Prof. Alfred Mathewson writes on Title IX's 40th Birthday

June 21, 2012

The National Women's Law Center held a blog carnival to celebrate Title IX's 40th birthday on June 21, 2012.  Prof. Alfred Mathewson, acting director of Africana Studies, posted poignant commentary on the momentous occasion. 

I started teaching Sports Law in the mid-1980’s. I do not think I had heard of Title IX before then. When I started I probably did not spend much time on it. Although I prepared my own course materials, I relied upon 1979 treatise WEISTART AND LOWELL, THE LAW OF SPORTS, which included a sixteen page section entitled “Sex’ in the chapter on the Regulation of Amateur Athletics. Of those, three and a half were devoted to Title IX. The section opened with the observation that “[p]robably the most controversial rules in amateur athletics are those which classify persons who are eligible to participate on the basis of their sex.” I also looked to Ray Yasser’s 1985 SPORTS LAW casebook that devoted sixteen of sixty-six pages in the chapter entitled “Sexual Discrimination in Amateur Athletics” to Title IX. In any event, Title IX’s significance to the course ebbed with the Grove City College decision and rose again with the passage of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988. Today, the current Seventh Edition of YASSER, MCCURDY, GOPELRUD AND WESTON, SPORTS LAW devotes 47 of sixty-two pages to Title IX in the chapter entitled “Gender Equity in Amateur Athletics.” The language used to discuss Title IX issues has changed as much as the gender composition of college sports teams. I now use MITTEN, DAVIS, SMITH AND BERRY, SPORTS LAW AND REGULATION that contains a seventy-eight chapter entitled “Gender Equity Issues in Athletics” devoted almost exclusively to Title IX issues. Likewise, the chapter Intercollegiate Athletics: Gender Equity in WEILER, ROBERTS, ABRAMS AND ROSS, SPORTS AND THE LAW focuses primarily on Title IX.  I did not begin writing about Title IX until 1996 after my friend Linda Green urged me to write about issues affecting Black women in my scholarship.

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