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40 years after Title IX, women in Utah still pushing

Landmark law shattered stereotypes and barriers for women in sports.

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"I can’t even imagine what it would be like if my daughter wasn’t given the same opportunities I was," U. of U. women’s basketball coach Anthony Levrets said.

Title IX has been lauded for more than its impact in the sports world. Women interviewed by The Tribune said the opportunities athletics brought boosted them in the worlds of business and administration.

At a glance

Girls’ sports in Utah high schools

Year of first UHSAA championship

Swim » 1973

Volleyball » 1973

Gymnastics » 1973*

Tennis » 1974

Track » 1974

Basketball » 1976

Cross Country » 1979

Soccer » 1989

Softball » 1990

Drill Team » 1983

Golf » 2008

*Ended in 1989

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Carr, who oversees both men’s and women’s programs at SLCC, said she nearly didn’t apply for her job in 1989.

"I thought no way in conservative Utah would they ever hire a woman to be athletic director over both men and women," she said.

A dozen years earlier, she’d been told there was no place for women in sports.

Carr and others, however, believe Title IX provides a framework for more progress; in that sense, the 40th anniversary is less a celebration than a checkpoint. And, at 40, the question of Title IX is not whether it is over the hill, but how much higher women in sports can climb.

A history of Title IX

Oct. 13, 1967 » President Johnson signs an executive order which prohibits federal contractors from employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex, the order becomes the groundwork for Title IX

June 23, 1972 » Title IX is signed into law by President Nixon

Sept. 20, 1973 » The Battle of the Sexes, Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in a tennis match deemed the “Battle of the Sexes”

Feb. 17, 1976 » The NCAA files a lawsuit challenging the legality of Title IX, claiming no athletic programs receive direct funds. The suit is dismissed.

1976 » Utah’s gymnastics team competes in its first season, finishing 10th at the AIAW Championships and with a 5-3 record overall

1978 » Heath, Education and Welfare Department provides final guidelines for schools to be in compliance

1981-82 » The NCAA crowns Division 1 national champions for the first time in women’s cross country, field hockey, volleyball, swimming, basketball, golf, gymnastics, tennis, outdoor track and softball.

1982 » Utah’s gymnastics team wins its first of five straight NCAA titles

Aug. 7, 1984 » Led by Cheryl Miller, the U.S. Women’s Basketball team wins the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics

Nov. 30, 1991 » The first FIFA Women’s World Cup is held in China. The U.S. beats Norway 2-1 in the final.

1992 » The first gender equity study by the NCAA reveals men constitute 70 percent of student-athletes and receive 70 percent of scholarship funds even though women make up 55 percent of undergraduate students.

1993 » Howard basketball coach Sanya Tyler wins a sex discrimination case under Title IX, receiving $2.4 million, which was later reduced to $1.1 million, because she was paid less than the men’s coach. The decision is the first time a monetary award is given under the Title IX law.

June 5, 1993 » Julie Krone guides Colonial Affair to a win in the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first woman to win a Triple Crown title

1995 » The University of Utah adds women’s soccer

Jan. 16, 1996 » The Office for Civil Rights issues guidelines detailing a ‘three-prong test,’ schools can use to meet Title IX guidelines in opportunities given to women

April 24, 1996 » Women’s basketball announces the formation of the WNBA with the slogan “We Got Next”

1996 » Women’s soccer and softball are part of the Olympic program for the first time. The U.S. wins gold in both sports in the Games held in Atlanta.

June 23, 1997 » The Utah Starzz, an inaugural team in the WNBA, becomes the first team to pass the 100-point mark in a 102-89 win over the LA Sparks.

Feb. 17, 1998 » U.S. Women’s Ice hockey wins the gold medal, beating Canada 3-1, in the first year the sport is included in the Olympic Games

Dec. 22, 1998 » The American Basketball League, announced it was suspending operations during its third season

July 10, 1999 » U.S. vs. China, women’s soccer enjoys its biggest surge in popularity with the U.S. beating China in the World Cup

June 7, 2001 » Utah Starzz center Margo Dydek records the WNBA’s second triple-double, setting a league record for blocked shots in the process with her 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks in a 82-79 win over Orlando

2001 » Enrollment in women’s athletic programs increases dramatically with 41.5 percent of high school athletes in the U.S. being female. Before Title IX, it was only 7.4 percent

June 22, 2002 » Utah Starzz forward Natalie Williams records the first 20/20 performance in WNBA history when she scores 22 points and makes 20 rebounds in a 77-61 win over Sacramento

Dec. 5, 2002 » The WNBA announces the Utah Starzz will relocate to San Antonio for the 2003 season

March 17, 2005 » The Department of Education issues a policy clarification stating that schools may survey female students’ interest in sports via e-mail. Al failure to respond is equated as a lack of interest, concerning Title IX backers.

2006 » Utah’s women’s basketball team plays in the Elite Eight, losing to eventual champion Maryland in overtime

Aug. 6, 2007 » Lorena Ochoa wins the British Open, becoming the first woman to win a championship on Scotland’s sacred course for men

April 20, 2008 » Danica Patrick becomes the first woman to win an Indy race, winning the Japan 300

2008 » Dara Torres, a 41-year-old mother of two, wins three medals in the 2008 Olympics, giving her a total of 12 medals

Jan. 24, 2010 » Displaying ‘girl power’ Kelly Kulick becomes the first woman to win the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament

April 2010 » The Obama administration rescinds the earlier provision allowing schools to presume a ‘lack of interest’ if they don’t respond to surveys judging students’ interest in sports.

March 4, 2011 » Utah’s gymnastics team sets an NCAA record with 15,558 fans in attendance to watch its meet against No. 1 Florida, which beat the Utes 197.0-196.75

March 28, 2011 » Elaine Elliott retires as coach of Utah’s women’s basketball team, leaving as the winningest coach in MWC history, having compiled a 582-234 record in her 27 years as coach

Aug. 3, 2011 » Three female wrestlers who were cut from the varsity team at UC Davis prevail as a federal court finds the university failed to provide sufficient athletic opportunities for women. UC Davis settles, paying more than $1.3 million to cover attorney fees.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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