Title IX

Education Amendments Act


"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 education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Equal Opportunity

Title IX Regulations adopted in 1975 apply to all educational programs and activities, including athletics – interscholastic, intercollegiate, club or intramural athletics.

A recipient of federal financial assistance shall provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes.  In determining whether equal opportunities are available, factors considered include:

  1. Whether the selection of sports and levels of competition effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of members of both sexes;
  2. Provision of equipment and supplies
  3. Scheduling of games and practice times
  4. Travel and per diem allowances
  5. Opportunity to receive coaching and academic tutoring
  6. Assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors
  7. Provision of locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities
  8. Provision of medical and training facilities and services
  9. Provision of housing and dining facilities and services
  10. Publicity

No one shall be treated differently than any other person on the basis of sex.

Three-Part Test

A recipient of federal financial assistance which operates or sponsors athletics must provide an equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes. 

To comply with Title IX, an educational institution must meet one of three prongs:

Whether intercollegiate level participation opportunities for male and female students are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.

Where the members of one sex have been and are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes, whether the institution can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion that is demonstrably responsive to the developing interests and abilities of that sex.

Where the members of one sex are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes, and the institution cannot show a continuing practice or program expansion - whether it can be demonstrated that the interests and abilities of the members of that sex have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program.


While the original statute made no reference to sports, the law has primarily been utilized with athletic programs where participation metrics are indicators of potential discrimination.  Fifty years after the landmark legislation, Title IX remains one of the most controversial aspects of college sports today.

Title VI - Civil Rights Act (1964)

Federal law prohibits race-based discrimination in education


Title VII - Civil Rights Act (1964)

Federal law prohibits sex-based discrimination in employment


Title IX - Education Amendments Act (1972)

In 1972, Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964

President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law

Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in education

June 23, 1972

Tower Amendment (1974)

Senator John Tower tried to exclude "revenue producing" sports from Title IX coverage


Javits Amendment (1974)

Senator Jacob Javits unequal spending for different sports permitted if receiving same educational experience  


OCR Regulations (1975) - Equal Opportunity

Effectively accommodate interests and abilities.

Additional Factors: equipment, scheduling, travel, coaches & compensation, locker rooms, practice times, training facilities, housing and publicity


NCAA vs U.S. Dept. HEW (1976)

NCAA filed lawsuit against U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) to challenge the validity of of Title IX.  NCAA lost the lawsuit and started to govern women's athletics in 1982.


Policy Interpretation (1979) - Three Prong Test

Prong One:  Substantially Proportionate

Prong Two:  History and continuing practice of program expansion

Prong Three:  Fully and effectively accommodate interest and abilities 


Grove City vs Bell (1984) - Supreme Court

Supreme Court ruled Title IX only applied to programs or activities that directly received federal funding.  Athletics excluded from Title IX coverage.  

Four years later, Congress passed Civil Rights Restoration Act (1988) to extend Title IX protection to include athletics.


Civil Rights Restoration Act (1988)

Congress passed Civil Rights Restoration Act (1988) to extend Title IX protection for indirect recipients of federal funding.


NCAA Gender Equity Task Force (1992)

NCAA created task force to evaluate gender equity in college sports.  NCAA Gender Equity Study indicated 70% of intercollegiate participants, 77% of athletic operating budgets and 83% of recruiting funds spent on men's athletics.


Franklin vs Gwinnett Public Schools (1992)

Supreme Court ruled that Title IX plaintiffs could recover monetary damages and attorney fees for intentional discrimination.


Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (1994)

NCAA mandated all member institutions disclose participation and spending for intercollegiate athletics annually.


Commission on Opportunity in Athletics (2002)

President Bush appointed commission to study Title IX which reaffirmed the law.  But in 2005, Dept. of Education issued a clarification that participation needs could be met by using an email survey.


Rescinded Email Survey (2010)

President Obama rescinded President Bush's 2005 email survey clarification.