Deborah Rhode and Christopher J. Walker, “Gender Equity in College Athletics: Women Coaches as a Case Study”

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Abstract:
As Title IX celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary, many have noted its enormous positive effect on women’s sports. But an unintended and too-often neglected byproduct is that as opportunities for female students have increased, opportunities for female professionals have declined. This Article focuses on the barriers that still confront women in college athletics, particularly those who seek professional positions in coaching and administration. Part I presents a brief overview of Title IX, which makes clear its limitations in securing gender equity. Part II.A discusses the declining representation and lower success rate of women coaches, while Part II.B explores the areas of Title IX (and accompanying federal statutory provisions) that have sought to secure their equal treatment. Part III presents the findings of an empirical survey of over 450 coaches of college women’s sports concerning the barriers to gender equity and the role of Title IX. Part IV situates these findings in light of other research on obstacles for women in traditionally male-dominated workplaces, including coaching, and concludes with potential policy prescriptions.
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