Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Gender Equity Regulation and Profitability in College Athletics

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Gender Equity Regulation and Profitability in College Athletics

Article excerpt


Title IX has become a central figure in the profit structure of college athletics. The empirical results from this study provide evidence supporting the prevailing notion that men's college football on the Division 1-A level is the dominant source of profits for collegiate athletic programs. Women's programs are shown to earn significantly less than all men's and gender neutral programs. On the other hand, standard regression analysis reveals a positive relationship between overall profits for a college and the profitability of women's programs, holding constant factors that include football profits, total school enrollment, percent of student athletic aid allocated to women, and conference affiliation. The results provide support to the notion that Title IX regulation is having a positive impact on the financial growth of women's athletic programs.


In 1972 Title IX was established into law as a portion of the Education Amendments. Title IX states "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance" (Curtis & Grant, 2000). Title IX has been the greatest contributing factor that has put forth gender equality in athletics but at the possible cost of many non-profit-generating male athletic programs such as swimming, baseball, and wrestling. Recently the controversy about the efficacy of Title IX and the impact it has on the profitability of collegiate sports has been debated in the media by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, Title IX supporters, and by elite college football programs.

The purpose of this research is to determine the factors that influence the profitability of college athletics and apply the results to the Title IX gender equity versus profit controversy. This paper is divided into six sections. First, background on Title IX and its contributions toward gender equality in sports is discussed. The next section offers a discussion on the role of Division I-A football in collegiate athletics. The third section applies a nonparametric technique in order to compare the profitability of college athletic programs by classification. This is followed by an empirical evaluation of the determinants of profits for 116 college athletic programs with Division I-A football programs. The fifth section evaluates Title IX versus profit proposals. The final section offers concluding remarks.


Title IX was initiated by the 1965 Presidential Executive Order 11246, that prohibits contractors from discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. President Johnson later amended this in 1968 to include discrimination based on gender. In 1970, Rep. Edith Green drafted legislation prohibiting gender discrimination in education. The original bill was an amendment to Title VII, but was later changed to become Title IX (Katz, 2003). On June 23, 1972, Congress enacted Title IX as part of the Educational Amendments. President Richard Nixon signed this portion of the Educational Amendment into law, which prohibits any type of gender discrimination in any educational programs or activities, within an institution receiving federal financial assistance (Curtis & Grant, 2000). The act applies to both public and private schools, from kindergarten through graduate school, and covers admission, recruitment, educational programs and activities, course offerings and access, counseling, financial aid, employment assistance, facilities and housing, health and insurance benefits and services, scholarships, and athletics (Valentin, 2003). From 1972-1973, the first women's championships in badminton, basketball, golf, gymnastics, swimming, track and field, and volleyball were held. The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, the first national governing body for women's competitive sports in college, conducted these events (Suggs, 2002). …

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