William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


In this twenty-fifth anniversary year of the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the issue of gender equity in athletics is as divisive as ever. Lawsuits by female athletes and the demise of many men's teams have changed perceptions of Title IX in the 1990s and have provided an impetus for a thorough reexamination of the gender equity issue.

In this Article, Professor Parkinson begins with a brief overview of the regulatory framework governing Title IX's application to athletics. He then examines the legal standards by which the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the courts review athletics programs for Title IX compliance. In examining these standards, Parkinson emphasizes OCR's three-part standard by considering it in light of OCR's recent Clarification and the most recent case law. This Article also probes what may be the most divisive gender equity issue in recent years--the elimination of men's sports as a means of narrowing the opportunity gap between men and women.