In a win for women and girls in sports, the US Supreme Court has dismissed a case brought by the National Wrestling Coaches Association against the Department of Education challenging Title IX, the landmark law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs. This move by the Supreme Court lets stand the decision by the US District Court of Appeals, which dismissed the Wrestling Association’s case in 2003 on the grounds that the organization failed to show that Title IX policies led to cuts in men’s teams.
Marcia Greenberger, president of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), said, “After almost four years, we hope that the last word on this case has been spoken. Title IX cannot be blamed for cuts to men’s teams. It’s high time the wrestlers stopped using this important law as a scapegoat for their own problems.” NWLC wrote the friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of women’s rights and women’s sports organizations in support of Title IX when the case was first initiated in 2002.
Since the passage of Title IX, girls’ participation in high school sports has increased by roughly 800 percent, with a 400 percent increase in college women’s participation. Despite these gains, women and girls have not yet reached parity in sports participation. For example, while women make up 54 percent of college students, only 43 percent of college athletes are women.