Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
Download Folder

0 items

Women in Sports
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
Gregory, Elizabeth [host]; Howell, Diane [panelist]; Ingersoll, Toby [panelist]; Goldstein, Jody [moderator]. Women in Sports. 2000. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 16, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/living/item/31.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Gregory, Elizabeth [host]; Howell, Diane [panelist]; Ingersoll, Toby [panelist]; Goldstein, Jody [moderator]. (2000). Women in Sports. University of Houston Women’s Studies Living Archives Recordings. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/living/item/31

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Gregory, Elizabeth [host]; Howell, Diane [panelist]; Ingersoll, Toby [panelist]; Goldstein, Jody [moderator], Women in Sports, 2000, University of Houston Women’s Studies Living Archives Recordings, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 16, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/living/item/31.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

URL
Embed Image
Item Description
Title Women in Sports
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Gregory, Elizabeth [host]
  • Howell, Diane [panelist]
  • Ingersoll, Toby [panelist]
  • Goldstein, Jody [moderator]
Date 2000
Description This is an interview with Diane Howell and Toby Ingersoll, two women involved in changes in women in sports. A large portion of the interview is about the panelists' perception of how Title IX has changed things for women over the past 25 years. They cover the changes in the University of Houston and HISD concerning ratio of men to women in sports, scholarships, sports available, salaries, participation levels, and more. They also continue to talk about the arguments against Title IX such as the detrimental effects it's been having on school financials and men's sports, but they also simultaneously provide counter-arguments. The panelists continue to talk about their aspirations and hopes for more strides in the future.
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas
  • Women--Sports
  • Sports--Scholarships, fellowships, etc.--United States.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • Gregory, Elizabeth
  • Howell, Diane
  • Ingersoll, Toby
  • Goldstein, Jody
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • interviews
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b4555844~S11
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name 2011_17_014.m4v
Access File Run Time 01:04:52
Transcript University of Houston Friends of Women’s Studies Presents The Living Archives 1999-2000 Women in Sports: Title IX Panel Discussion Moderator Jody Goldstein Reporter and Columnist The Houston Chronicle Panelists Diane Howell Associate Athletic Director of Sports Programs University of Houston Toby Ingersoll Coordinator of Girls High School Athletic Programs HISD2 Elizabeth Gregory (Welcome by Elizabeth Gregory to the final program of The Living Archives Series this year.) Tonight’s panel on Women and Sports looks at an area in which things are changing fast. Women are involved in sports in unprecedented numbers these days and in all level of competition. But there are still problems. For example, all the members of the US Women’s Soccer Team, victorious this year internationally, received a $2000 victory bonus this year and the US Men’s Soccer Team came in last and all the men received a $20,000 bonus for service. Our panelists have done a lot towards making things better for women athletes in Houston. Toby Ingersoll is a Coordinator of Girls High School Athletic Programs for HISD. From 1972 until 1989 she coached volleyball, tennis and track at three area High Schools and took those teams to lots of titles. She’s had lots of experience with the increasing seriousness with which girls’ sports are regarded. She has a Masters in Administration and has won the Houston Coaching Association Hall of Honor Award and the Athletic Administers Association has honored her. Diane Howell as Associate Athletic Director of Sports Programs at the University of Houston has seen the addition of women’s’ soccer and softball programs and is involved with Houston’s Gender Equity and NCAA’s certification efforts. She was recently named to the NCAA Track and Field Committee and will serve as Committee Chair beginning in September. So both of our panelists can tell us a lot about the changes that have happened in the past couple of decades. Our moderator is Jody Goldstein who has been a reporter and columnist with the Houston Chronicle for ten years. She has covered every area of sports at all levels including the WNBA. The panel will explore Title IX. If you have questions, which I hope you will, we will circulate cards and ask you to write them down. Jody will read them at the end of the discussion. We also invite you to join us afterwards for a small reception. Please join me in welcoming the panel. (Applause)3 Moderator Jody Goldstein First I wanted to tell you a little bit about Title IX before we begin our discussion. Title IX is legislation that has been around since 1972 and essentially states – “that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be derived the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal Financial Assistance.” When the legislation was first introduced it was geared more towards academics rather than sports. As a matter of fact, sports weren’t even mentioned for another 2 years. At that time there were many more men than there were women in college programs such as business and medicine. So they were trying to make sure women weren’t discriminate against when it came to entering these programs. A couple of years later it was brought up that this should apply to sports where there certainly was quite a bit of gender inequality. In 1974 Title IX was amended to include sports. Our panelists were involved in sports right around that time and can tell you how things have changed. Two years ago, on the 25th anniversary of Title IX a lot was done to revisit it and see how things had changed. Unfortunately the numbers revealed that of the 300 largest colleges and universities in this country, only 3 dozen actually comply with Title IX twenty-five years after its enactment There are many reasons for that, one of which is that it is somewhat expensive. Essentially what they are requiring in Title IX is for the men and women to have equal representation in sports as they have in the student body. If women make up 60% of the student body, 60% of the athletes should be women. Which means that universities are having to either cut men’s programs and scholarships or add women’s programs and scholarships. You can imagine that it didn’t sit very well with the men when universities decide to cut their programs instead of add women’s programs. And, of course, when they choose to add women’s programs it is very expensive. My first question for the panel is to ask what the University of Houston and HISD have done over the years to get in compliance. And neither of them is completely in compliance yet. But they are both getting close. They are probably closer than a lot of universities and public school districts. Toby Ingersoll I am a product of HISD. I went to high school at Waltrip back in the mid-1960’s. The sports we had at that time, for females, were volleyball, swimming, tennis and the ever “infamous” archery. During 1964-1967 these were the sports they felt women could participate in. This was pre-Title IX. From Waltrip I went to the University of Houston and played on the volleyball and tennis teams. We funded all of the expenses incurred in traveling to and participating in meets and tournaments. U of H didn’t fund anything for 4 us. None of the women at that time did sports for any reason other than their love of the sport. They weren’t trying to get and education through scholarships. There were no scholarships for women around that time. We just loved to do it and we didn’t know any better. When I graduated from U of H and then when Title IX was enacted, I just went on a mission. For the last 30 years I have been trying to promote women’s athletics on a more equitable basis. After I coached for 17 years, I went into administration. I felt I had done all I could do in coaching and I wanted to be on a different level where I felt I could really have an effect on girls’ athletics. However, in administration you run into the bureaucracies and brick walls and it’s just a constant battle. To show you how far we have come since the mid-1960s; we now have 11 sports. Football, volleyball, cross country, basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, golf, track and softball. Girls also have the opportunity to participate in football if they so choose. Boys do not have the opportunity to participate in volleyball, which is a violation of Title IX. Reverse discrimination sort of. I’ve seen an increase in the number of sports available to girls and the opportunities available to them to extend their education. Moderator Jody Goldstein How close are the ratios between the number of women participating in sports versus the number of men? Toby Ingersoll With the exception of football teams, which require greater numbers of players, the participation levels are now pretty equal. Moderator Jody Goldstein And at the University of Houston? Diane Howell At U of H once Title IX was enacted it was an institutional responsibility to meet compliance. The Athletic Department’s interpretation of Title IX was that it should seek to keep the athletic participation in proportion to the college’s general student body ratio. At that time it was 48% women to 52% men and it would vary back and forth. But would basically stay at around 50/50. Proportionality was one of the ways the court system used to determine whether a university was in compliance with Title IX. So the University of 5 Houston was working to add teams. But what we’ve found over the past 27 years is that the population within the university was changing. Now it’s 54% women and 46% men. And I think this is changing nationwide. And it’s causing increased problems. Moderator Jody Goldstein That’s pretty consistent nationwide. Now it is 54% women in universities and they are now predicting that it will go to 60% women and 40% men by the end of this decade. So this means that you can bring yourself into compliance now but that doesn’t mean you will be in compliance 2 or 3 years from now. The question is whether, as the percentages change in the universities, do you keep adding sports? If you keep adding sports, you will eventually run out of sports to add or you run out of money. Or do you start cutting back from the men again? One of the problems with the legislation is that there is no sliding scale. You can’t be within such and such range. They want it directly proportional. Dine Howell Proportionality is one of the three prongs you can choose to comply with. What has happened nationwide is that universities have been found to be in compliance as long as they show a history and practice of expansion. At the University of Houston what we did was start working toward 50/50. Around eight years ago we were at around 25/75. We started working with a little bit of roster management, where you limit the number of males in sports and try to increase the number of females participating in sports. We’ve added two additional sports programs for women. Two years ago we added soccer program, incrementally funding women’s soccer and of course adding scholarships. And have recently added women’s softball, we will be competing in the fall of 2000, and in two years we plan to add a woman’s golf team. What this will show should the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) audit us, is that we are trying to meet the interest and the abilities of the population of women in our area. You look at what sports are sponsored regionally, regional competitions and regional interests and try to meet them. And your financial assistance must be in proportionate to the number of male/female student athletes. At the University of Houston we are presently up to 40/60 and by next year we will be up to 45/55. This is extremely difficult to do when you are looking at the 120 men athletes you need for a football team versus the small number of women you need for a golf team. So, rather than attempting to match number per number we are trying to show a history and practice of expansion. Show that we are in compliance by trying to meet all the interests and abilities of all the women within our region and conference. And meet all the sports needs of the high school athletes, which we are working diligently to meet. And we should be doing that within the next 2-3 years. 6 Toby Ingersoll At HISD, within the last ten years that I’ve been with the administration, we’ve also added soccer and softball for girls. We had areas, three of our stadium facilities that had room for soccer so we converted the football fields into soccer fields during soccer season. But softball can’t be played on baseball fields and we didn’t have a facility. And we’ve had softball for six years. There have been ongoing talks about building such facilities for years. Parents call and complain about it and a lot of times I refer them to their board member because we have to have the money in order to build the facilities. We now have lawsuits filed on two of our school with the OCR due to our being out of compliance with regard to girl’s softball facilities. Construction on our softball field should begin in June with completion in December or January. Right before softball season starts. It is a shame that it takes a lawsuit to get something accomplished. Moderator Jody Goldstein But this is how most of Title IX has gotten accomplished, either by complaints or lawsuits. Even though this legislation is in place, there is no board or body that can actually run through a list of every public school or university and check to see if they’re in compliance. Essentially, it is brought to attention by an angry parent, student athlete or wanna be athlete through a lawsuit or complaint. That’s why so few are actually in compliance at this time. Diane brought up an interesting point. Compliance deals not only with athlete numbers but also with money. It’s not just how many scholarships you give out, but money allotted to the programs. For every dollar allotted to the men’s programs there should be a dollar allotted to women’s programs if the student body ratio is 50/50. This is extremely difficult for the University of Houston and other large universities. Particularly those Division I universities that play football because you can have 100-125 male athletes for football alone with 85 scholarships being awarded. Compare that to the 15 women’s scholarships that are awarded for basketball. You can fund 5 or 6 women’s basketball teams for what one football team is costing. Toby Ingersoll And that’s just looking at scholarships. Audience Member: “What about equal value?”7 Diane Howell The scholarship values need to be in proportion also. Since we have 60/40 at the University of Houston, 60% of the scholarships should be going to the men and 40% of the scholarships should go to the women. OCR has only allowed a 1-% variance. Moderator Jody Goldstein It’s not just scholarships, but it’s money in general. It’s money for equipment. It’s money for travel and the per diem granted to the athletes. There can be a great disparity. Women’s teams can be expected to sleep two to a bed while the men’s teams are allowed only two men per hotel room. The per diem for meals was larger for men. Some of the men’s teams, especially at the larger universities, were chartering flights for travel while the women’s teams were taking buses. Granted some of the men’s travel was farther away. But the point is it has to be treated equally. It also includes practice schedules. You can’t allot all the good practice times to the men and force the women to practice at the crack of dawn. It includes the tutors that the school helps to provide the students with. One thing that some schools have done is they’ve tried to pair up trips more. Sending the men and women’s teams to the same destination at the same time. I don’t know if the high school teams are doing this more and I imagine that it is harder for some universities to do this with some sports and maybe easier in others. Diane Howell It depends on the type of sport that you’re going to be sponsoring. And whether you want to be competitive on a regional level or a national level. There are also some sports that have strict conference schedules whereas other sports only have conference championships at the end of their season. At U of H what we do is have a standard set per diem and try to provide equitable equipment for each sport. We also try to allot an equitable amount of practice times. They may choose not to use all their time but it does need to be made available to them. Moderator Jody Goldstein And what about coaches? Does each sport get the same number of coaches for each team?8 Diane Howell Yes. Each sport gets the same number of coaches. Moderator Jody Goldstein What about coach’s salaries? Diane Howell No. Coach’s salaries are not but I think that goes into another area. Basically Title VII, I believe, where it talks about when job descriptions are different. That gets into a whole other area – a whole other panel discussion. Although I think, any type of concerns in that regard has not been founded within Title IX. At the University of Houston our scholarships are equitable. We are 60/40 and basically our scholarships are 60/40. Within the NCAA Division 1 Sport sponsorships we meet the minimum. Which is good because that means that we fully fund those sports to compete at a national level. All of the sports that we have that are at a minimum sports sponsorship are funded at the highest level to compete nationally. The athletes stay at the same type of hotel, the same type of travel, the same type of everything. In that respect they are combined. Our sports medicine, our academics, our strengthening and conditioning and our practice and playing facilities are combined also. In that regard we are extremely equitable. Moderator Jody Goldstein Do you envision a time when the University of Houston will be 50/50 on the athletes? Will it take the women being 60% of the population? Do you see it becoming more equal? Diane Howell Yes. Obviously with the addition of sports programs that’s going to do it. We’ve added 20 to25 athletes with women’s soccer, a comparable number with softball, golf added about 10 to 12 women athletes. The other thing we’ve done is roster management so that the number of athletes in men’s sports is reduced. And we’ve tried to encourage our women’s teams to increase their number of participants. 9 The one thing I do not want to do is to cut men’s Olympic sports in order to comply with Title IX. Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of programs and administrations who have eliminated men’s Olympic Sports Programs – track & field, swimming & diving, gymnastics – just to have the funds to continue the programs like football and so forth. What this has created is a backlash. The thinking is, because of Title IX we no longer have a man’s track team, which I think is totally unfair. I would rather see a cutback across the entire department or revenue generation to try to fund those programs rather than to eliminate the men’s programs, because they’re feeling the effects of this also. Moderator Jody Goldstein It doesn’t sit well with the men when this happens. As a matter of fact, San Francisco State University was one of nineteen campuses in California, which were sued and found not to be in compliance with Title IX. In 1995, when they were trying to find a way to bring themselves into compliance, they decided to drop their football program. (Diane Howell – “That would never happen in Texas.”) I don’t think that would happen in Texas either. But you can see where this wouldn’t sit well with a lot of men and a lot of your male athletes. It’s done good things and it’s done bad things. I think all of us, as people who are proponents of athletics, don’t want to see a male athlete not given an opportunity either. We don’t want to see a program dropped if there is a kid out there who really wants to go and play. It’s one student, maybe, who won’t go to U of H. They don’t have a man’s tennis program; they have a woman’s tennis program. Was it because of Title IX? Not necessarily, but it helped them get into compliance and they probably miss out on some good students because of it. On the other hand it is obvious what it has done for women’s sports. A study done last year compared the number of girls competing in high school sports that year with the number of girls competing in high school sports in 1971 showed that the numbers had risen from 300,000 in 1971 to 2.1 million in 1999. Clearly it is a huge increase and it is a huge increase at the college level also. But Title IX has had drawbacks and one of them is losing some men’s sports. That’s one of the biggest arguments that you will hear against Title IX. Although there has been no move to do this and I don’t think that it will happen. One of the other arguments that you hear all the time is to take football out of the equation altogether and then balance everything else when you are trying to see if your in compliance. How do you feel about that? That’s been something that a lot of people have been trying to get Congress to do.10 Toby Ingersoll I’m just speaking again from the public high school level. Football is the biggest moneymaker for HISD. (Jody Goldstein – “And that was going to be our next topic but go ahead.”) Yes. And because we are in the state of Texas where football is king that would never happen. Moderator Jody Goldstein Another huge argument against Title IX, largely by men’s sports and football, is that football does tend to be the moneymaker. It doesn’t tend to make a profit at most schools, actually. It operates at a loss probably more than you’d realize. Only 46% of Division I schools’ athletic departments make money. But it does tend to be the moneymaker of all the sports and their argument is – Why should we bring in this money and 1) have to lose any scholarships and 2) have to lose the money. Why should we have to support the other sports particularly the women’s sports? They are really supporting some of the other men’s sports as well and that’s why they feel they should be exempted. I’d like to hear what each of you thinks on that subject. Diane Howell As far as not counting football, I don’t think that you can do that. Because that would be like saying the law applies to this group but it doesn’t apply to that group. Or you could say that we won’t count it for proportionality but we will count it for the rest of the stuff. They will still have to get the money and they will still have equal tutoring and equal sports medicine, etc. So, I don’t think you can go into it half way that way. You have to treat everyone equitably as far as if you were going to address that situation. And I don’t think eliminating football in the equation is really the way to go with that. I think that’s why you’re seeing more schools and you’re seeing more compliance with the other prong of showing history and practice of expansion rather than the proportionality. And it’s becoming more acceptable. Moderator Jody Goldstein But even that, it has to be moving towards proportionality.11 Diane Howell Oh, yes. And the other thing is the financial end of it all. Because what we’ve seen is women’s sports budgets go from less than 1% to where that has to be equitable also with the number of student athletes, your proportion. And that’s the difference. You see the compliance with how you’re traveling and everything else. That’s where you need to see the changes. And that’s where I think I have seen the most changes, in the recruiting budgets, the scholarship budgets and all the other areas of support for the student athletes. Moderator Jody Goldstein All of which I agree with. Although I can also see the other side of the argument, which is – if I make the money, why can’t I spend the money? And that’s being brought up all the time. The other argument that is being brought up is, if you ask donors or alumni for support, they tend to want to support a particular program. The argument is if you tell your donors that you will take their money but you can’t guarantee that it will go to support a particular program, maybe some people won’t donate who would otherwise. Do you find that though? Diane Howell Well, as you just said, only 46% of the universities make money. So, if money is donated to a particular program, you could use that money to offset the operating budgets not necessarily enhancement. Enhancement is where I think you would get into a problem. If someone were to give me a large donation, using it to offset the cost of their travel and just having the program, the operating of the program, would make sense. Rather than to say we have these extra $100,000 lets buy you all new warm-ups and shoes and travel here and there and stay at better hotels. That’s when you would get into trouble with compliance. If you are just using it to offset the budget then that’s a way I think you could get around it. Now if you wanted to use it to enhance. Say you have a man’s golf team and you want them to travel to Hawaii for a really important tournament. If you have a women’s golf team what you could do to still be in compliance, is say – Okay, this amount of money we can still identify through the budget for the women. So what we will do is take this money and put it over here so they can also use that as enhancement. So that’s how you would balance it out. With football taking in most of the money, as you were saying, they still need other sports to be in the NCAA. You must have seven sponsored sports for NCAA. Football 12 cannot stand on it’s own. You have to have the other sports just to have a Division I Program. So they need the women’s programs. They have to have the women’s programs and they have to have the other man’s programs to even be considered Division I status. Moderator Jody Goldstein And most of them make money off television rights and things like that. But most of them aren’t self-supporting programs anyway. The biggest ones are, some of them make quite a deal of money. But most of them are actually losing money, which I don’t think they would like for us to know. They want us to believe they are big moneymakers. Diane Howell There’s also only so much you can give a student athlete within NCAA guidelines. You can give them a scholarship; you can give them room and board and you can provide them with living expenses up to a certain level. But you cannot go beyond that without them losing their amateur status. So just because they bring in more money doesn’t mean that we need to spend more money on them. Or give them back. But that’s another panel discussion, on amateurs and professionals in athletics. So if a woman’s tennis player is getting the same amount as a man’s football player there is nothing, that you can, within the NCAA guidelines, give above and beyond that. So the money that comes in, basically, should be funding the programs. Toby Ingersoll On the high school level we don’t have donations from alumni we have booster clubs. And we have a lot of parental involvement, especially in some programs that are known nationally, such as Bellaire High School Baseball. They have a facility over there that the Astros could practice at. And the booster club has donated a lot of money over the years, to make this facility a first-class facility. But according to Title IX the girls’ softball team at Bellaire should have a similar facility. If they don’t have a booster club that can do that, then legally the athletic department is responsible for doing it. Moderator Jody Goldstein I guess the reason given for non-compliance so far is simply that it is too expensive. Which, both of you will probably agree, it’s quite expensive if you don’t want to eliminate men’s programs. Or you don’t want to eliminate men’s scholarships. You can 13 either eliminate the program altogether, you can cut back on the number of scholarships that are given and the number of students who participate or you can add. And you can imagine the backlash from cutting back, but adding is expensive. Toby Ingersoll The reason that I’ve been given over the years for not being in compliance with building new softball fields has been the cost of building a softball field. Even though we have the land, money just needed to go to other things besides athletics. As long as nobody was really pushing it, then we’re not going to push it. We’re also not equitable as far as training facilities. We have training room facilities for males and females at each of our athletic facilities. But the girls training room is like a redecorated storage area and the boys training room, which was there first, is actually a training room facility. We do have one girls training room that was added on at a stadium and it is top of the line. It’s better than the boys training facility at that stadium. But the other two training facilities have to be enhanced. We also don’t have dressing room facilities for female officials. And that’s another area of compliance that needs to be addressed. That’s basically at the softball practice fields in the 21 high schools that we have, so we still have a lot to do. It does take a lot of money and it will be a slow process. Moderator Jody Goldstein I have one question here that is from the audience and I can answer it first in one word and then I want both of your opinions. “Are you seeing a marked change in women’s athleticism and at what level is it now compared to male teams?” I can answer that with one word – WNBA. I think the WNBA is a product of Title IX. I think there’s a lot of universities out there who never had women’s basketball teams. The women played at the high school and club levels and that was it. Now that’s one of the easiest teams and one of most obvious teams, I think, when universities started adding women’s teams. You’ve got four more years of good coaching and good players. And I think the WNBA is the result. What do you two think about some of the other sports?14 Toby Ingersoll I agree with that. I think just the addition of so many sports in general, like I said, we had four sports in high school. Archery was really strenuous in high school. They gradually added basketball, track for girls, golf and all the other sports, soccer and softball. Moderator Jody Goldstein And how could we miss soccer with what the women’s team did? Toby Ingersoll It increased the participation and enabled girls. So many guys when they’re in high school they just think – I don’t have to learn algebra because I’m going to be a basketball star. As long as they don’t think along those lines they can use their skill and ability in this sport to get them to the next level which would be college. And you’ll get and education and you will be able to take care of yourself. It just provides more opportunities. Diane Howell The cost of adding a woman’s sport at the University of Houston, for example a woman’s soccer or softball team, basically is $300,000 to $330,000 annually. This shows you how much it costs for scholarships, teams travel, equipment, officials and so forth. Not only do you have to raise the money to add the program; you must also be able to continue the program. It’s not a one-time deal. It’s something that you’re committed to and that you need to be funding annually. That’s why there’s a lot of work that goes into endowing scholarships and programs. I think there has been a tremendous change in the growth of women’s sports and not only on the high school level. Our coaches at the University of Houston now, with many of the sports, are recruiting on a club level. And what you are seeing is a lot of the better athletes, athletes who are getting scholarships, are playing club volleyball, soccer, and basketball and so forth because the level is rising. Right now 98% of the Division I NCAA schools sponsor women’s basketball. So you can see how much that has grown as compared to where it used to be 15 years ago when it was about 76%. It has increased tremendously. Almost everyone is sponsoring women’s basketball now. But you are also seeing the professional levels coming across now. Not only the WNBA but we also have a women’s soccer league that is going to be starting. Women’s volleyball is very competitive in Europe. So there are different avenues for women to compete outside of. And the interest is growing tremendously for these professional 15 sports. The women’s soccer team, especially, has stirred a lot of interest. Now whether it will be able to be sustained is what we really need to see. Question from the audience: How do the television contracts in Division I affect the whole scheme of the way the money is allocated? Diane Howell First of all there is a revenue distribution within Division I, which basically has to deal with the participation in the tournament. Schools that participate in the tournament get a certain percentage. Also you have to have certain sports sponsorships. For example, if you sponsor so many sports you get that much money back from the NCAA to sponsor the sports. There is also a commitment on the national level for equity as far as Title IX goes. So there must be a sports sponsorship for women at this particular level in order to receive this funding. The TV contracts are done according to conferences. The only independent that I am aware of is Notre Dame. Outside of that, most of the television contracts are done as a conference. For example, Conference USA, the Big 12, -SEC, they would have a television package that they would take in and distribute among the various schools. On the national level they distribute according to the number of teams you have competing in the national championships. The more teams you have the bigger your piece of the pie. For football, the more games your team has on television the more revenue you have coming back to you from TV. Moderator Jody Goldstein One thing that we really didn’t discuss was what penalties come from non-compliance. The first and biggest penalty can be that they withhold your funds. But interestingly enough there were some universities who said – Fine, we’ll do without your funds and we’ll do whatever we want. But now punitive damages can be assessed so that it’s not really your option anymore. Diane Howell Compliance with Title IX is not just the athletic department’s responsibility but the institution’s responsibility because it also effects the students receiving their own federal funding of some sort. Any type of grant or anything along that line. It affects the entire school. The University of Houston’s not being in compliance with athletics could effect the women’s studies program, the chemistry department and all the federal funding the institution is receiving.16 Moderator Jody Goldstein Congress made sure it was that way. In 1987 the Supreme Court ruled that they would only look at the federal funding the athletic departments got and Congress didn’t like that. So, they came back a year later with the Civil Rights Restoration Act. Which says that if any part of the university is getting federal funding it is included. It doesn’t just have to be the athletic department. Do you see gymnastics entering either U of H or HISD? Toby Ingersoll We had some gymnastics programs on the middle school level. Our competitive programs are based on what UIL approves. Right now the only program that is approved by the UIL that we are not participating in as a whole district is wrestling. I really don’t see gymnastics being included because of the expense of the sport. Diane Howell When you add a sport one of the things you need to consider is where you will compete. If we were to add gymnastics at the University of Houston, right now our closest competitor would be Nebraska and maybe Louisiana. The team travel would be tremendous just to have a competition. This is something we would probably not look at unless it was very strong at the high school or club level. Moderator Jody Goldstein Another catch twenty-two because if they started it in high school then they would probably have to add it in college. Diane Howell That’s true. Most of the gymnastic programs that produce “Olympians” are at the club level and not part of the high schools or NCAA. Moderator Jody Goldstein That holds true for ice skating, figure skating and that sort of sport.17 “Why is football so popular in Texas? And, do any women play it?” Toby Ingersoll We had a young lady who was the kicker for the Westbury High School soccer team and another young lady at Bellaire High School was a quarterback for a sub-varsity level team. But I don’t think she made it through the whole season. It’s difficult when you have only one or two girls who are part of the team because you run into facilities problems for dressing rooms and half-time pep talk. Moderator Jody Goldstein I’ve seen women play minor league hockey with the men. Diane Howell Women’s ice hockey is a real big growing sport within the NCAA. Moderator Jody Goldstein “What king of donor support for women’s sports do you see? And how do you correlate fan support?” Diane Howell First of all, I think there are a lot of daughters out there. Because women’s sports is growing so much there is opportunity for the daughters to play. There is a lot of interest in supporting the competitive level programs. Women’s sports are now, in our coaching responsibilities, expected to reach the same as the men’s. The win/loss records, the type of public appearances, the marketing promotions and the same type of support. At the University of Houston we quadrupled our women’s attendance in just two years for women’s basketball.18 Toby Ingersoll At the high school level, everybody wants to go out and support the boys. And the girls programs have always been like a stepchild when it comes to support. Parents are always going to be there, but student body support has always been a problem. We tried to address that this year by doing some combination boy/girls games on the schedule for Friday and Saturday nights. That helped a lot. Moderator Jody Goldstein I thought it was interesting that in Connecticut, for example, the sportswriters told me that there were many more fans in the stands at the women’s games than at the men’s games because the women’s team was better. As the teams get better, they will always get more fans in the stand. It’s nice to see that there has been a response to the improved play. They like the level that they are seeing and so they are coming out. Diane Howell Since, traditionally, our men’s programs have been the ones getting media attention the women’s programs have had to piggyback on that to generate interest for themselves until they can stand on their own. I think that’s what a lot of programs have done. Moderator Jody Goldstein I realize that this is largely a sports talk, but when I was doing my research for this I came across a lawsuit that was filed in New York last year on behalf of women artists against four of their larger museums. As we said at the beginning, Title IX was originally intended for academic use and was expanded to include sports. And the basic prongs they look at to see who should fall under Title IX are if it’s for educational use and if it receives public funding. With that in mind, the lawsuit claims that since museums are for educational purposes and they do receive quite a bit of public funding, they should also be proportionate. They claim that there are slightly more women artists in this country than men and yet more men’s works are displayed and displayed more prominently. So they are trying to use Title IX to force the museums to display more works by women and to display them more prominently. This is something that has just come up in the last year and I think that in the next few years they will come up with more and more ways to use Title IX in ways that may not have been originally intended but will be good for women. We have one more question.19 “What happens to women athletes after college? Is there a professional league and how do girls feel about the salary differences? Will it change?” That’s interesting because there have not been a lot of professional leagues for women in this country. Volleyball is very big in Europe and maybe some day will be here too. Basketball has been big all over the world, particularly Europe, for many, many years and that was one of the things that the players said was so wonderful when they came back. The Cynthia Coopers of the world, who we’ve all heard of now, had been playing in Europe for many, many years. Away from their friends, away from their families and it was so exciting for them to be able to come back and play here. Women’s tennis is gaining in popularity right now. Some of the best players do tend to skip college, but more and more are starting to go to college and then playing on the tour. I think we’ll start to see more and more women’s sports. The salaries are still different and I think they are going to be until women’s sports brings in more revenues. Also, once it starts becoming more competitive the salaries should rise. As you get more competitive women out here you have to start paying people more to keep them on your team. As the quality and the numbers go up I think the salaries will go up too. But it is much better. These athletes don’t have to get a job and play on the weekends or go to Europe to play. They can stay at home now. There are opportunities here now that there didn’t use to be. Toby Ingersoll I think that has made a lot of opportunities for women but when you talk about the salaries I think it’s just outrageous. I think it’s just vulgar that so many athletes make the money that they make. Look what you could do for education with Michael Jordan’s salary. Sure he earns his money with endorsements and all of that kind of stuff but I just always look at it from a different perspective. Moderator Jody Goldstein That’s a good point too. The endorsements are out there. And more and more companies are choosing to use the female athletes for their endorsements. This could greatly inflate their income. It’s kind of up to the public to show interest in these women. Look at Cynthia Cooper and Sheryl Swoops, they are making a very comfortable living with these endorsements. Thank you very much. Great questions.
Co-creator
  • Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program
  • The Friends of Women's Studies