Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

NOTEWORTHY NEWS; Bush Retreats on Title IX Revisions

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

NOTEWORTHY NEWS; Bush Retreats on Title IX Revisions

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

The U.S. Department of Education in early July announced it would not alter its enforcement of the 1972 law known as Title IX that has led to a dramatic increase in women's participation in athletics, heading off challenges to the law by an administration panel considering its alteration.

The Education Department said in a statement on July 11 that it would uphold guidelines it issued in 1996 to the law, which calls for a proportional number of sports opportunities for men and women in college athletics. A presidential commission met to discuss improvements to Title IX, resulting in two documents written by panel members in January.

The federal law led to the creation of women's scholarships, sports programs and some even say women's professional leagues that had not existed before. A group of men's college sports coaches mounted an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn Title IX, and many observers had thought the administration's review of the law would result in significant changes to its enforcement (see Black Issues, April 10).

"Since its enactment in 1972, Title IX has produced significant advancement in athletic opportunities for women and girls across the nation," said Gerald Reynolds, assistant secretary for civil rights at the Education Department, in a statement. "Recognizing that more remains to be done, the Bush administration is firmly committed to building on this legacy and continuing the progress that Title IX has brought toward true equality of opportunity for male and female student-athletes in America."

House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., applauded the Education Department's decision, and urged it to put more energy into enforcing the law.

"Instead of wasting time examining laws that work, I urge the administration to find ways to strengthen Title IX and to fulfill its promise by making sure that all students have an equal playing field, not only for athletics but for all educational opportunities," Pelosi said in a statement.

Jamie Moffatt, executive director of the College Sports Council, said the Bush administration had "sold out to the gender equity advocates." Moffatt is a former Cornell University wrestler and retired businessman. …

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