AP Was There: Pre-Title IX ‘dark ages’ for feminine athetes

By 1974, schools and universities throughout the United States had been beginning to measure the total affect of Title IX, the landmark 1972 regulation that known as for equitable remedy of women and men in applications receiving federal funding.

The ripple results had been notably felt in school athletics, the place males’s sports activities had lengthy obtained the lion’s share of consideration, funding and help. There was clear resistance amongst athletic administrators to deal with the subject of girls’s sports activities and The Associated Press put collectively a five-part sequence trying into the small print.

Below is one story from that sequence because it appeared within the Press and Sun-Bulletin of Binghamton, New York, on Nov. 13, 1974.


EDITOR’S NOTE — It will come as no shock that ladies athletes on the nation’s schools don’t get the identical remedy as their male counterparts. But they might quickly as a result of a regulation known as Title IX says universities should present equal athletic alternatives for each sexes. Here is a report on what it was like being a lady athlete earlier than Title IX.


AP Sports Writer

The typical athletic director within the typical school athletic division isn’t a women-hater. On his desk, subsequent to all of the trophies, is a household portrait displaying his spouse, and possibly a daughter or two.

Outside his carpeted workplace, there’s one other smiling feminine who pours him espresso, opens his mail and kinds his letters. He’ll say he’s all for ladies.

But, in lots of circumstances, his athletic price range gained’t mirror it.

“I don’t understand what goes on in the heads of those athletic directors,” says Dan Bakinowski, who gratuitously coached Boston University’s ladies’s crew workforce to 2 nationwide championships final summer time. “They feel the women athletes are going to go away. If they think that, then they’re only fooling themselves.”

“Women’s athletics is not a fad. There are just too many of them out there. They have so much enthusiasm and it isn’t going to stop. The ADs had better wise up.”

And if the universities need to proceed receiving their federal checks for help in numerous areas, some athletic departments are going to have to alter their emphasis as a result of the lengthy arm of the regulation is on the best way to assist ladies’s sports activities.

With Title IX of the 1972 Education Act, which prohibits discrimination in any college program, about to be totally enforced, alternatives are opening up for ladies’s athletics on many campuses, prompting Anne Findlay Chamberlain, a first-year scholarship recipient at Penn State, to say:

“It used to be that we had to wear skirts and nylons to a game. But that whole era has changed now and we don’t have to be embarrassed to be female athletes anymore, even though I never was.”

The previous isn’t so encouraging to ladies. Those days had been the darkish ages of girls’s sports activities – an period that also exists on some campuses right this moment – when the lads had the entire pie and the ladies had been fortunate in the event that they obtained some crumbs.

The Boston University ladies’s crew workforce gained two nationwide championships this previous summer time, they usually did it with out one cent from that faculty’s athletic division, which gave males’s crew $35,000 and two full-time coaches final yr.

“We practiced at six in the morning so we wouldn’t get in the way of the men’s team, and also because our volunteer coach (Bakinowski) worked from 9 to 5,” remembers workforce member Betsy Hochberg.

“To compete in meets,” Hochberg says, “we had to borrow boats from other schools. We fund-raised with bake sales, raffles and car washes. We even resorted to a rowing marathon. We set up a swimming pool in front of the student union and rowed in two-hour shifts, 24 hours a day for one whole week. People came by and threw change in the pool.

“It was like begging. But the money had to be raised somehow. BU wasn’t going to give it to us … crew is demanding enough under the best conditions, but practicing at six in the morning with flashlights, when ice is forming on the oarlocks and you can’t see two feet in front of you, well, it’s almost unbearable.”

Almost. With all these issues, the workforce nonetheless managed to high quality for the nationwide championships in Oakland, Calif., inflicting a brand new set of issues – transportation and lodging for them and their boats.

They borrowed a ship from Radcliffe and, mockingly, ended up beating Radcliffe within the finals. They paid their very own strategy to California, a price of $1,000 per girl. And they rented the boat trailer owned by the BU males’s crew workforce for 5 cents a mile, a price of some $300 for the 6,000-mile spherical journey.

“If we had been men,” says Hochberg, “the athletic department wouldn’t have been able to do enough things for us.”

Many athletic departments have acknowledged the existence of girls, and, in fact, athletics however not the 2 collectively.

At Ohio State, ladies obtained $40,000 final yr out of whopping $6 million athletic price range. This yr, the ladies’s ante has been raised to $83,000.

“No more four girls to a room. No more cars without heaters half-freezing our girls,” says Phyllis Bailey, in control of Ohio State’s 11 intercollegiate sports activities for ladies.” We drove two onerous days to a Big Ten swim meet in Minneapolis final yr and two onerous days again. The males’s workforce flew. We merely didn’t have the funds.”

At Texas A&M, ladies have 10 sports activities and a complete price range of $200.

Most colleges have operated ladies’s athletics “on a different philosophy than men’s programs,” says John E. Shay, vice chairman of pupil affairs on the University of Rhode Island.

“Men’s sports have full-time coaches in most major sports or are freed from regular teaching duties to undertake coaching,” Shay says. “Women have coached the women’s sports as an overload, in addition to their other duties on campus.”

Title IX is designed to finally create one similar sports activities philosophy for each sexes however it gained’t erase the unhealthy recollections.

Gwen Gregory, the HEW (Department of Health, Education and Welfare) official presently engaged on Title IX’s last enforcement rules, tells the next story:

“A women’s track team in Illinois had a meet scheduled one year in advance and invited colleges from all around the area. The week before the meet, the men’s track coach called up and said he was sorry but the guys wanted some extra practice the day of the meet. The meet was canceled.”

Nancy Scannel, a reporter for the Washington Post, mentioned that at Texas A&M, Dennis Fosdick, coach of the ladies’s swimming workforce, paid $2,200 of his personal cash to get his workforce to the nationwide championships, whereas the week earlier than the college paid for the lads’s workforce to fly to their nationwide championships.

A businessman whose daughter competes on the basketball, volleyball and monitor groups at Maryland has filed a Title IX grievance in opposition to the college. Carl Croydor says the college’s males’s basketball workforce traveled by aircraft to the University of Virginia – a three-hour bus trip. But “in the height of the energy crisis last December, the university had the women’s basketball team drive themselves to Rochester – an eight-hour ride – to compete in the Eastern Regionals.

“The girls didn’t know if they would be able to find enough gas to get back,” Croydor mentioned.

Bakinowski says he stopped getting up at 5:30 a.m. to educate the BU crew as a result of “the university didn’t do a thing for us … the athletic department just has a bunch of distorted values. They just don’t see the injustice when men get free rides and women have to go out and sell coffee.”


AP Corporate Archives contributed to this report.


For extra on Title IX’s affect, learn AP’s full report: https://apnews.com/hub/title-ix Video timeline: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdgNI6BZpw0

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