Wendy Olson


I was eight years old in the spring of 1973, just one year after the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX, as it was affectionately known by any woman who had ever laced on a pair of sneakers, prohibited sex discrimination in any program or activity receiving federal funds. While I was out trying to break the gender barrier in Bannock Boys Baseball, thousands of women athletes, coaches and administrators were basking in the glory of the legislation that they were convinced would be the first mighty step toward making them the oncourt, onfield, in-locker room equals of their male counterparts. After all, colleges, universities and high schools, the loci of female athletes' most visible exclusion and inferiority, were often recipients of federal funds, and, thus, would have to comply with Title IX's prohibition of sex discrimination. Educators envisioned equal expenditures that would produce equal facilities, equal training, and perhaps even equal salaries for coaches.

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