Academic journal article Journal of Contemporary Athletics

The Implementation of Title IX at Indiana University: A Historical Case Study

Academic journal article Journal of Contemporary Athletics

The Implementation of Title IX at Indiana University: A Historical Case Study

Article excerpt


The intercollegiate athletic program at Indiana University (IU) has a rich history of tradition and success. Athletic teams from IU have captured 24 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national championships and one Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national championship. The university has earned over 125 Big Ten team titles. Former coaches such as Bob Knight, James "Doc" Councilman, and Jerry Yeagley established a tradition of excellence in athletics at IU. Perhaps most widely publicized is the legacy of men's basketball (Hammel & Klingelhoffer, 1999). While the athletic department at IU is rich with tradition, doubtless the least publicized and least understood athletic legacy at IU is the development of the women's intercollegiate athletic program (Gregg, 2012).

This study is to documents the history of administrative decisions at IU that shaped the current structure of the women's athletic program. It emphasizes the struggles caused by the interaction of legislation, particularly Title IX, with alternative objectives held by key stakeholders of IU's athletic department. This study serves as a point of reference for current inequities evident within intercollegiate athletics and sheds light on the power of key stakeholders to shape policy and organizational decision-making.


Stakeholder Theory

Stakeholder theory provides a context that allows for an understanding of the role individuals and groups play in the decision-making process within a given system (Friedman, Parent, and Mason, 2004). Stakeholders are individuals and groups that have a vested interest in a particular entity. Stakeholders typically have access to organizational power, the ability to acquire precious resources, or the capacity to influence the outcome of a given scenario (Wu, 2012). According to Freeman (1984), the capability of an organization to thrive in a competitive market depends on its ability to meet the goals, needs, and motivations of various stakeholder groups simultaneously. Mitchell, Angle, and Wood (1997) postulated that certain attributes of stakeholder groups raise their level of power and authority within a given organization.

For example, coaches of revenue producing sports have a higher standard of clout and receive more tangible benefits because they can provide money to the athletic department. Intercollegiate athletic programs must be particularly mindful of satisfying the needs of a diverse group of stakeholders. Friedman, Parent, and Mason (2004) argued "for an athletic program to be considered successful, it has to satisfy the requirements and desires of the NCAA, the US Federal Government, coaches, non-student athletes, university teachers, administrators, alumni, fans, local community, and athletic department boosters" (173). For the purposes of the current study, all of the stakeholders cited by Friedman, Parent, and Mason (2004) are included in the analysis. As noted above the power of these stakeholders varies in proportion to their ability to influence the acquisition or maintenance of resources necessary for the success of the organization.

Case Study Methodology

Because this research focused on a single institution and unique occurrences within, a single case study methodology was employed (Weston, 2011; Thomas, 2011; Baxter & Jack, 2008; Stake, 2003). Eisenhardt (1989) defined the single case strategy as an analysis of the innumerable intricacies that affect a single organization. Yin (2003) added that case study research is an empirical inquiry that examines an occurrence within its natural context and relies on multiple sources of data. Case study methodology allows the creation of a detailed depiction of a particular occurrence. In this instance, the focal point is the development of a women's intercollegiate athletic program at a major Big Ten university following the ratification of Title IX. …

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