Howard University Coach who Won Title IX Dispute Creates Championship Team

In 1993 a District of Columbia Superior Court jury award Howard University’s female basketball coach, Sanya Tyler, $2.4 million in a discrimination suit against the university. Tyler had sued because the university failed to treat women’s and men’s teams equally as mandated by Title IX, federal legislation mandating sex equity in sports. The jury found that the women’s team got fewer and weaker resources and money than the men’s team. For example, the facilities for the women were much worse than the men’s, and the coaches did not receive either equal salary or support staff. Though a judge later cut that award to $250,000, Tyler gained a moral victory, and her actions have helped universities throughout the country. Tyler commented, “At the upper echelon of this university, they say they understand what this program brings to the table. What I’m waiting for now is to see if Howard really wants a winner, and, if so, is it willing to puts its money where its mouth is?”

Today, with determination and talent, Tyler has turned out a championship team which it ended this year’s regular play with 23 straight wins and subsequently won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament. Last year, team members wore a shirt Tyler had printed under game jerseys which read, “Destiny is not by chance, it’s by choice.” This year, Tyler printed up t-shirts which read, “We are what we constantly do. Therefore, success is not an act, but a habit.”


The Washington Post - March 13, 1997

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