Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Welch Suggs

First Page



The NCAA is trying to send a stronger message about the importance of the educational goals of college sports, as evidenced by the elevation of academic standards. However, colleges send a powerful message to parents by rewarding them for allowing their children to play a single sport year-round, to the exclusion of other activities. If sport offers a stronger guarantee of college admission than study--and Bowen's work indicates that is true not just at big-time sports powerhouses, but also at the country's most prestigious colleges--who can blame a student or parent from diving into sports? The future of women's athletics is bound up in how colleges grapple with these issues. However, American society has embraced Title IX. Female athletes are part of the mainstream now at all levels, from tiny-tot soccer to professional basketball and even college football. Women's wrestling is an Olympic sport, starting with the 2004 Olympics. Women now have a wealth of opportunities to find sports that best suit them and offer all the benefits of an athletic lifestyle. With only a modicum of talent, a female athlete can play soccer in recreational leagues as a child, compete on varsity teams in high school and college, and find adult leagues in most cities for the rest of her life. The same holds true for many other sports. This is the triumph of Title IX. Parents now have the same expectations of their daughters as they do of their sons. In most cases, little girls have the chance to learn the same lessons, dream the same dreams, and shoot for the same goals as little boys. And any girl who expresses a desire to play college sports, and shows the willingness to work hard to be an athlete, will find herself a place on a team.