Title IX

Civil Rights Act (1964)


"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Three Prong Test

An educational institution must provide an equal opportunity to participate in competitive sports.  To comply with Title IX, an educational institution must meet one of three prongs:

Participation Opportunities Proportional to Enrollment:  Ratio of male and female athletes is substantially proportionate to the ratio of male and female undergraduate students at an institution.

History and continuing practice of expanding athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex which is responsive to the developing interest and abilities of that sex.

Fully and effectively accommodate the athletic interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex


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.

Federal law prohibits sex-based discrimination in education.

June 23, 1972

Tower Amendment (1974)

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


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.