Did Title IX pin men's college wrestling to the mat?
Questions percolate on the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the federal legislation that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Some of them are, oh, urban gym myths. The demise of men's wrestling on some campuses was blamed on having to share revenues to pay for women's sports.
A better question is much broader: Do the granddaughters of Title IX appreciate the battles fought and won to create a place for them in the racing shell and on the volleyball court? Human nature would suggest the answer is no, not really. We need to be reminded.
Times reporter Sandy Ringer wrote an extraordinary profile of the Washington State University student who lent her name to a lawsuit that made schools and colleges provide female athletes with resources to match men's programs. Karen Troianello - the former Karen Blair of Blair v. Washington State University - is indeed a pioneer. Blair, 38 other female athletes and 11 female coaches joined a suit in the late 1970s that would take eight years to win.
"At Washington State, the University of Washington and other colleges around the country, it meant there would be no more hand-me-down uniforms, no more car caravans to competitions while male athletes rode team buses or planes; Fewer inferior facilities and more full-time coaches. More first-rate opportunities and scholarships instead of second-class treatment," Ringer cogently summarized.
This was a glorious moment that resonates from an era of civil rights victories and the defining work to make them a reality. Blair and her tenacious colleagues share a place on the nation's honor roll of those who expanded, defined and promoted equality under the law.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
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