Well we learned quickly that Title IX is in the news almost every day. That being said, 2007 was an especially big year for Title IX--and not just because this year marked the 35th anniversary of the legislation.
And we have not been the only people to notice. As various year-in-review and top ten story lists emerge in media outlets all over the country we see various Title IX stories popping us as major headline-grabbers.
The Naples Daily News, which has been covering the various Title IX controversies at Florida Gulf Coast, named the investigation into the original complaint this past summer the number 9 top story of the year. I personally think everything that happened after the investigation ended has been far more newsworthy--and the story does mention the termination of the university counsel and the poor performance evaluations given to two of the complaining head coaches. But those incidents, in hindsight, look like the very tip of the misogynistic, homophobic, ignorant FGCU iceberg.
The Daily Herald which covers suburban Chicago has a top ten women's sports stories of 2007 and columnist Patricia Babcock McGraw named the Lindy Vivas verdict the 5th most important story of the year. Unfortunately she seems to have compiled the list before the Johnson-Klein verdict ($19.1 million) came out in early December because she writes that Vivas's was the largest jury award in a Title IX retaliation case ever.
The Daily Camera in Colorado counted down the top ten local stories (as chosen by their staff) of the year and named CU's settlement of its Title IX lawsuit, worth $2.85 million, number four on the list. CU settled the sexual assault lawsuit brought by two former students who accused the university of failing to do enough to stop the behavior that was occurring at football recruiting parties.
A review of the Long Beach Unified School District's year found the lawsuit brought by gymnasts who were kicked out of their gym and had some of their equipment damaged in the process to be one of the "highlights" (guess it depends on what side you are on) of 2007.
Lacrosse Magazine, in their top seven (seven??) stories of the year cite the dropping of two programs, women's lacrosse at Ohio University and men's at Butler University. LM was very responsible and noted that OU "cited Title IX compliance" as a reason for dropping the program but the magazine itself did not support this claim (which, of course, is not true).
Seven must be the magic number this year (I suppose next year there will be top 8 of 2008 lists) because Pat Griffin over at the It Takes a Team! Blog has her top 7 LGBT sports stories. Number one on her list is the Rene Portland resignation triggered (though no one official is admitting this) by the lawsuit brought by former player Jennifer Harris. The settlement of the lawsuit is number 4 on her list. Number 6 was the Lindy Vivas verdict in her discrimination case against Fresno State.
Stay tuned for our own Top Ten Title IX stories of 2007 coming tomorrow.