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Achieving Title IX Dividends Through Empowering NCAA Coaches & Administrators . Ellen J. Staurowsky, Ed.D. Professor & Graduate Chair Department of Sport Management & Media, Ithaca College, Erianne Weight, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Department of Sport Management

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achieving title ix dividends through empowering ncaa coaches administrators

Achieving Title IX Dividends Through Empowering NCAA Coaches & Administrators

Ellen J. Staurowsky, Ed.D. Professor & Graduate Chair

Department of Sport Management & Media,

Ithaca College,

Erianne Weight, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Department of Sport Management

Bowling Green State University,



Title IX Literacy Among NCAA Coaches

overview of presentation
Putting the Pieces Together


Literature Review

Creation of the Survey

Method of Data Collection

Notable Findings

Conclusions & Next Steps

Your Thoughts

NY Times, March 13, 2010

Overview of Presentation
the issue title ix an education act few educators equipped to act

The Issue: Title IX: An Education Act, Few Educators Equipped To Act

“fewer than 50 percent of educators understand what Title IX covers and … only a miniscule percent of students and parents are aware of their rights under Title IX” (Feminist Majority, 2007)

our curiosity

Our Curiosity

If significant shortfalls exist among educators and the general public, what does this picture look like among college coaches?

what does the research tell us
What does the research tell us?
  • Generational flow in access to Title IX information
  • Late 1970s/early 1980s
    • Leadership of NAGWS involved in shaping Title IX regs
    • 90% of women’s college programs were run by women
    • 90% of coaches of women’s teams were women
    • Female coaches passed on a Title IX legacy to female athletes (Carpenter & Acosta, 2010)
  • One of the only studies of female athletes’ knowledge & perceptions of Title IX (Jacob & Mathes, 1996)
    • Female athletes more likely to discuss equity issues with female coaches than with male coaches
compounding factor
Compounding Factor
  • The generation of female athletes who would have learned about Title IX from female coaches have been retaliated against by their employers for bringing forward Title IX compliance issues
    • Selpizio and Bass v. Mesa Community College, 2008
    • Vivas v. Fresno State, 2007
    • Atkinson v Lafayette College (2002)
    • Lamb-Bowman v Delaware State University (2001)
    • Lowery v Texas A&M University System (1997)
    • Mehus v Emporia State University (2004)
    • Morris v Fordham (2004)
    • Tyler v Howard University (1993)
our research questions
Our Research Questions
  • How do coaches receive instruction about Title IX?
  • Can an assumption be made that coaches, simply by virtue of having been varsity athletes, have received an education about Title IX?
  • If Title IX education is not adequate, how does this affect the gatekeeping function required to ensure that progress under Title IX is made & maintained?
title ix coach literacy survey
Title IX Coach Literacy Survey
  • 29 questions covering 4 major areas
    • Title IX Literacy: How Much Do Coaches Know? (influenced in part by Jacob & Mathes, 1996)
      • Where do coaches get their Title IX information from?
    • Is there pressure on coaches to remain silent on Title IX issues? Do coaches perceive that they will suffer retaliation if they bring up Title IX concerns?
    • Perceptions of existing inequities in athletics departments among
    • Demographics
method of data collection
Method of Data Collection
  • Approached several coaches associations requesting that the survey be distributed to their members
    • USA Track & Field & US Field Hockey Coaches Association agreed to send to members
  • Randomly selected 100 NCAA Division I and Division III institutions – sent survey to the head coaches of those programs
    • Compiled emails from institutional directories
demographics n 1 085
DemographicsN = 1,085
  • Gender Breakdown
    • Female – 41% (342)
    • Male – 60% (494
    • Transgender – 0%
    • Other - .2% (2)
  • Job Title
    • Head Coach – 61% (505)
    • Ass’t Coach – 38% (305)
    • Grad Ass’t – 2.4% (20)
  • Level of Education
    • Bachelor’s – 17% (142)
    • Bachelor’s + - 25% (210)
    • Master’s – 40% (335)
    • Master’s + - 16% (134)
    • Law Degree - .5% (4)
    • Doctoral Degree – 3% (23)
Athletic Department in Compliance?

Does institution have a Gender Equity Committee?

Do you review EADA report each year?

Is Title IX compliance your responsibility?

summary of findings
Summary of Findings
  • Over 83% of coaches report never being taught about Title IX as part of their preparation for the job
  • Nearly 79% of coaches believe that their department is in compliance with Title IX
  • Just under 50% of coaches report that their institution has a Gender Equity Committee
  • Over 82% indicate they do not review EADA report yearly
  • While 60% of coaches believe it is their responsibility to bring forward issues regarding Title IX, 40% believe this is not their responsibility
Coach Experience of Pressure Around Title IX

Ever Feel You Might Lose Your Job

narrative data
Narrative Data
  • Coaches were invited to elaborate on their “views regarding Title IX and gender equity in college and university athletic programs.”
    • 148 responses
    • Evident need to voice thoughts on the topic.
      • Five coding categories – eighteen sub-categories
      • Inter-rater reliability 93.56%
supportive of the law and its interpretation 19 80
Supportive of the law and its interpretation - 19.80%
  • Needs more enforcement 7.43% (n=15)
    • “I wish that someone could investigate as much as NCAA violations are looked into…it is awful how bad some schools are!” (Respondent 71)
    • “I continue to be appalled at the average person’s perception of Title IX and how it ‘has resulted in the dropping of men’s sports’…people are very ignorant. It is very very sad that equity has to be legislated…I wish the policing system was better…I’d love to be a Title IX officer!!!” (Respondent 76).
  • Suggested additional steps need to be taken – we’re far from gender equality 6.93% (n=14)
    • “…we still have a ways to go”
non supportive of the interpretation application of the law 36 63
Non-supportive of the interpretation/application of the law – 36.63%
  • Cutting sports/hurting men’s sports 25.74% (n=52)
    • “Title IX is a good thing that has been turned the wrong way over the years…it is now being used to cut/suppress men’s opportunities” (Respondent 26)
    • “There are huge Title IX discriminations

here on campus –

discriminations of men…”

(Respondent 51)

non supportive of the interpretation application of the law 36 6331
Non-supportive of the interpretation/application of the law – 36.63%
  • Used as an administrative excuse to accomplish hidden agendas 5.45% (n=11)
    • “Title IX is too often used as a weapon by athletic departments to support whatever views the department wants to portray…” (Respondent 9)
  • Roster management/proportionality 2.97% (n=6)
    • “Title IX still has a place in athletics but its interpretation in courts (frequently as a quota) has caused men to lose opportunities to compete and opportunities for women have not necessarily been added in the place of abandoned programs” (Respondent 17)
non supportive of the interpretation application of the law 36 6332
Non-supportive of the interpretation/application of the law – 36.63%
  • “I do not feel women's sports are treated unequally, but I have seen some very inadequate things that have happened negatively because of Title IX. I was at a previous intuitions where we counted the rosters in the Fall for a female spring sport and we were asked to carry players that were trying out for weeks for compliance reasons. The players did not belong on the team and it hurt the girls that had the talent to be there not to mention I felt it was a liability because the players were not at the level of play. I was very saddened to see the affects of this because we are trying to give more opportunities to females but rather it was hurting the sport itself. The main reasons were to be able to add more players to the football program. I have also seen many men's swimming and tennis programs cut to comply with title IX and that hurts everyone. Rather than try to find ways to comply-many schools just cut men's sports to make things equal. Title IX has done great things but there are also negative effects that have set sports back.” (Respondent 62)
suggested modifications to the law and or its application 18 81
Suggested modifications to the law and/or its application – 18.81%
  • Football should be taken out of the equation 12.87% (n=26)
    • “…Why does Title IX regulation not take into account that big football and basketball bank roll most other sports in colleges across the US including many women’s sports?” (Respondent 6)
  • Cap on football spending needed 1.49% (n=3)
    • “Football is too big for it’s britches and it keeps getting bigger…Football is the problem, not Title IX” (Respondent 26)
  • Equality for gender within sports should be championed rather than equality for gender within the entire athletic department 2.97% (n=6)
    • “…The inequity is not between genders, it is between sports” (Respondent 9)
    • “If equity is truly the objective, how can the NCAA justify apportioning such a grossly inequitable amount of scholarships toward women in the same sport as men.” (Respondent 16)
emphasis on the need for additional education for coaches 14 36
Emphasis on the need for additional education for coaches – 14.36%
  • Education needed to correct or question misguided application of the law 3.96% (n=8)
    • “I'm sick of the lack of education that males have in terms of Title IX. They always blame female athletic programs for the termination of male programs. I wish it were required to orient athletic departments on the basics of Title IX” (Respondent 80)
  • Education needed to fight for gender equality 1.49% (n=3)
    • “I would not even know how to get more info on Title IX, however I would be interested in learning more to help support the funding of my program.” (Respondent 96)
classic snippets
Classic Snippets -
  • “I continue to struggle with the idea that has been shut down many times: There is not equal interest in athletics between men and women…I believe there should be a 4th prong for interest shown” (Respondent 15).
  • “…the raging advocates like the Women’s Sports Foundation just don’t care what damage they do to, or how many athletes they hurt due to the elimination of programs. If they really cared, they would advocate equal participation by adding women’s programs, not through cutting men’s programs…” (Respondent 79)
  • “I feel it is my job to coach and it is our administration’s job to ensure we follow all regulations.” (Respondent 53)
    • “It will make sense to society one of these days” (Respondent 60)
  • Compliance could be achieved with less tension and more results if we begin to consciously and proactively educate the people who are closest to the experience.
    • These data suggest the inverse of this has happened – the conduit of information from legislature and administrators has been effectively cutoff because of the lack of information by the intermediaries.
    • If we begin to tackle the role that coaches play – the central role of educating students – perhaps down the road athletic department buy-in might happen much more willingly than what it currently is.
title ix college sport reform
Title IX & College Sport Reform
  • “…I believe the underrepresented sex should be classified as male. Further they should look at the true purpose and mission of the athletic department before looking at Title IX compliance. If it is to make money and raise exposure (NCAA Division I-FBS) than Title IX should not be considered. If the institutional goal for their athletic department is to develop leaders and supplement student’s education, than Title IX should be followed” (Respondent 109).
Clear Away The Debris

What is ailing Title IX?

Apply the litmus test

Reformers vs. Enforcers

addressing lack of title ix buy in by athletics departments
Education for coaches

The tenor of the coach narratives beg for this. They are trying to make sense of Title IX, they are being effected by it, but feel excluded from the process.

Yearly Title IX workshops at departmental levels

Online Title IX tutorials

Compliance model

Addressing Lack of Title IXBuy In By Athletics Departments
planned future phases of this study
Planned Future Phases of This Study
  • Expand to college and university coaches
    • Targeted sampling by sport, association, and level
  • Title IX literacy among college and university athletes
  • Athletics Administrators
    • Impediments and challenges to developing a Title IX literate department