Re: 20/20

Barbara J Tavares (
Mon, 1 Jun 1998 09:38:20 -1000

I, too, was VERY disappointed in the Stossel piece on Title IX and
athletics. First, they made Title IX sound as if it was written to deal
with sports. Actually, the story I heard from Rep. Patsy Mink (D-HI)
is that the athletic ramifications of Title IX were never thought about
when the House Committee of Labor and Education was putting the
finishing touches on the Higher Education Act of 1972. It was after the
being signed by President Nixon that college ADs slowly realized what this
could (and did) mean to their departments. In 1975 Mink led a House
floor fight to protect the language to repeal or soften its impact on
school sports.

The 20/20 report chose to highlight the most extreme situations. Being a
"golden mean" person, myself, if the Stossel report was all I knew about
the ramifications of Title IX on athletics, I would have felt that it was
a case of government intrusion run wild. However, where was the
discussion on the performance of the female US Olympic athletes at the
Nagano games? This was, indeed, the first generation of women brought up
in educational settings with an effort towards parity.

I remember reports in the 80s from midwest universities where the male
teams flew and the females took the bus; male teams slept two to a room
on road trips and females slept four to a room; food allowances were
similarly skewed, and so forth. I am not informed enough to know if this
still goes on, but I know enough to be suspicious.

Thanks to Elizabeth for providing contacts to respond to ABC news. For
generations females never got a chance to play. Besides the scholarships
for school drum majors, where there any scholarships for women before the
70s? If athletics are an important enough to remain in school budgets
because of the benefits derived by students, then females should reap
those benefits, as well.

I hope any of you who have information or anecdotes to share, will pass
them on to ABC news. That's the 20/20 story I'd like to see.

Barbara Tavares
University of Hawaii

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