in so many students and that increases enrollment, but they are also so detrimental to the rest of the men’s sports. Football teams have at least five or six different people for each position, and only one of those see the field. In order for Title IX to work effectively, there should be a limit to how many people a football team can bring in each year because it’s unfair to the men who don’t play football who don’t get money for their sport that they love.

Title IX does a great job of creating dreams for young children in sports. But at the rate we are going, sports like wrestling may stop at high school, and those boys who dream of wrestling at a higher level and it paying for their tuition may have to give that up.

For a law that is supposed to support men and women equally does a pretty poor job at supporting any male who doesn’t play football.