Title IX | Connecticut Public Radio

Title IX

Jun 25, 2012

Title IX is 40 years old this week...and slowly over that time, it’s meant a big boost in Women’s athletics.

Just to give you some idea - there are nearly 10 times as many high school girls playing organized sports today as there were the year the law went into effect. At the college level, nearly half of the athletic scholarships go to female athletes.

There have been complaints that the law  - which ensures equal access to women - has been damaging to men’s college sports.  Pam Ward doesn’t buy it.  She’s the ESPN announcer who’s covered a range of women’s and men’s sports throughout her career - and broke ground herself as a regular announcer for college football games.  She’ll join us to talk about the impact of Title IX.

In 1972, 7% or 300,000 of all high school athletes were girls - last year, that number had risen to 41% or 3.2 million.  But the changes didn’t happen right away - it took several big events and personalities along the way.  Names like Rebecca Lobo and the other women of the UConn basketball team...Mia Hamm and her band of World Cup winning soccer stars.  But a homegrown network, ESPN played a huge role - first by making airtime to feature these women’s sports, which had previously never been broadcast...then by hiring a new crop of talented female announcers who broke ground themselves.

Also - we’ll talk with former major league pitcher Steve Blass - who went from a skinny prospect in the tiny Connecticut town of Falls Village to the star pitcher on a World Series team - only to be remembered for the strange malady that ended his career.