Friday, August 22, 2008

Professor Dees on Brown and Title IX

In the current issue of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Professor Jermone Dees from Faulkner University's law school argues that integration of American universities following Brown v. Board of Education, rather than Title IX, has done more to increase collegiate athletic opportunities for African-American women. From his conclusion:
African-Americans athletes have had a long history of athletic participation at the high school and collegiate level. The Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1957 eventually resulted in African-American student athletes, both male and female, experiencing greater athletic opportunities at the college level. The implementation of Title IX has increased the athletic opportunities for women overall, but has not resulted in increased diversity in the athletic participation by African-American women, due to a real or perceived lack of interest in the NCAA's nontraditional sports.

In order to create or increase African-American interest in nontraditional sports, secondary schools must provide students access to these sports within the framework of the academic environment. Additionally, recreation leagues need to act in concert with local schools to provide opportunities to learn the fundamentals and gain experience in these sports. Finally, schools and recreation departments must seek sustainable support to enhance diversity of athletic opportunities for African-American females. Until that time, integration, not Title IX, must be credited with the athletic opportunities enjoyed by African-American student-athletes.
A. Jermone Dees, Access or Interest: Why Brown Has Benefited African-American Women More than Title IX, 76 UMKC L. Rev. 625 (2008).