Equal Opportunity? Title IX and Intercollegiate Sports

The subtext of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as it applies to intercollegiate sports could easily be “Bear Bryant in the age of post-modernism.” Bear Bryant, the legendary coach of the powerful University of Alabama football teams of the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, is remembered in faculty circles for his quick assessment of how athletics and academics should be ordered in higher education. In response to questions about how the athletic department could justify its independence from the usual regime of academic deliberations, Mr. Bryant offered that it was unlikely that 50,000 people would show up to watch an English professor give a final exam.