Gender Wars:
Do Men Lose When Women Win With Title IX?
By: Sara J. Shellhammer

Gender Wars: Do Men Lose When Women Win With Title IX?

Almost 30 years ago, women's sports took a giant leap forward with a piece of legislation that is now known as Title IX. Although initially created to ensure that educational programs receiving federal funding did not discriminate against anyone, in time Title IX has become common vocabulary in conversations about gender equity in sports. For over 30 years, Title IX has protected the rights of women athletes and has increased the participation of women in sports all over the country. It has also caused controversy as in many colleges have dropped entire men's varsity athletic teams in order to comply with Title IX and it has generated many gender equity lawsuits. Some even think that certain men's sports such as football should be exempt from this legislation. Others think that Title IX is not performing the duty that legislators intended it to. Is Title IX discriminating against men? Is this law, meant to protect the "fairer" sex, really fair?

While Title IX has gained the bulk of its fame within the context of athletics, it was created to address every aspect of education. The Educational Amendments added to the 1964 Civil Rights Act in 1972 prohibits sex discrimination within educational programs. The law states that "No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance" (NCAA Online, 2001). Previously the gender gap in both educational programs and athletic programs was rather large. For instance, in 1972, 9% of medical degrees were issued to women contrasted with 38% in 1994-after Title IX was enacted (Curtis & Grant, 2000). Likewise the number of law degrees issued to women increased by 36% between 1972 and 1994. This example of the increase in professional education opportunities given to women, and thus an increase in the amount of degrees given, is clearly a credit to the enforcement of Title IX (Curtis & Grant, 2000).

Explanation of Title IX Governing Athletics

In the original statue enacted in 1972, athletics or athletic programs were not specifically mentioned; however, once the public began to process this law many questions were raised about application to athletics. In 1975 Congress passed the Javits amendment, which explicitly included athletics under the guidance of Title IX (NCAA Online, 2001). The government even appointed the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) as the force that regulates the law. The OCR then created its own guidelines as to how Title IX should be applied to schools. Three primary areas that Title IX affects in athletics are participation, scholarships, and other benefits (NCAA Online, 2001).


Participation refers to equal opportunities given to men and women-not identical programs for men and women. For example, the number of men and women who go to college is relatively equal and both genders are charged the same tuition rates-with some of this money going to athletics (Coakley, 1998). In the past, few opportunities for women in intercollegiate athletics existed. The tuition money from both genders was only benefiting the men. The intention of Title IX is to ensure that there are equal opportunities to participate in athletics for both men and women-no matter who is paying the bill. This levels the playing field when it comes to financing athletic programs with tuition from both genders (Coakley, 1998).


Title IX is relevant to scholarships as well. While scholarships are one of the main methods colleges use to attract athletes, Title IX demands that scholarship dollars given to athletes should be in proportion to levels of gender participation (NCAA Online, 2001). Results of a 1996 survey show that of the 767 NCAA schools that responded, only 35% of scholarship allocations are given to women whereas the other 65% are given to men (Jones, 1999). This is clearly not in congruence with the number of men and women who participate in athletics and therefore is not compatible with Title IX. Many students from Division I school such as Temple University and the University of Texas have filed lawsuits over gender equity in this area and the results have been favorable to women (Jones, 1999).

Other Benefits

Other benefits that the OCR defines as within the realm of Title IX include equipment, scheduling of games and practice, travel and daily allowances, tutoring, coaching, locker rooms and other facilities, athletic training and medical services, housing, publicity, and recruitment (NCAA Online, 2001). Title IX requires that men and women have equal access to privileges such as these. Once women win the right to merely participate in sports, they often must battle to have equal benefits. For instance, at Kansas, the women's basketball games and volleyball games can never be scheduled at the same time-not because of scheduling a place to play-but because the women on both teams wear the same uniform (Pulliam, 2001). This does not mean the same style, but the same uniform. Men's sports at Kansas do not run into this problem. At another Division I school (name not given) a football team spent over $50,000 on catered meals during their summer training camp. At this same school a women's team sport received $22,000 for their entire traveling budget for the year (Lopiano, 2001, Real Culprit). If participation opportunities are equal for men and women, then the benefits of participation need to be as well.

The OCR's Three-Prong Test

If Title IX governs numerous aspects of athletics how does the OCR determine what schools are in compliance and what schools are not? The NCAA Gender-Equity Task Force explains that, "An athletics program can be considered gender equitable when the participants in both the men's and women's sports programs would accept as fair and equitable, the overall program of the other gender. No individual should be discriminated against on the basis of gender, institutionally or nationally, in intercollegiate athletics" (NCAA Online, 2001, 2). Because these definitions are extremely vague, the OCR created a Clarification of Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Guidance: The Three Part Test to analyze compliance (NCAA Online, 2000).

The three criteria are:

  1. Proportionality: An institution must take the full-time undergraduate enrollment and illustrate that athletic opportunities for each gender are proportionate to this number. A 5% deviation of this number is usually deemed within the law.
  2. Continuing Progress: An institution must show that it is continually creating opportunities for the underrepresented gender (usually women). Changes made up to three years prior are considered.
  3. Meeting Needs: An institution must prove that the members of the underrepresented gender are already having their needs and interests supplied by current programs.
Although the ultimate goal is to meet the first goal of proportionality, a school is considered in compliance if one of the three terms mentioned are met (Coakley, 1998).

The Reality of How Schools Are Complying with Title IX

The schools that do not meet the OCR requirements for Title IX compliance are finding different ways to deal with the law. While some schools focus on reallocating their budgets, at others athletic directors left budgets relatively untouched and simply cut men's teams to give that money to women's teams because it is "safe" and "the easiest way to achieve proportionality" (Pulliam, 2001, p. 3). Dr. Donna Lopiano, Ph.D. and Executive Director of the Women's Sports Foundation has pointed out the absurdity of following such a simplistic solution: Dr. Lopiano suggests that anyone considering cutting men's teams image you are the parent of three children, the first two are boys and the youngest a girl. The two boys play multiple sports and as a result of their experiences they have become outstanding players. Then one day your daughter expresses an interest in sports. She too wants to participate in programs like those her brothers have. You have three options. The first is that you can tell one son that you cannot support him in any athletic endeavors because you can only provide for two children. In the second option you tell your daughter that since the boys started playing first, and you can only support two children in athletics, she will have to find other interests or she must take care of all costs by herself by raising money. You could suggest that she and the other girls have a bake sale to pay for equipment and other fees. Your third option is to take all three children and explain that you only have limited resources to pay for their activities so in order to give them all the opportunity to play sports, everyone will have to sacrifice a little. Possible options would be to have everyone only be allowed to attend one camp per year or tell your sons to share their equipment with your daughter (Lopiano, 2001, Don't Blame).

According to Lopiano, when the daughter is told she cannot participate in sports even though her brothers do, she is representative of all women before congress passed Title IX. If the family chose the option in which the daughter and only one son get to participate in sports, they appear to be rather foolish. When schools cut men's sports, they are doing the same thing-and appear equally foolish. Obviously, when all three children have equal opportunities to benefit from and participate in sports, the family is making a choice paralleling what Title IX is intending to do for women. In order to do this, the family (or certain schools) must be willing to share the family resources equally to be sure all the children have the same access to opportunities (Lopiano, 2001, Don't Blame).

Should Football Be Excused?

In addition to the argument Title IX is causing about cutting men's sports, there is an argument that football should be exempt from the power of Title IX. By not including football, many school's budgets will be more balanced between men's and women's sports and therefore more schools will comply with Title IX. Football teams are large, their equipment is expensive, and they require a stadium. These factors and others mean that a football program costs a phenomenal amount of money. In fact, football takes up 30-50% of all sports operating dollars (Lopiano, 2001, Should Football). While football-the program that eats budgets-requires a lot of money, it provides a school with publicity and fame through television exposure, marketing products, and annual festivities such as the bowl game series. There are no women's sports yet that generate the same type of distinction and therefore athletic directors argue that football ought to be excused from Title IX budgeting since football skews budgets heavily in favor of men's athletics making Title IX compliance challenging. In 1974 U. S. Senator John Tower presented congress with an amendment to excuse revenue-producing sports (such as football) from Title IX. Congress, however, rejected this proposal (Jones, 1999). Since then, football has remained a challenge to Title IX. Kirk Herbstreit, former quarterback at Ohio State University said, "The answer [to Title IX] is to eliminate football from the scenario and then compare apples to apples" (2001, p. 26).

While eliminating football from the Title IX scenario appears to be a solution to Title IX compliance, the people making this argument are ignoring important factors that could sway opinions otherwise. First, there is an illusion that football brings in large amounts of revenue. Charging admission at the gate, food stands, and overall popularity may taint the public's view about football but it does not taint statistics. Football is called a revenue-producing sport because it brings in some money, not because it makes a profit. There are 109 Division I-A schools with football teams. Of this number, only 40-50 of them make money (Pulliam, 2001). In 1998 Boston University cut their football team because of Title IX and a general lack of interest. Football cost Boston University up to $3 million per year but only brought in $100,000 to the school annually. When the board of trustees decided to cut football, the entire budget was revamped and women's sports benefited greatly (Jones, 1999). Another reason that football should not be exempt from Title IX is the ludicrous privileges given to football teams that other teams can only dream of receiving. For example, at a Division I school (not named) a football team stays in hotel rooms the night before home games because the coaches want to know where the players are. While staying at the hotel, the players have their meals and entertainment-such as renting out entire movie theaters-paid for. Then charter buses transport the team to and from the field, even though it is only three miles from campus. The expenditures for home football games alone are enormous and unnecessary (Lopiano, 2001, Real Culprit).

Because of the careless and ridiculous overspending of resources on football it is clear that there is a possibility to make cuts. Therefore there is no good reason that football should be exempt from Title IX. The "basic philosophical underpinning of Title IX is that there cannot be an economic justification for discrimination" (NCAA Online, 2001, p. 3). In some ways Title IX protects football. If it costs close to $100,000 to open up a stadium for a football game each night, Title IX does not require that $100,000 is given to a women's team. Likewise, it is obvious that a football player needs extensive equipment for protection because it is a contact sport. A woman's sport such as soccer only really requires shinguards for protection. If the protective equipment for a football player costs a few hundred dollars, a woman soccer player does not need a hundred-dollar pair of shinguards to match this amount. Title IX asks for the same quality of equipment not a dollar for dollar level of equity (NCAA Online, 2001).

The amount of football scholarships given to athletes is also a concern for advocates of Title IX. Football programs alone can give out 85 scholarships. It does not include scholarships given to men in other sports. There are no women's teams that even have 85 players. One solution given requires cutting the number of scholarships given to football players and using the excess money to fund women's sports. Many in football believe this is an unworkable solution. For example, Joe Paterno, head football coach at Penn State University says that "reducing football athletic grant-in-aids below 85 [is] an act of self-destruction" (Jones, 1999, p. 50). Someone should remind Joe Paterno that the number of scholarships used to be 105, which was cut to 95 before being reduced again to 85 and football did not self-destruct (Maisel & Mravic, 2000). This proves that cutting scholarships is an option. If every football team cut only five scholarships maybe it is possible that one less sport would be cut resulting in opportunities of participation for an entire team.

Justice as Fairness-What is Fair?

Cedric W. Dempsey, NCAA President, stated at the 2001 NCAA Title IX Seminar that the goal of the association in conjunction with Title IX is to "provide equitable opportunities for men and women" because "it's the right thing to do" (Hawes, 2001, p. 2). The problem is that these "equitable opportunities" often come at the expense of others-mostly men's Olympic (non-revenue) sports. Title IX is seen as "a federal government regulation that defines what is fair when it comes to who should have opportunities to participate in sports" (Coakley, 1998, p. 403). So is it fair that some women's programs still do not match up to men's and entire men's teams are being denied the opportunity to compete while sports like football are receiving luxurious benefits costing athletic programs money that could be spent to comply with Title IX?

The rational way to determine whether or not Title IX is fair is to define justice and fairness. The dictionary defines justice as "conformity to moral principles or law; just conduct". While schools can be conforming to the written law of Title IX, they are not always conforming to the moral law-moral law would never allow for opportunities to be given to someone by taking them away from someone else if that person is equally deserving.

Looking beyond the dictionary definition, in the17th century Thomas Hobbes made a simple claim to the definition of justice. He based it on whether or not a covenant was made. If no covenant is made then everyone is free to do as they wish and no one is performing an injustice. He would probably argue that before Title IX (the covenant) was passed, the lack of athletic opportunities given to women was not an injustice because no one was breaking any laws. After the passing of the legislation, however, Hobbes would most likely change his mind. He states that "when a covenant is made, then to break it is unjust" and the definition of injustice is "no other than the not performance of covenant" (Solomon & Murphy, 1990, p. 88). Therefore anyone who refuses to comply with Title IX is without question performing an injustice. For example when many colleges and universities make financial decisions with athletic programs, they must battle with what issues have priority. For many schools, entertainment considerations are a top priority and therefore gender equity gets pushed further down the list (Coakley, 1998). Because there is a law governing gender equity and not athletics as entertainment, Hobbes would agree that an injustice has occurred.

Another aspect of Hobbes philosophy that is connected to Title IX is that it is an injustice to "give more to a man than he merits" (Solomon & Murphy, 1990, p. 91). For Hobbes if two men are of equal merit, then they deserve equal benefits. When administrators argue that cuts cannot be made in a football budget, they are indirectly saying that they value football players more than other athletes. Football players are as athletic as soccer players, wrestlers, or golfers and deserve no special considerations. Also, resistance to Title IX indicates that some believe that men are somehow "more equal" or deserve more merit than women. Men do not solely own the right to participate in athletics. They were merely privileged in the past. If we are to believe that all people are created equal, then according to Hobbes, all deserve equal benefits-including athletic opportunities (Solomon & Murphy, 1990).

Are all men created equal? Moral philosopher Bernard Williams thinks that the statement is correct when modified to "men should be equal" because they are not (Solomon & Murphy, 1990). If all men were created equal, then legislation such as Title IX would not be needed. The problem lies in the fact that "unequal opportunities make equal treatment difficult and perplexing" (Solomon & Murphy, 1990, p. 221). This is exactly why Title IX is controversial. The government had to take segregated opportunities and try to make equality. For instance, football is a contact sport historically for men. There is no equivalent women's sport and therefore budgets of schools with football are skewed in favor of men's sports. Likewise, field hockey has traditionally been a sport played by women in the U. S. With examples like these, it is harder to create equal opportunities. If the problem were just to balance the men's and women's soccer teams, it would be much simpler because the starting point is uniform.

When discussing what is fair, modern philosopher John Rawls can provide answers to the topic because of his extensive work in this area. Rawls has taught ethics and philosophy at such prestigious colleges as Cornell and Harvard in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1971 he published his own Theory of Justice. When defining justice as fairness, John Rawls relies on principles of justice chosen "behind a veil of ignorance" (Bayles & Henley, 1988, p. 91). This safeguards the fact that no one can make principles to benefit their own condition. No one is advantaged or disadvantaged. When making laws and claiming that revenue-producing sports such as football should be exempt, according to Rawls the claims are invalid because they assume an advantage.

Rawls recognizes the fact that "each person finds himself placed at birth in some particular position in some particular society, and the nature of this position materially affects his life prospects" (Bayles & Henley, 1988, p. 92). At birth, gender already places a person into a mold of expectations. A burden is laid on women automatically and they inherit the struggle to achieve gender equality. Is achieving gender equity in athletics fair if in order to receive opportunities, they are being taken away from men? Rawls simply states that "injustice, then, is simply inequalities that are not to the benefit of all" (Bayles & Henley, 1988, p. 95). Again, football can be a focus. With a large sum of athletic budgets going to football, an inequality is created. At one Division I school, $300,000 was spent on lights for a practice football field that was not used in four years (Lopiano, 2001, Real Culprit). Expenditures like this create vast inequalities, yet do not benefit everyone. If money spent on football in turn created a profit in which the profit money was shared by each sport, Rawls would not see an injustice. He finds no harm in inequality as long as all benefit from it (Bayles & Henley, 1988).

An area that Rawls would agree creates an injustice is the cutting of men's non-revenue sports. When something is taken away form one in order for a gain of a few others, it is an injustice-even if only one person loses and a million gain. At Providence College, men's baseball, tennis, and golf were eliminated and Providence does not even have football (McCallum & O'Brien, 1998). This downsizing of men's teams was due to both Title IX regulations and pressure from lawsuits filed at other colleges. While the gender balance in athletics at Providence became closer to equal, the men's teams made sacrifices. Even Providence field hockey player Mirandi Balg said, "Women athletes want more opportunities but Title IX wasn't designed to take away opportunities form others" (McCallum & O'Brien, 1998, p. 28).

Title IX Lawsuits

Whether or not Title IX is fair is largely a matter of how a person defines fairness. Title IX with regard to athletics is a struggle for interpretation. This interpretation lies in the hands of athletic directors across the United States. What they do to comply greatly conveys their attitude toward the legislation. Athletic director at Louisiana State University R. Joe Dean Sr. agreed to start a women's soccer team stating that it was a feminine sport and "players would look cute running around in their soccer shorts" (Suggs, 2001, p. 41, LSU). While it appears that Dean is taking strides to comply with Title IX, it is clear that his sexist attitude is not. Because of a lack of opportunities and a general lack of respect to women athletes, LSU women's softball and soccer players have won a $1.2 million lawsuit (Suggs, 2001, LSU).

Athletic directors are left with no choice. They can interpret Title IX as they wish but because of a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision, if a school intentionally violates Title IX or resists the law, they leave themselves vulnerable to lawsuits in which financial damages are awarded (Coakley, 1998). Different schools have established different patterns in response to Title IX lawsuits. A lawsuit against Brown University was a landmark case (Tungate & Orie, 1998). Because Brown argued that it did not comply with Title IX, the case drug on and eventually the university had to comply with a plan of improvements made by the court. The case eventually ended costing Brown a considerable amount of money in law fees that could easily have gone to improving athletic programs. A similar situation occurred at Virginia Tech, a school that also felt they had a strong defense. Instead of wasting time and money on fighting the lawsuit, the college settled and created a plan to improve conditions for women athletes. The University of Kansas did not even have to go to court. Kansas already had a plan in place to expand opportunities when the OCR began investigating the school. Kansas cooperated from the beginning and the OCR even helped with suggestions to reform the program (Tungate & Orie, 1998).

Who Can They Blame?

Title IX seems to be taking the heat for the controversy over cutting men's non-revenue sports and threats of cutting football budgets. Kansas City Star reporter Ken Pulliam states that "it isn't fair to blame women for fighting to keep opportunities they are just now receiving after having been denied them historically" (2001, p. 5). When a men's non-revenue team gets cut, Title IX is immediately held responsible. When Miami Wrestling coach Chuck Angello was in jeopardy of losing his program, he blamed the "mess" called Title IX. The fact that Miami's athletic department is $1 million in debt mostly because of football was merely a footnote in an article concerning Angello's fight to keep a wrestling program at Miami (Daugherty, 1999). The blame was laid solely on Title IX.

Rather than admitting that financial priority goes to football and basketball in the name of national competitiveness, colleges insinuate that women's sports cause budget burdens. This defense exempts athletic directors from having to look a swimming coach or tennis coach in the eye and say 'We don't value your sport as much' (Pulliam, 2001). This leads everyone from male athletes to the general public to criticize the fact that money is going to create women's programs instead of criticizing the superfluous spending of money on football. Those who complain about cutting men's teams should look at a poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News (Suggs, 2000, Poll). It states that "Americans strongly support equitable financing for men's and women's sports-even if that means cutting men's teams" (Suggs, 2000, p. 40, Poll). In fact, of the 2,010 adults who were polled, 79% approved overall of Title IX and 76% approved of cutting men's teams to comply. Like Title IX itself, this poll is of course open to interpretation (Suggs, 2000, Poll).

Are Women Interested in Athletics?

The theory of fairness by Rawls can also be applied to another question regarding Title IX. Is it fair that men were historically entitled to participate in athletics while women needed to fight for this right? Rawls would agree that it is fair as long as the advantage (athletics) given to men would prove advantageous to all men and women. American society agrees that sports teach men the skills they need to not only be physically fit but to be competitive when they get into the work setting (Lopiano, 2001, Gender Equity). "Males learn the rules of human organizations and interactions from sport" (Lopiano, 2001, p. 1, Gender Equity). While men benefit from playing sports, it is doubtful that women also benefit from men playing sports. The health of women does not improve from men playing sports and women do not gain sociologically or psychologically because men play sports. According to Rawls then, it is an injustice to confine sports participation to men. Women deserve the same enrichment.

If women deserve the right to reap the benefits of sports, do they actually want to play sports? When the OCR investigates a school for Title IX compliance, one argument many schools make in that they are already accommodating the interests of the women at the school. This was the case at the University of New Mexico (Suggs, 2000, UNM). When a complaint was filed against the university, New Mexico claimed that it passed the part of the OCR's test because it was already accommodating the interests of women. The university then had to distribute a survey to determine the interests of all students-men and women, current and prospective. The results of the survey indicated that New Mexico was not meeting all the interests of its students. New Mexico has until July 1, 2003 to either meet proportionality standards, or prove that it is already meeting its student body's interests. Eleanor M. Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation followed this case and felt strongly that if more opportunities were offered for women, then women would show an interest. She stated that, "for years, we were told that nobody would go to a women's sporting event, because the interest wasn't there. Now we know differently" (Suggs, 200, p. 3, UNM).

Not only are women lacking in athletic opportunities, but there is also a general lack of support for women's athletics. If the support for women's athletics was strong enough, legislation like Title IX would not be needed and would not be called "burdensome" or "impractical" (Coakley, 1998, p. 212). Even some women's organizations, such as the Independent Women's Forum, do not support Title IX. This organization feels that the "application of Title IX is unreasonable" (Pulliam, 2001, p.3) because twice as many boys as girls really want to pursue athletics through college and therefore Title IX should not be based on percentages but interest. Connee Zotos, athletic director at Howard University disagrees. She feels that since Title IX is a fairly new law, it will take time for young girls to realize that it is okay to play sports. "The message is you can play if you are good. There is still not enough reinforcement for young girls to play after a certain age if you are not very, very good" (Pulliam, 2001, p. 3). Within a few generations, Zotos feels that women will feel that athletics are necessary for not only those who excel at them, but they have inherent benefits for women.

Some imperative benefits linked to athletics that Zotos might be referring to are unique to women. The risk of unwanted pregnancy and drug involvement are reduced while the probability of graduating high school increases because of athletic involvement (25 Benefits of Women Playing Sports, 2001). Early involvement can also be a preventative medicine for later in life. Two hours per week of exercise will reduce the risk for breast cancer, even as a teenager. With osteoporosis being a condition many women face, sports reduce this risk by providing weight-bearing activities. Other results of women's sports are higher self-esteem, lower risk for depression, a positive body image, learning about teamwork, and effective goal setting (25 Benefits of Women Playing Sports, 2001).


The reality is that Title IX is necessary for women to gain athletic opportunities. It is also a reality that questionably unfair acts, such as cutting men's sports, are occurring in order to comply with the law. Solutions are hidden but they are there. Athletic directors must make priorities. Lopiano and the Women's Sports Foundation have outlined some solutions. She suggests contacting alumni to raise money and specifically cite gender equity as the reason (Lopiano, 2001, Don't Blame). Many alumni will be more willing to give if they are empathetic to the cause. In fact, some people "don't like the elitist direction of men's sports" and "they don't want all of their dollars going to a select few" because it makes many college male athletes appear arrogant and spoiled (Suggs, 2000, p. 2, Poll). If people knew that the money was going to increase opportunities for women athletes, they might be more likely to give.

Lopiano also uncovers lavish expenditures in men's athletics that can easily be cut back if athletic directors are willing (Lopiano, 2001, Don't Blame). Football and basketball can survive without 200 page glossy programs or new uniforms every year. Cutting back or ending expensive spring break trips could also save money. For example, at a Division I school (not named) a coach sent his entire staff and their wives to a trip to the Bahamas to celebrate winning seven games in a season (Lopiano, 2001, Real Culprit). If one program feels that by cutting back on their sport, they will be less competitive in their conference, administrators or the NCAA could make cuts across the entire conference. Play will still be competitive.

It took one hundred years for intercollegiate football to grow into an institution that brings in money (Coakley, 1998). Maybe colleges and universities should build some women's sports into revenue producing events. If it took men one hundred years, athletic directors should not expect great monetary gains from women's programs right away. They need to invest for the future of these programs and one day, women may produce the revenue to fund a men's team.


It seems that the more power that women gain in the world of athletics, the more problems men have with the change. Mariah Nelson wrote a book called The Stronger Women Get, The More Men Love Football and she discusses this exact point (Coakley, 1998). Men see women as interfering into the privilege of athletics they have been enjoying. In order for them to have a valid argument, men need to explain to society how they received this privilege in the first place. If Kirk Herbstreit can argue that men collegiate athletes should be paid a stipend-"nothing ridiculous, but enough to take a girl to the movies" (Herbstreit, 2001, p. 26)-then should women argue that they should also receive some money to take a date to the movies? It is clear men have put themselves very high on the gender order with regard to sports. This is why there is basketball and women's basketball instead of men's basketball and women's basketball.

While women are not outright discouraged from playing sports as they have been in the past, they are not adequately encouraged either. Title IX provides the legal backing for women to participate but it is really each individual college and university that must invest in creating a successful women's athletic program. Athletic directors already must comply with the law of Title IX. They know that lawsuits can be filed and money lost if they do not comply. What women are now asking is that the spirit of Title IX be recognized so that both women and men share the same benefits. Title IX means that men's non-revenue teams can continue to compete. As in Lopiano's family scenario, in the years to come, parents should be able to tell both their sons and daughters that they support everyone's opportunity to play. Title IX is not a clear-cut example of men losing when women win. Some men are losing, some women are winning but it is clear that everyone is not winning Athletic directors need to take action to ensure that Title IX is doing what it is supposed to be doing-and that is providing gender equality in athletics. Then both men and women will win.


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