Photo by Ashley Beall, staff photographer
With the 40th anniversary of Title IX approaching, many questions have been raised about how it’s affecting the female student-athletes on campus.
Title IX states: “The overall equity of treatment and opportunity in athletics while giving schools the flexibility to choose sports based on student body interest, geographic influence, budget restraints and gender ratio.”
This means women and men athletics must be treated equally and reflect the interest of the student body while also reflecting the ratio of men and women on campus.
This, however, can be difficult at times when more of the community and students come to support men athletic games rather than woman sporting events.
“It’s hard because the community supports them more, but it’s like that everywhere,” said sophomore women’s basketball player Kyndal Clark. “But I feel that Drake, overall, tries to create a community that’s beneficial for both genders, and Sandy Hatfield Clubb does a great job of making a family for all of us.”
As Athletic Director at Drake University, it’s Sandy Hatfield Clubb’s job to make sure that women’s athletics are treated equally with those of men.
“Title IX is a complex law designed to hold schools accountable for equity in education including athletics. I believe it’s one of the greatest pieces of laws enacted to advance women in our society and I wouldn’t be sitting here as the Athletic Director without it,” Hatfield Clubb said.
Many of the student athletes on campus feel that Hatfield Clubb does a good job of balancing men and women athletics.
“I do think Sandy (Hatfield Clubb) does a good job making things equal because at some places it’s not as good as what we have here at Drake,” said redshirt senior men’s basketball player Jordan Clarke. “I think that the athletes know there are some inequalities, but I think an outsider would have no idea. I know at other schools it’s clear from their jerseys, shoes or wear around clothes, but here it’s only minor discrepancies.”
However, there are some differences between the men’s and women’s basketball team. For example, the men’s team charters to certain games and tournaments while the women’s basketball team does not. This means when traveling, the men’s basketball team is able to skip through security and go straight onto a small, rented plane just by showing their IDs. But this all comes back to who makes more money, and the men’s basketball team tends to garner more profit than the women’s team.
“It’s a business at the end of the day. You have to put more money into what’s going to make more money,” Clarke said.
With the men making more money than the women’s team, they are able to have more funding available. That means the men’s team occasionally gets things that the women’s team doesn’t. Perks like chartering don’t go by unnoticed by the women’s basketball team.
“The part that’s hard is that they (the men’s basketball team) generate more money so therefore they get more money, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be split to a degree but it’s not always necessarily equal. But it’s not from the school it’s more of the community,” Clark said. “The school, especially Sandy (Hatfield Clubb), tries to keep it equal and the boosters have really stepped up and pushed for us and spread the word to the community.”
But the women’s team does receive support from the men’s basketball team.
“I feel like our team does go out and support as much as we can, whether it be the women’s basketball or volleyball games. We all like to go to the soccer games as well. We feel that if we go out to support them, then they’d be more likely to come support our games,” said senior men’s basketball player Ben Simons.
With the sports world constantly changing, Hatfield Clubb has set up an active plan to be in compliance with Title IX and is having an expert come in and audit Drake’s compliance with the law, which includes three separate approaches to compliance. However, schools are only to be in compliance with one of the three.
The three parts are as follows: Effective Accommodation of Interest—this means that the interests and abilities of women on campus are reflected in the athletics programs and that the ratio of women participating in
athletics is proportional to the ratio of women on campus. Financial Assistance; which means that scholarships and financial aid must be proportional. And lastly, Equivalence in other Benefits in Opportunities; meaning that women must receive equal opportunities in the athletics world as men (gear, uniforms, coaching quality, etc.).
Compared to times before Title IX was created, women’s participation has come a long way and is continually growing.
“As far as Title IX goes, I don’t think it’s on completely equal grounds, but I think it’s come a long way, and it’s going to continue to get better,” Simons said. “For example, you notice a lot of women’s’ teams on TV and they are getting a lot more exposure and support than they used (to have), and it’s only going to get better.”