William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


On the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX, it is important to recognize both its historic nature and how it has evolved in political and social context. This Article will begin by examining the history of women’s athletics pre–Title IX, focusing on what activities women participated in, why, and how societal norms shaped their ability to do so. Next, the Article will examine the status of women’s athletic opportunities as Title IX was first proposed, with an emphasis upon its nexus to the women’s rights movement and the Equal Rights Amendment initiative. The Article will then provide historical background for key moments in the passage and application of Title IX, including specifically the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, the role of the Office of Civil Rights and the approach of the various presidential administrations in enforcing Title IX. The Article will then assess key data metrics, such as the number of women in collegiate coaching and administrative positions prior to 1972, in 1997, and finally, in 2019, to determine the impact of Title IX upon coaching opportunities for women. The Article will conclude by recommending concrete steps that should be taken in the current social and political environment to address continuing inequities in opportunities for women in athletics.