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Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Updated: June 21, 9:38 AM ET
Title IX in today's high schools

By ESPNHS

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

Forty years have passed since President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law. To mark its anniversary, we talked to high school students, teachers, coaches and administrators to find out how the landmark legislation is still being felt today.

Here's what they had to say:


Hannah Schaible, Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.)
Class of 2013, girls' basketball, volleyball and flag football player


Dr. Phillips
Hannah Schaible

What does Title IX mean to you?

It means that girls don't have to be limited to cheerleading and gymnastics.

When were you first aware of it?

I was a freshman on the basketball team when I noticed that we didn't have a nice locker room like the boys. I told my mom, and she asked: 'How is that fair under Title IX?' It kind of upsets you. We're just as good as the boys. OK, we can't dunk, but there are so many people who have come up to me and said, 'You really changed my thoughts about women's basketball.' That's not just because we won. It's about the skill we have.

How has it impacted you?

I would have never been able to play (flag) football if not for Title IX. A lot of states don't even have football for girls. I would not have gotten a state (title) ring without Title IX.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

I think it's a good thing. I don't see anything bad about Title IX. It gives us an equal opportunity to compete.


Michael Plansky, Dedham (Mass.)
Athletic Director and boys' basketball coach

Dedham High School
Michael Plansky

What does Title IX mean to you?

I think it is a fantastic law that opened up participation opportunity for women. Specifically, it benefited our student-athletes, giving them opportunities to experience success in the athletic domain.

When were you first aware of it?

I was more exposed to Title IX in college, which would be the late '80s, at Fairfield University where I noticed the female athletics expanding.

How has it impacted you?

Personally, it hasn't. But professionally, it has made me more aware of making sure that what our males athletes get, our female athletes experience as well.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

Title IX has become a commonplace where girls are going to get the same opportunities for practices, facilities and night games as the boys do.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

I believe that anything boys are able to do girls are able to do. There shouldn't be a limit to any opportunity for females to participate in sports of their liking.


Bill Vice, La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.)
Boys' and girls' cross country and track coach, U.S. history teacher

La Costa Canyon
Bill Vice

What does Title IX mean to you?

Title IX gives equal opportunity to girls, young women, and in high schools, equal opportunity and equal access to all sports and sporting events. And I think it was a great law.

When were you first aware of it?

I graduated in 1980, so I was 10 years old when this was enacted, so I don't think I was really aware of the law itself when I was growing up. I did see a big change in the late '70s when I was in school with more girls having the opportunity to play sports. And I saw how sports impacted them and how it became different in the late '70s. My sisters were cheerleaders. That was the sport. By the end of the '70s, girls were playing sports. More sports. I think it pretty much started with girls playing basketball. Then field hockey. And then track and field became real big. But you know what was interesting about that? I was a track coach in the early '80s, and there were certain events that girls were not allowed to do when I was in school. They didn't pole vault. They didn't triple jump. They didn't let them run as far in the distances as the boys. The boys were running 3,200 meters and the girls were only allowed to run 2,000 at that time. This was in Connecticut.

How has it impacted you?

I think it's impacted me two ways. As a coach, our girls are taken seriously in sports. It's just as prominent. It's just as important. I've been blessed with being able to coach girls who are fantastic, who are running faster than some of our boys run. It also impacts me as the father of two girls. Seeing them have that equal opportunity. Now we take it for granted that for girls it's OK, it's cool to play sports. It's not just for boys anymore. And how that helps, is that girls grow and develop and they get opportunities to participate and become leaders and be proud that they're an athlete. It's where leaders are made -- on the playing fields.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

We've had a number of girls who have gone on to college on running scholarships. It has made them into leaders. And I don't even know if today's athletes even think about it. They just do it because it's there for them. There were those girls who had to break those barriers down. ... Think of how much power you get from playing sports. It's changed our society. Title IX really was the impetus for what women are allowed to do in our society.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

It's a great thing. The flip side is that some people would argue that colleges and universities have to cut men's sports to give equal opportunities to women's sports. There are track programs, there are wrestling programs, men's programs that have been cut in the college because of that. And that upsets some people. But I think that it's so important for us to give women the opportunity. It's been a great thing for our society.


Phillip Wisser, Coral Gables (Fla.)
Baseball coach, math teacher

Coral Gables baseball
Phillip Wisser

What does Title IX mean to you?

It's about being fair to both male and female athletes.

When were you first aware of it?

I learned about in college (Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.) because my degree is in sports management."

How has it impacted you?

Personally, it really hasn't affected me that much.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

It really hasn't affected my athletes much, primarily because I get along really well with the softball coach.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

I think it's bad. I don't think it's right that one team can work their tails off to get it done, and another can reap the reward without doing anything. For example, if a baseball team raises the funds to improve their dugout, the softball team can just complain about Title IX and get a new dugout. I believe you should get what you work for. If not, it sends a bad message to kids.


Carla Harris-Curry, Norland (Miami, Fla.)
Physical education teacher, girls' basketball and girls' cross country coach

Norland
Carla Harris-Curry

What does Title IX mean to you?

It means equality for female athletes and female programs.

When were you first aware of it?

I started coaching in 2000 and became aware of it a couple of years into my career.

How has it impacted you?

When we are in need of equipment or exposure, it brings that balance to us. Sports can tend to be male-dominated, so Title IX brings that prominence to female athletics.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

The funny thing is that athletes may not even know it exists. They think what they have is what they are supposed to have. They don't realize that people fought for them to have it.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

It's a good thing. Without Title IX, a lot of these girls couldn't play flag football or softball because it wouldn't be funded.


Bart Brandenburg, Roosevelt (Seattle, Wash.)
Boys' basketball coach

Roosevelt
Bart Brandenburg

What does Title IX mean to you?

It means equality between the genders in sports.

When were you first aware of it?

I first became aware of it when I started coaching at Roosevelt in 2004.

How has it impacted you?

It hasn't really affected me, personally.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

It has affected our athletes. For example, we can't raise a ton more money than our girls' basketball program. The numbers can't be skewed, even if we worked hard to raise that money ourselves. Another example is when we had a sponsor who wanted to donate just to us (in the boys' basketball program). That wasn't allowed because of Title IX, even though it was our contact. Also, the court time has to be the same even if they have only 18 girls in their entire program, and we have 50. That means that our C team doesn't get much court time.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

I have pointed out a couple of negatives, but, overall, I think Title IX was a necessary thing. Women's sports have come a long way. It's not a perfect system by any stretch, but I think everyone deserves an opportunity. Women have a lot more opportunities today than they did when, say, my mom was growing up.


Emily Podschweit, Chaparral (Parker, Colo.)
Class of 2012, sand volleyball player

Sand volleyball
Emily Podschweit

What does Title IX mean to you?

To me, it's about equal amount of scholarships for boys and girls.

When were you first aware of it?

About six months ago. When I committed to Florida International University for sand volleyball, I asked if they would have a men's team. They said no because of Title IX.

How has it impacted you?

Without Title IX, I probably wouldn't have a scholarship for sand volleyball. I'm really grateful.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

It's been good for me, but I feel bad that there aren't scholarships for men to play sand volleyball. I enjoy watching them play. They are so much more intense and exciting.


Scott Bruce, Killian (Miami, Fla.)
Boy's soccer coach, AP Human Geography teacher

Killian
Scott Bruce

What does Title IX mean to you?

It means equal for men and women sports. Both get their fair share.

When were you first aware of it?

I heard about it about 20 years when I was in college at Florida State.

How has it impacted you?

It hasn't impacted me at all.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

Not at all. Kids that are good enough and have the academics have been offered scholarships, whether they are boys' soccer players or girls.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

It's a good thing because a lot more girls are playing sports now, and they get an opportunity to earn scholarships for college.


Judy Deeb, East Lyme (Conn.)
Physical education teacher, softball coach

East Lyme softball
Judy Deeb

What does Title IX mean to you?

It means equality. It means the ability to have equal pay and equal status with the male sports department. And it also means opportunity more than anything -- giving me the opportunity to be able to coach, to teach, to officiate, all that stuff.

When were you first aware of it?

My first year coaching. I started in 1972. I knew right away, because I went to college and our status was completely different as an athlete in college than the boys.

How has it impacted you?

There were no female athletic directors at that time, so men would hire their friends to coach. It's given me the opportunity to expand my career, and to be acknowledged for it. The newspapers didn't even put my scores in the sports page. If they had room they'd put in a few sentences but you never saw anything about women's sports in the sports page.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

They have the opportunity to further their education, because now they have to compete with other athletes for scholarship money. It's improved the conditioning, it's improved the participation, and it's increased specialization.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

Good thing. Before Title IX, in high school there was a boys' gym and a girls' gym, and the girls' gym had no bleachers and was very tiny. The girls played during the day with no fans whatsoever and our uniforms were passed down from season to season. The boys played at night with full gyms and real uniforms.


Mike Carrozzo, Leland (San Jose, Calif.)
Football coach, recruiting advisor for boys and girls athletes

Leland
Mike Carrozzo

What does Title IX mean to you?

In theory, it makes sense. In actuality, it stinks.

When were you first aware of it?

I became aware when I began coaching 15 years ago.

How has it impacted you?

I am a big fan of the marketplace. No disrespect to badminton, but there is a reason why most Division I schools don't have badminton programs. The interest isn't there. But Title IX says 'forget about the marketplace' and tries to force-feed certain sports. The truth is that football and men's basketball generate 90 percent of the revenue. Because of Title IX, Cal was almost forced to drop its baseball program last year. Can you imagine that? Over the past 25 years, 12 to 14 colleges in Northern California have been forced to dump football. If you figure 75 scholarships per school, that's a boat-load of opportunities for young men that now no longer exist.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

It has severely limited the opportunities for boys at my school to earn scholarships. That's sad and unfair.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

I think it's a bad thing because it takes opportunities away from the popular sports -- which happen to be the ones for the boys.


Peter Lehmann, Ransom Everglades (Miami, Fla.)
Health teacher, boys' and girls' tennis coach

Ransom Everglades tennis
Peter Lehmann

What does Title IX mean to you?

It means the enhancement of women's sports on the collegiate level.

When were you first aware of it?

In 1987, when I landed the head coaching job at FIU (men's tennis), that's when I became aware of Title IX.

How has it impacted you?

It impacted me in a severe way when FIU dropped men's tennis in 2000 due to Title IX issues. I had coached 13 years there. I had a pension. My world was shook up, and it was disappointing.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

It impacts the boys incredibly. In college tennis, the guys get only 4.5 scholarships, and the women get 8.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

I think it's a good thing for women's athletics. But on the other hand, they need to re-think this thing. Football needs to be a separate thing. It doesn't work because of the 85 scholarships in football. If they could tweak it a bit, then it would work great. I wish I had the stats on how many men's tennis programs have been wiped out. It's sad.


Casey Stangel, Lake City (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho)
Class of 2013, softball player

Casey Stangel headshot
Casey Stangel

What does Title IX mean to you?

Title IX has given girls an equal opportunity to work hard and have success in their athletic dreams. It allows us to participate in certain sports and make history as women athletes.

When were you first aware of it?

My freshman year was when I first became educated on the importance of Title IX.

How has it impacted you?

It has had a huge impact on my life because it has allowed me to take part in softball and gives me the opportunity to go after my dreams.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

It is a great thing because nobody should be held back on what they want to do based on gender. Anyone can be amazing at anything they decide to work hard at and be a part of and should never be held back.


Mike Treybig, Palacios (Texas)
Athletic director, football coach

Palacios football
Mike Treybig

What does Title IX mean to you?

The intent was to provide the necessity for girls to have equal opportunities as boys on a whole, not on an individual basis. Girls' sports should be given the same consideration as boys' sports.

When were you first aware of it?

Mid '70s. I had just started my coaching career and I was introduced to this program. We were a private school (playing softball), then we started playing the bigger public school and were beating them handily at softball because the public schools were just starting these programs.

How has it impacted you?

At the high school level, not very much. I budget boys' and girls' sports accordingly. Boys' baseball gets the same as girls' softball, boys' basketball gets the same as girls' basketball and the boys' track team gets the same as the girls' track team, etc.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

Not so much in my high school, but I see the effects it has had on the college sports. It is the trickle-down effect. It has afforded colleges to increase the girls' sports and budgets, which allows things to flow down to the high school level.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

I think it's a good thing. Girls are given a better opportunity to participate in college sports more than ever before, also the awareness of the facilities requirements that are required when a new sport is started at a school.


Shane Wilder, Coral Springs Christian Academy (Coral Springs, Fla.)
Class of 2012, baseball player

Coral Springs Christian Academy
Shane Wilder

What does Title IX mean to you?

It means equality -- equal rights for men and women.

When were you first aware of it?

I found out about it this year during an AP English class. We had to read eight sources on the subject and do a write-up. You had to also pick a side, and I was for it. I think it's fair and just. They are just as athletic in their respective areas as the guys.

How has it impacted you?

It has helped me develop a greater appreciation for the role of women in sports. When I was a little kid, I played on co-ed teams, and I was like: 'Are you kidding?' I didn't want girls on my team because it was going to make my team worse. But now I go to my sister's volleyball matches, and they are intense. Girls' soccer is even more intense. And some of those girls' basketball players are 6-foot-4.

Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing?

I think it's a good thing. It's about equality. Women, in earlier times, didn't have much of a role in society. They were expected to cook, clean and take care of the kids but nothing more. But now their role in society has become much greater. They are CEOs of businesses and companies. It's actually fair. Women are just as capable of performing athletically and providing entertainment as men.


April Smith, Angleton Junior High (Texas)
Microcomputer technology, career education, physical education teacher, volleyball, basketball and track coach

Title IX
April Smith

What does Title IX mean to you?

Title IX means that I can expect that my female athletes have the same facilities and access to those facilities as male athletes. It means that I can encourage them to pursue their athletic dreams to the collegiate level, because there will be resources available to fund their education. It also means that they will not be limited to simply playing "girls' sports" if they desire to participate in sports that are traditionally marked for boys.

When were you first aware of it?

I was first aware of Title IX when I became a coach five years ago. Even though it was at the junior high level, there were considerations made for the male athletes to improve their athletic ability that were not made for the female athletes. I felt they were wrong and began questioning the practices. It was then that I found out that this was not allowed per the Title IX guidelines.

How has it impacted you?

It has impacted me because I can now fight for equal resource for my athletes. I know that I am not motivating them in vain and can instill in them to expect to be treated equally as a female athlete.

How has it impacted your student-athletes?

Title IX has impacted my athletes because they now can improve their abilities through shared access to facilities and equipment for them to use to work out. Funding provides better equipment and equipment that is appropriate to the sports that they come in contact with on a regular basis to enhance sport-specific skills.

Do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing?

I think that Title IX is a great thing. It affords equal access to females and allows them to improve themselves athletically. Studies show that many positive benefits arise from females participating in sports. Therefore, Title IX is indirectly improving the lives of young ladies everywhere.

Ozhan Bahrambeygui, California
Coast Volleyball Club, executive director

Coast Volleyball Club
Ozhan Bahrambeygui

What does Title IX mean to you?

It means equal opportunity. It creates an opportunity for women in college sports and levels the playing field. The first coach I worked for was Ann Heck, who played on the 1968 Olympic volleyball team. She had to make that team without the experience of high school volleyball because it was not available for female athletes. Almost 20 years later, she was a grad student at USC and was asked to carry the torch for the 1984 Olympics. She wanted to use the training room at USC, but was told it was for athletes only.

When were you first aware of it?

I was first aware of Title IX with my first coaching job with Ann Heck at a junior college in 1989.

How has it impacted you?

Obviously Title IX has had a huge impact on me because as CIF opportunities were created for women, the interest in playing year-round volleyball spiked up and the club market developed. It's interesting, however, that nationally, less than 1 percent of club volleyball athletes go on to play college. Nationally, the club market emerged because of high school opportunities, not college. Most girls playing club volleyball do so to train to play for high school. They want to make their school teams. Now with sand emerging as an NCAA sport, the interest in sand is spiking and Coast Volleyball Club is introducing a sand program as well.

How has Title IX impacted your student-athletes?

Girls are now more willing to play year-round. Players are now more evolved at an earlier age. And there are just more kids playing, period. Over 12 different universities have won national championships, so the talent is deeper and more widespread.

Do you think that Title IX is a good thing or a bad thing?

Of course it's a good thing. It was a great push to make sure that more women are involved in sports, but it's not equal yet. This is mainly due to the fact that there is not a gender equivalent to football. The NCAA recognizes this and is willing to create more opportunities for women such as sand volleyball. They are willing to support more programs for women athletes as new sports emerge. Women involved in competitive athletics on the whole are more socially integrated, better students, more likely to be immersed in a positive and constructive atmosphere. When girls are involved in club sports, they have less time in the day and are forced to manage their time and, as a result, they do better in school. Thirty years ago, people thought that women weren't geared for chemistry and biology and high-level sports. For example, Cal Poly had a student body of 2 men to every 1 woman because the school emphasizes mostly math, sciences and computer science. In the past many viewed women as disfavored in those subjects. Now it's about equal access and gives women the opportunity to excel overall. Title IX did a lot more for women than athletics.