This reversal of Title IX policy, while narrow, is an important sign of the Obama Administration's support for civil rights. It follows an announcement by the current Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, that the agency will open investigations in 32 school districts and will look closely to see whether educational entities at all levels are complying with civil rights laws such as Title IX.
Overall, Title IX's future looks bright, but areas for progress yet remain. Women still receive disproportionately fewer playing opportunities, fewer scholarships, coaches who are paid less, and lower budgets, despite more than a decade of active Title IX enforcement and litigation. This policy reversal is a hopeful sign that we can expect further progress – instead of retrenchment – in the crucial area of ensuring that female and male athletes are given equal opportunity.