Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health and Kinesiology

First Advisor

William A Harper

Committee Member 1

Bonnie Blankenship

Committee Member 2

David Klenosky

Committee Member 3

Thomas Templin


When Title IX was first signed into law in the United States in 1972, its intended purpose was to guarantee equal opportunity for women in educational settings. In collegiate athletics Title IX quickly became a battle ground. It became a battle ground over how to increase the number of female collegiate athletes without impacting men’s programs, and also a battle ground over who would have primary responsibility for the administration of women’s sports. When the male-dominated NCAA took over the administration of women’s varsity teams after a 10-year battle with the female-led AIAW, female athletic administrators were forced to relinquish their authority over long-held ideals which governed women’s sports. The AIAW and other leaders in women’s collegiate athletics didn’t go down without a fight, and many expressed grave concern for the direction of women’s athletics under the leadership of men. Now, more than 40 years after the implementation of Title IX, after dramatic increases have been realized in the number of women competing on collegiate sports teams across the US, what if those fears have been realized? Are women’s sports and female athletes better now that they have been forced to adopt the male model of collegiate competition, or would