Yes, no and it’s complicated: Title IX experts clear up misconceptions

Effective June 23, 1972, Title IX was passed into law to protect against discrimination based on sex in educational programs or activities receiving federal financial aid. This is a short statute – only 37 words – given the wide scope stipulated by Supreme Court rulings and guidance from the US Department of Education.

It is often used as a scapegoat in games, even though it was not originally written about in the game.

Here are some misconceptions about the 50th birthday of the federal civil rights law.

Title IX That’s Why Your School Doesn’t Have (Baseball, Wrestling, Etc.).

When cuts have been made in athletic departments (especially when it comes to getting rid of men’s programs), Title IX is often to blame.

“There’s no baseball because schools chose not to conform to Title IX,” said Duffy Law’s Phyllis Duffy. Duffy has been involved in Title IX complaints since the 1979 action against UConn as an undergraduate for forcing the creation of a women’s football program.

“Schools are fully allowed if they want to bring athletics into equity. They don’t need to cut the men’s game.”

Donna Lopiano is the President of Sports Management Resources, which provides consulting services. According to the company’s website, Lopiano has testified about Title IX and gender equality before three congressional committees and has been an expert witness in more than 40 court cases.

“The data shows what’s wrong with basketball and football programs that require a lot of money to operate lavishly,” Lopiano said. “They know they can’t attack the women’s sport and they can’t leave the women’s sports program because then they’ll be prosecuted because they’re not giving women equal opportunities in sports. choose sports.”

According to ESPN, during the four-year period from 1984–88 when Title IX was not implemented for athletic departments, 53 wrestling programs were dropped by NCAA schools.

Title IX is an athletics law

Lopiano said it was popularized that way. But it was not written like that.

“In fact, it was originally passed to ensure that women would not face quotas on entry into law schools, medical schools, graduate programs into high-paying professions,” Lopiano said.

Title IX does not protect transgender athletes

This is an emerging issue.

In 2021, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued a Notice of Interpretation explaining that it would implement Title IX’s ban on discrimination on the basis of gender, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and discrimination based on gender identity. shall include.

The department’s interpretation stems from a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court Boston vs. Clayton Countywas issued last year, in which the Supreme Court held that it is impossible to discriminate against a person on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity without discriminating on the basis of gender.

“No legal statute exists that would protect transgender individuals,” Lopiano said. “We know with respect to things other than employment and sports that bostock The Supreme Court ruling included transgender (individual) under LGBTQ protection rights. But it does not specifically include games, locker rooms and restrooms. There is no statutory Congressional law that changed the definition of gender to gender identity.”

At the end of the day, women are less interested in sports than men

Lopiano wants to dispel this argument.

“There’s a lot of opportunity there,” she said. “The thing that restricts access to the game is the start of the team, not the interest.”

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