By Ken Reed
Title IX’s 40th anniversary was celebrated earlier this summer. The landmark law has been a godsend for females in terms of participation in athletics, but the impact for female coaches and administrators has been less than stellar.
Sports participation numbers for girls and women were extremely low in 1972, at both the college and high school levels. Those numbers have risen dramatically, although they still fall short of their male counterparts. In the recently completed London Olympics, Team USA included more females than males for the first time.
However, the percentage of women coaching female teams has dropped from 90 percent in 1972 to 43 percent today. According to Megan Greenwell in a recent article, the explanation is pretty straightforward.
“By legitimizing women’s sports, Title IX bestowed a new level of respect — and significantly higher salaries — on college coaching jobs, transforming them from passion projects for the most dedicated women’s sports advocates to serious career paths,” wrote Greenwell. As soon as the salaries rose, men interested in coaching pounced on the new opportunities and male athletic directors obliged by hiring them.
A new group was formed last year, the Alliance of Women Coaches, a professional development group for female coaches at all levels. This group is working to change the trend toward males in women’s sports leadership positions. Judy Sweet, one of the founders of the new alliance, and a former athletic director at the University of California at San Diego, believes the challenge will be extremely difficult.
“It requires breaking this cycle of male university presidents hiring male board members hiring male athletic directors hiring male coaches,” says Sweet.
Nevertheless, it’s a challenge worth embracing so that athletically-inclined young women can see that there’s a potential career available in the world of sports — just as their male peers do today.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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