Title IX changed the landscape of College Sports


The History of Title IX is in the link below


In 1972 the Title IX civil rights act of 1964 was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. The amendment required all universities who receive federal funds to offer equal opportunities for men and women in athletics and academics. Universities were given 6 years to come into compliance with the new law. 

Interestingly, The NCAA initially raised money to fight the implementation of  Title IX, but by 1981 the NCAA was fully supportive of women's sports at the University level.  Many may not know but from 1972-1982 the AIAW (not the NCAA)  acted as the  official college governing body for women athletics. It was the AIAW that crowned the  National Champions in women's sports. 

In A History of Women in Sport Prior to Title IX the author Richard Bell states the NCAA became concerned by what it perceived to be the potential weakening of its position as the dominant and controlling body of intercollegiate athletics. If Title IX was to apply to intercollegiate sports at all levels and women were to be elevated to a status equal to the men, its financial assets and political power were threatened. The first approach of the NCAA, when faced with the threat of equality in intercollegiate athletics, was to attempt to limit Title IX’s application. The NCAA tried to offer its interpretation of Title IX (Acosta & Carpenter, 1985). It encouraged a narrow interpretation of the law, excluding athletic departments from the scope of Title IX. The NCAA argued that because athletic departments did not receive federal funds, they should be excluded from compliance. Nonetheless, when the NCAA sought to limit the application of Title IX, it began to address the issue of control of women’s athletics in earnest.

The NCAA was a powerful adversary for the AIAW because of its wealth, political influence, and long history. The NCAA decided to introduce women’s championships for intercollegiate sports by offering the institutions sponsoring women’s sports a proposition that ultimately led to the demise of the AIAW. The NCAA offered to: (a) pay all expenses for teams competing in a national championship, (b) charge no additional membership fees for schools to add women’s programs, (c) create financial aid, recruitment, and eligibility rules that were the same for women as for men, and finally, (d) guarantee women more television coverage. The NCAA had earmarked three million dollars to support women’s championships. The AIAW could not compete with the NCAA inducements and the loss of membership, income, championship sponsorship, and media rights forced the AIAW to cease operations on June 30, 1982 (Festle, 1996). The AIAW sued the NCAA for allegedly violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, but was unsuccessful when the courts ruled that the market for women’s athletics was open for competition, therefore no anti-trust laws had been violated (Schubert, Schubert, & Schubert-Madsen, 1991).


According to the book Life of a Coach (The Story of Pat Weis) by Mickie Edwards the AIAW rules stated that a female athlete could transfer freely to any university because neither scholarships or financial assistance would be extended to the woman student athlete.  


In 1977 Bari Brandwynne excelled in golf and wanted to be a Longhorn. Her dad was a bandleader at Caesar's in Vegas and two singer celebrities- Mac Davis and Don Cherry- called Coach Weis to discuss Bari's great talent. Coach Weis sent Bari a letter stating that U.T. could not recruit her or pay her way to the campus for an interview. Bari understood the AIAW rules so at 17 she drove to Austin with her two dogs and met with Coach Weis. Bari became the youngest Longhorn golf member on the team.

By  1980 the AIAW renounced the "no" scholarship offer for women, but that decision came too late. Legal, commercial, and market forces decimated the AIAW membership ,and the NCAA became the governing body for all men and women college sports.  The Longhorn women's athletic program disagreed with the decision to dismantle the AIAW stating the NCAA's decision to dis-allow  student athletes in the governance of the organization and  "using its financial monopoly in men's sports to acquire women's sports" was wrong. UT was concerned that the NCAA was too commercially driven and considered student athletes as "investment property" and that women would not get fair representation in the male dominated NCAA. In Tessa Nichols thesis titled ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES AND WOMEN'S SPORTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS 1918-1992 , she states that  Lopiano commented in a interview that football spending was an "embarrassment of riches" and that football revenues should be "shared  among all the sports". 

Donna Lopiano was interviewed for an article in the 1983 UT Cactus that discussed  the demise of the AIAW. Here are some of her comments in bullet form:

  • The switch from the AIAW to the NCAA cost her department $153,000. Her major objection with the NCAA dealt with the stresses of recruiting that coaches did not contend with under the direction of the AIAW.

  • Lopiano was proud that UT President Rogers when she said the tower should be lit for Longhorn success in women's athletics.

  • Lopiano said the coaches she hired knew how to build a winning program with an educational priority. She said that in 9 years only 5 scholarship athletes left the program due to academics. She also said that only 50% of all freshman from the general UT population graduate from UT ,but 95% of the student athletes graduate.

  • Lopiano says that President Lorene Rogers was instrumental in the financial success of the women's program, but she also said that AD Darrell Royal who was unfairly maligned by the press for his lack of support for the women's sports also played a key role in the successful financial health of women's athletics. Lopiano said that DKR did the right thing in not being pressured to fund both women and men's sports because if he had "both departments would have gone under". Donna Lopiano and DKR understood that the women's program had to financially support itself by finding alternate sources of funds. In 1983 those alternative sources of funds included $500,000 from optional student athletic taxes, $250,000 from gate receipts and program advertising, $250,000 from the option seating football program, and $850,000 from the interest in the auxiliary enterprises account.

  • In 1966 the Intercollegiate budget was $700 by 1983 the budget was $1,000,000 with receipts of 1,850,000 dollars.


Finally in May of 1993 - 21 years after implementation of Title IX-  UT settled all lawsuits for non-compliance issues related to Title IX by adding women's soccer, softball, and rowing to its list of sanctioned NCAA sports. 

1993 Freshman year Danielle Viglione led the SWC in scoring and with the support of the NCAA and title IX women were on the way to equity legislation with the men’s athletic program. The preliminary NCAA plan required annual reports comparing the treatment of men’s and women’s sports programs.

Marquette Sports Law Review Volume 11 Issue 1 Fall Article 5

A Brief History of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Role in Regulating Intercollegiate Athletics By Rodney K. Smith

in intercollegiate athletics. With some emphasis on proportionality in opportunities and equity in expenditures for coaches and other purposes in women's sports, new opportunities have been made available for women in intercollegiate athletics. The cost of these expanded opportunities have been high, however, particularly given that few institutions have women's teams that generate sufficient revenue to cover the cost of these added programs. This increase in net expenses has placed significant pressure on intercollegiate athletic programs, particularly given that the presidents are cost-containment conscious, desiring that athletic programs be self-sufficient. Revenue producing male sports, therefore, have to bear the weight of funding women's sports.This, in turn, raises racial equity concerns because most of the revenue producing male sports are made up predominantly of male student-athletes of color, who are expected to deliver a product that will not only produce sufficient revenue to cover its own expenses, but also a substantial portion of the costs of gender equity and male sports that are not revenue producing. The gender equity and television issues have been largely economic in their impact, but they do indirectly impact the role of the NCAA in governance. Since football funding has been diverted from the NCAA to the football powerhouses, the NCAA for the most part has had to rely even more heavily on its revenue from the lucrative television contract for the Division I basketball championship. Heavy reliance on this funding source raises racial equity issues, since student-athletes of color, particularly African-American athletes, are the source of those revenues. Thus, the very governance costs of the NCAA are covered predominantly by the efforts of these student-athletes of color. This inequity is exacerbated by the fact that schools and conferences rely heavily on revenues from the basketball tournament to fund their own institutional and conference needs.'