2 The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 12, 1999
From iconoclastic disco queens to reconciling American involvement in
Vietnam to the sexual revolution, the 1970s was a
TFr da n
The sixth in a seven-part series chronichug the University
of Michigan in the 20th Century. \
had to push
By Stephanie Offen
Daily Sports Writer
Micki King, an Olympic diving
champion in the 1960s, was one of the
few females to participate in athletics at
Michigan before federal legislation
forced schools to provide the same
opportunities for women as they did for
It wasn't until the passage of Title IX
of the Civil Rights Act of 1973 that
women began to make widely visible
strides toward equality in sports.
But it was long before that plea for
equality that women made a name for
themselves in athletics at the
King and diving coach Dick Kimball,
who has coached at Michigan for 41
years, became pioneers of their time,
circumventing the system to find a way
for King to train and compete before
women's sports were at the varsity
"One of coach Kimball's greatest
lines was that he didn't coach men or
women he coached people," King said.
"He taught me dives that no woman had
ever done before. I pioneered those
dives. Coach Kimball knew that I could
do it. Coach Kimball knew that we were
a team of people."
King, who is now the assistant athlet-
ic director in charge of Olympic sports
at Kentucky, used to duck through back
doors and slip into public bathrooms of
the men's pool for the opportunity to
train when it would otherwise not be
"We used the women's pool at the
CCRB," King said. "What was ironic
was that the men were allowed to come
into and use the women's pool but the
women couldn't even come into the
"What Kimball would do was sneak
us through the back doors because the
front door was right in front of the
administrators. We used the spectator
bathroom and used washcloths and the
public sink as a shower. We thought we
Kimball realized their appreciation
for his unordinary kindness. He was
before his time in realizing the necessi-
ty for an act such as Title IX.
"I've coached girls since I've been
here and have not always been paid for
it," Kimball said. "I coached girls for 17
years before I was paid at all. And sud-
denly they gave me $1,000 for coach-
ing. And the next year they doubled the
responsibilities of my job because of
After the act took effect, the
University Athletic Department added
seven women's varsity sports - basket-
ball, field hockey, gymnastics, synchro-
images, personalities and reminders of the '70s: (clockwise from top) former Calif. Gov.
Jerry Brown, actress Jane Fonda and her then husband social activist Tom Hayden (cour-
tesy of The Associated Press), John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever," (courtesy of New
Une Cinema), actor Paul Newman (courtesy of AP) and former President Jimmy Carter
(courtesy of The Carter Library).
College lif e went
Courtesy of Dick Kimal"
Former Michigan diver Micki King, an Olympic champion, had to sneak into the all-male
pool on campus before Title IX was passed, mandating gender equality in varsity sports.
nized swimming, tennis, volleyball and
swimming and diving..
And with these sports came the
expected opposition. Title IX was chal-
lenged at Michigan in 1976, when two
male athletes wanted to compete on the
varsity level in volleyball. Eric Stannard
and Rick Chad challenged the bill under
section 86.41(b) of the act, which stated
that all students - male and female -
must have the opportunity to try out for
a varsity team, even if that particular
sport is not offered for that sex. The
organization that oversaw Michigan
women's athletics refused the com-
But that refusal did not end the oppo-
sition to women's athletics. How to
fund women's athletics and questions
surrounding the necessity of the seven
women's teams continued to hinder the
People wondered where the $80,000
to support the women's sports budget
would come. Football revenue provided
most of the Athletic Department's bud-
get, covering all male non-revenue
The second complaint was directed
toward those advocating for the female
athletics. King and other Olympic
champions favored women's sports, but
people often ignored their views, claim-
ing they were not reflective of most
Behind the times
Even though Michigan had one of the
top athletic programs in the nation, it
lagged behind in women's athletics.
Kimball said that during the '70s, the
administration's 'good-old boys' view
"That network is hard to break
down," Kimball said. "Most of the ath-
letic directors back then were former
football coaches and the non-revenue
sports were not put on the same level as
football or basketball. And women were
even a notch down from that."
But Phyllis Ocker, a member of the
Burns Committee, which lobbied the
Athletic Department to comply with
Title IX, said many reasons factored
into Michigan's sluggish efforts to start
the women's athletic program.
"Michigan did move slowly but we
were trying to do things right," Ocker
said. "We were worried about the facil-
ities and had to take thoughtful mea-
By July 1, 1978, schools across the
country were forced to comply with the
bill. At this time, three complaints,
which focused on recruiting and schol-
arships, had been filed against
Michigan. Women were still only
receiving half-tuition for scholarships.
Today, many schools still do not
comply with Title IX. As Michigan goes
ahead with plans to add men's soccer to
its varsity roster next year, women's
water polo will also get varsity status.
As the University adds each new men's
varsity sport, it must also add a
women's sport. To comply with Title
IX, schools must maintain a number of
male and female athletes that reflects
the school's overall enrollment figures.
"The test of Title IX is to go into high
schools and ask the girls about the his-
tory of their teams," said King, whose
high school-aged daughter is being
recruited by colleges for tennis. "When
today's 17-year-old assumes there has
always been a volleyball team at their
school, then it has become accepted as
part of their culture."
By Anna Clark
Daily Staff Reporter
Caught between the more reserved and
complacent 1980s and the radical, free-spirit-
ed 1960s, the 1970s served as a time of tran-
sition in the life of college students. While
many students clung to the social movements
born out of the '60s, others began to think
more about the comforts of their own lives.
"People were wishing it was the '60s,"
said University alum Rich Wallach, who
graduated in 1979.
Another University alum, Brian Grant,
noticed a similar trend.
"Activism was winding down in the '70s,
much to my chagrin," said Grant, who grad-
uated in 1974. "But there was still a sort of
He cited the rapid evolution from the
elimination of residence hall curfews in
1970 to the coed
bathrooms he used "peo leW
while living in East
Quad Residence it was thle
Hall as examples of
what he called the
victim of students'
anti-elitism attitudes was classic Greek life,
which one 1981 graduate, who asked to
remain anonymous, said was "an insipid
world I never went near."
With participation down to an all-time
low of 4.7 percent of students in 1973, 15
fraternities and five sororities were forced
to close, some of which never re-opened.
The national women's liberation move-
ment was active at the University, several
"Feminism was pretty strong then," Grant
said. "Men were in a difficult situation, try-
ing to adjust."
The introduction of women's sports, follow-
ing the passage of Title IX, provided an outlet
for women on campus. The first complete sea-
son for varsity women's sports was the 1975-
76 school year, with the first ever women's
swimming, tennis, basketball, volleyball, field
hockey and synchronized swimming teams.
While 1.977 LSA graduate Alice Taylor
said she recalls "the thrill of playing intra-
mural football" and appreciated the newly
formed:women's varsity teams, not every-
one was optimistic about changes Title IX
was making to collegiate sports.
"There isn't any way that you can have
equality of financing with both men and
women. Because women's sports, at least today
and speculating about the future, probably will
not be a revenue sport," said then football
coach Glenn "Bo" Schembechler in a Sept. 5,
1975 interview with The Michigan Daily.
For the majority of students, "women's
sports weren't yet on the radar," Grant said.
In addition to acting on behalf of the
women's liberation movement, students
began to pay closer attention to environ-
"Ecology was definitely a big issue," said
the 1981 University graduate who wished
to remain anonymous.
The birth of a student group, ENACT -
Environmental Action for Survival - high-
lighted the environmental movement. The
re wIihn sponsored campus
events tied to the
GVsf' nation's first Earth
Day conference in
- Rich Wallach 1970.
University alum But, political con-
cerns on campus
hadn't vanished. In
1972, 2,000 people gathered on the Diag to
mourn 11 Israeli Olympians who had been
slain. A rabbi from Hillel led the students.
They "sang anti-violence songs such as Bob
Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind,"' as reported
in the Daily on Sept. 6, 1972.
Another mark of the decade was the state
of Michigan lowering the drinking age to
"With the fact that we could drink, plus
legalized pot, this became an important part
of college life," the anonymous 1981 grad-
Grant said society in general viewed drug
use much more loosely than it does today.
"Drug and alcohol use were common," he
said. "There wasn't so much negativism
attached to it then as there is now. The
stakes were lower."
As the 1980s approached, the University
appeared to be returning to traditionalism.
Gradually, the "yuppie" began to replace
the "hippie." Greek life had a resurgence in
popularity, the demand for football tickets
increased sharply and participation in stu-
dent military corps rose.
Film 11i- 7PArlrino' Pmui of rivarnnintm~rnt nd 1-rmnil