When Congress passed T
discrimination in federally
itle XI, which prohibited sex
funded institutions, activists
believed equal treatment for men and women athletes was
within sight. But 14 years later, equality in college sports is
St lla D ream
By Dave Aretha
Swimmer Jill Dorgan (right) watches as Rex Thompson (left), a certified athletic trainer, sends soundwaves through the arms
of baseball player Chris Starr. Although it is the Women's Training Room, the facility is shared with many men's teams.
N THE LATE 1960s, women were opening doors for
themselves. They entered male-dominated professions,
challenged traditional family roles, demanded that their
equality be enshrined in the constitution.
Some women envisioned change in the most male of
all worlds-athletics. They saw a day when colleges and
high schools would fund women's sports at the same
levels as men's football and basketball. Attitudes would
change. Young girls would grow up playing sports and
building character, instead of standing on the sidelines shaking
pompoms. They would learn about competition and teamwork,
values essential to success in the business world.
The idealists also envisioned that women's athletics would
be cleaner and healtier than men's athletics. Instead of being
taught from an early age that "winning is the only thing,"
girls would learn the value of clean, fun competition.
Everyone would be allowed to play. "Every girl in a sport and
a sport for every girl," was the battle cry of the National
Association of Girls' and Women's Sports.
The dream seemed reachable in 1972 when Congress passed
Title IX of the Education Ammendment. The law said that
nobody could be excluded from or discriminated against in "any
educational program or activity receiving federal assistance."
Many women activists believed the law would lead to equal
funds and equal status for female athletics. With high hopes,
the NAGWS and the Association of Intercollegiate- Athletics
for Women drafted governing rules that discouraged a winning-
at-all-costs philopophy. The AIAW even disallowed recruiting
and athletic scholarships, which it considered two of the evil
roots of men's intercollegiate athletics.
But political opposition chipped away at the dream. Equal
fundsafortwomen would mean drastic cuts in men's athletics.
And that, screamed the NCAA, would devastate college
football and basketball, two major sources of revenue for
After debating for several years, the Department of Health,
Education, and Welfare, whose job it was to interpret and
enforce Title IX, decided in 1979 to exempt college football
and basketball from the rule. Those sports should have special
status because they are revenue producers, the department said.
Since universities allot most of their athletic budgets to
football and basketball, the interpretation was a major blow to
But it wasn't the only blow. The dream of a distinctive
women's sports philosophy died. To save money and to
eliminate confusion, high schools in state after state abandoned
the NAGWS rules, adopting the rules of the boy's
sanctioning group, the National Association of State High
Schools Associations, for both sexes.
For similar economical reasons, more and more
intercollegiate women's programs switched from the AIAW to
the NCAA. By 1981, the switchover was complete. All
'Businesses want employees
who have had to function in a
competitive environment, under
stress, who've not taken a back
seat to someone else, and
who've really given their all. For
years corporations have come
to men's athletics and said,
'Who would you recommend for
a job?' Well, we're beginning to
get than in women's athletics.'
Director of Women's Athletics
women athletes would play by the traditional NCAA rules.
Women's sports had become just what the feminists tried to
avoid: a replica, a small replica of men's athletics. That
brilliant dream, which held so much promise in the early '70s,
had been blown to bits.
But despite setbacks, women's athletics has grown
Since 1971, female participation in high school sports has
jumped from about 300,000 to more than 2,000,000. College
participation has risen from about 30,000 to more than
90,000, nearly 200 of which are Wolverines. In 1973,
Michigan didn't have any varsity women's teams. Now it has
ten, just one less than the men.
Thanks to Title IX, the growth in funding is just as
dramatic. In 1971, about one percent of funding in the
NCAA's Division I went to women's athletics; now that
figure is over 20 percent. Many of the larger universities,
including Michigan, now spend $2 million or more on
Take away the top two men's sports and you'll find that
Michigan's men and women athletes get virtually the same
funding, according to Bob DeCarolis, the Michigan Athletic
Department's business manager and former Wolverine softball
"If you take football and basketball out, you're going to
have about a ten percent more participation rate with male
athletes than you are with women, and the scholarships are
going to reflect that," he said. "It's very, very close."
The coaches of Michigan's women's sports earn about the
same salaries as the coaches of their "brother" sports. In 1985-
86, men's track coach Jack Harvey made $35,468, while
women's track coach James Henry earned $33,000. Men's
gymnastics coach Bob Darden made $27,000 while women's
gymnastics coach Dana Kempthorn earned $30,000.
"As far as us getting what the men's (tennis) team gets, it's
probably pretty similar," said Paula Reichert, a women's
tennis team member from 1983-86.
While the 1970s were considered the decade of the
"Women's Sports Revolution," the big boom at Michigan has
been in the '80s. The number of full scholarships for
Michigan's women has increased from about 40 to 70 in the
last four years, according to DeCarolis, and scholarship money
has increased from about $150,000 to more than $600,000 in
the last six years.
"There have been dramatic increases the last couple years,"
DeCarolis said. "For instance, in the area of (women's)
training, we have two full-time people, a full-time graduate
assistant, and more student assistants than we ever had before.
We have people working in the academic advising area that we
never had before. We have people working at Sports
Information, strictly on women's sports, that we never had
It hasn't always been this way.
"I remember when I w
was always the. worst-d
Michigan women's tenni
In order to pay for it
1980 Michigan softball t
three times after rock co
In 1979, two Michigan
the Athletic Department
men's track team got mor
better locker room faciliti
the training room. The m1
while the women did n
violations of Title IX.
Department of Educatio
came to Michigan to c
But according to DeCa
sexist. Other athletic pi
requirements quickly, De
subsidies from the univers
Department is self-suppor
funds for women's sports.
"You don't do these th
was slow and steady. We
requirements and our plan
Meeting the Title IX r
for the expansion of Mic
Ritt, and Michigan's won
each cite other reasons.
wants to win.
"Our philosophy is to
the Big Ten," said DeCar
(generating revenue from;
put this money into the v
the point where they fit in
The women's program
into the philosophy, how
women's teams finished
1986. The track team finis
swim team end up fifth,
Some teams seem to b
basketball team, after an
Ten, was 8-10 in the confe
A NOTHER R
funding is because "the qi
better," said Ocker. "We'i
a longer competitive histq
said the modern female at]
training, including w
Ocker and Ritt said the
Department for improven
and Northwestern, and the
"What I have done
Department more aware
doing," said Ritt. "It isn't
what it takes to be compel
In her three years as co
team has expanded its sche
full scholarships from th
racquets, more informative
recruiting," better uniform
"Freshman year we si
motels - real gross ones
Reichert. "But by junior a
Holiday Inns and Howar
In the last few years, I
country team, new locker i
women's softball diamond
Basketball players Jill Van Stee (left) and Wendye Mingo (right) engaged in "burn-out," a rigorous exercise session, under
the watchful eye of trainer Inger Lundin.
PHOTOS BY ANDI SCHREIBER
Angela Williams, a gymnastics team junior, has her ankle taped before a game by sophomore trainer Kathy Mantila.
WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 14, 1986