Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Staurowsky Cheers NCAA's New Title IX Compliance Guide

Recently, the NCAA published Equity and Title IX in Intercollegiate Athletics: A Practical Guide --- available here and now permanently added to our blog's resource links. The authors of this guide are attorneys Janet Judge and Tim O'Brien.

As Professor Ellen Staurowsky humorously notes in a column at College Sports Business News, this is what sports fans are waiting for in March -- the opportunity to pour not over brackets, but over a step-by-step compliance guide addressing all three prongs, the entire laundry list, pregnancy, harassment, retaliation, and equal pay. Well, she admits, announcement of this new compliance manual probably did not invoke spontaneous applause, but it is something worth cheering about. As Staurowsky explains,
This generation of young professionals coming soon to an athletic department near you as future employees will not have the latitude as their predecessors once did to wave off responsibility to affirmatively comply with Title IX... The hand of the ticking clock of Title IX compliance has struck the hour of “no more excuses”.

Staurowsky encourages college athletic departments not to deterred from tackling their compliance responsibilities, now clearly laid out before them, by claiming other priorities or lack of funds. Indeed, she surmises, an internal review of Title IX compliance might be "the opportunity to devise and adopt financially sustainable college sport budgets responsive to those enduring problems associated with the financial arms race." It's the Title IX-avoidance mentality that creates the bad spending habits that eventually, after costly litigation, result in "facial cutting of programs that did not result in an interruption in the spending patterns that created problems to begin with but were traumatic nonetheless." By getting out ahead of Title IX compliance, schools can implement balanced priorities that take women's and men's athletics into account and do right by student-athletes for whose sake college sports exist in the first place.