Title IX was intended to protect against discrimination – NOT promote athletics on college campuses. This federal law is being used unjustly as a tool to cultivate the interest and athleticism in women and correct for past discrimination (e.g. “If they build it, they will come.”). It is time to restore the original intent of Title IX:
“…no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”
Title IX is a good law and has greatly expanded opportunities for women across the United States. It was enacted at at time when it was sorely needed. However, Congress’ intent for this nondiscrimination statute has been distorted. Through misinterpretation and misapplication of the statute and its regulatory tools, many universities are ultimately forced to discriminate against men.
The 1979 Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Interpretation of Title IX identified three basic parts (Sections) as it applies to equal opportunities in athletic programs. Institutions must meet all three requirements in order to be in compliance with the law. Section C requires “institutions to accommodate effectively the interests and abilities of students”. This section has become the focus of Title IX with its Three-Prong Test. Measuring equality through a rigid affirmation action quota system (Prong 1 of the Three-Prong Test) as the courts and Title IX 1996 Clarification suggest, without regard to individual student interests and abilities is illogical, discriminatory and in direct contradiction to Title IX compliance requirements.
Fairness in sports is about effective accommodation, awareness, and equal opportunity and is first, and foremost, a human right.