ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET
Mr. Patrick Thornton
Legal Aspects of Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics
Faculty Use Only
Culminating Position Paper
Antionette M. Carr
Cheerleading is not the same childhood activity that most people have become accustomed. In the late 1970s, a new form of cheerleading emerged called competitive cheer. Competitive cheer has gained enormous popularity among females in high schools, colleges and universities; while, traditional side line cheerleading has remained constant (Varnavas, 2009, p. 41). Approximately half of the states in the United States have already recognized high school cheerleading under Title IX legislation (Varnavas, 2009, p. 41). Since the popularity of competitive cheer is increasing, many colleges and universities are looking to improve Title IX compliance with the addition of competitive cheer as a participation opportunity for its female students. These colleges and universities are faced with the dilemma that competitive cheer is not recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a sport; therefore, the researcher feels that competitive cheer should be an intercollegiate varsity sport. The purpose of this position paper is to provide perspective to the problems that colleges and universities face in complying with Title IX and to provide reasons why competitive cheerleading should be an intercollegiate varsity sport. Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, female participation in sports has increased dramatically. Girls and women are no longer relegated to the sidelines, but are suiting up and joining men on the playing fields. The legislation of Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive Federal financial assistance. The law states: “No person in the United States, shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance” (Carpenter and Acosta, 2005, p. 3). Title IX was enacted to deal with all aspects of education, including admissions, recruitment, course offerings, financial assistance, housing, counseling, physical education, employment, insurance benefits, student health, and martial and parental status of students. During the original conception of the amendment there was no obvious documentation that sports programs and athletic activities at the interscholastic and intercollegiate levels were covered under the regulations of Title IX. Therefore, a great deal of perplexity generated on how to handle athletic sports under the Title IX Amendment. As a result, in 1974, the Javits Amendment became a component of Title IX which acknowledges that all athletic activities and sports would be included in the legislation. In the 1996 Clarification, the Department of Education provided educational institutions and programs with an extensive range of specific factors and descriptive examples to assist institutions and programs understand the flexibility of the “three-prong test.” The “three-prong test” determines whether an educational institution’s intercollegiate athletics program offers fair and equitable participation opportunities for both genders; the educational institution must show compliance with one of the following three prongs: 1.
Prong One shows that male and female athletes are substantially proportionate to the institution’s respective undergraduate enrollment. 2.
Prong Two shows a history and continuing practice of expanding opportunities for the underrepresented sex among the intercollegiate athletes. 3.
Prong Three demonstrates fully and effectively accommodate the interest and abilities of the underrepresented sex of the...
References: Biediger v. Quinnipiac University, 616 F. Supp. 2d 277 (D. Conn. 2009)
Carpenter, L.J. and Acosta, R.V. (2005). Title IX. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
(2010, July 22). Inside Higher Ed. Key Title IX ruling. Retrieved December 4, 2011 from
The Associated Press. (2009). USA Today. Judge: Quinnipaic can’t eliminate women’s
USA Federation for Sport Cheering. (2011). Retrieved December 17, 2011 from
Varnavas, H. (2009). Should cheerleading be a sport? Illinois Business Law Journal, (1) 40-48. Retrieved December 17, 2011 from http://www.law.illinois.edu/bljournal/post/2009/09/21/Should-Cheerleading-be-a-Sport.aspx
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