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Document Type

Symposium Article

Abstract

The NCAA has had an uneven and sometimes rugged history in its relationship with the role and advancement of women in athletics. To its credit, the organization has shifted from being a perpetuator of outmoded stereotypes to being an effective advocate for Title IX, most notably during the Bush administration. Title IX scuffles have instead moved to private groups or individual schools. Recent litigation against Quinnipiac University reveals how some schools have tried to cut costs by cheating women out of genuine sports experiences. But the litigation is more than just another Title IX case: it captures the fissures created by the ongoing arms races among Division I athletic departments and the pressures on both women’s and men’s Olympic sports. Division I, the richest, smallest division, remains the lone division recording a net loss in numbers of men’s athletic teams. Although money continues to flow into athletic departments at an extraordinary pace, growth is concentrated in only two sports: football and men’s basketball. These budget trends, which affect the quantity and quality of women’s sports, are a warning flag to men’s Olympic sports, whose programs are likely to become the next target for elimination or paring as the two-sport arms races continue.

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