Title IX adds up for girls’ athletics

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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prevents discrimination based on gender in educational activities that receive federal financial assistance. This statue has helped pave the way for greater equality in education with one of the trickle down effects resulting in an increase in the number of girls who participate in school athletics. On campus, about 350 boys and 230 girls participate in sports.

“I think Title IX’s wonderful,” head golf coach Shannon Glidwell said. “It gives equal opportunities for female athletes and makes sure that we have a level playing field for both genders in terms of opportunities in sports.”

It gives equal opportunities for female athletes and makes sure that we have a level playing field for both genders in terms of opportunities in sports,”

— head golf coach Shannon Glidwell

Before Title IX was signed, 2 percent of of college students participating in sports were women. Now 45 years later, this number has increased by more than 400 percent as a flood of women began to play college sports.

“My mother didn’t have those opportunities,” Glidwell said. “She played high school sports and was very good but there were no other opportunities after that. She graduated in 1961. So it’s like a completely different world. My sister was able to attend college on a scholarship for athletics and my niece is now on a college scholarship.”

Data from sportsscholarship.com put the number of female golfers at Division 1 colleges at 2,099 in 2010-11. Of those, 1,488 received scholarships, which means 70 percent of girls good enough to

play college golf at the highest NCAA level receive a scholarship.

Numbers such as those, have some families seeing golf as a good opportunity to cut college costs.

“Growing up, my dad would tell people that I play golf and the first thing they would say was ‘oh that’s a good scholarship opportunity’,” senior Tori Copeland said. “So many girls golf scholarships go unused and my dad was excited obviously, it’s free college. A lot of people do play golf for a scholarship.”

Provided by Darby Deans
Girls golfers Darby Deans and Loren Matrone (bottom, left to right) signing to their respective universities.

One of those to receive a scholarship for golf is senior Darby Deans. Signing with Kansas State, Deans will head to Manhattan, Kansas in the fall to continue her golfing career.

“When I started golf, I knew I wanted to play in college,” senior Darby Deans said. “More and more girls are starting to play golf because more scholarships are available so it’s causing more people to want to play.”

Over 2101 golf scholarships are available for women annually for NCAA teams and Matrone sees the effects of Title IX.

“There are people that will join just for the money, but now mor

e than ever there are girls that really do care about the sport and are really interested in pursuing at a higher level,” senior Loren Matrone said. “They love what they are doing and they want to continue to play and also get paid to have an education as well. I think it is becoming more prevalent that girls are taking it because they want to play and because they want to love the game rather than just the money but the money helps.”

Matrone’s decision to play golf is paying off as next year she will attend Oklahoma City University on a golf scholarship.

“I had always been told especially with women’s golf that a lot of college golf scholarships go unused because recently it’s not as common of a sport,” Matrone said. “I knew the opportunities were out there for me but it was always I just want to play and see where it takes me. Then when I got good and I started playing competitively, that’s when I really decided I wanted to get a scholarship.”

When I got good and I started playing competitively, that’s when I really decided I wanted to get a scholarship,”

— senior Loren Matrone

Although two of the three seniors on this year’s state-bound team are receiving some sort of golf scholarships, Glidwell says they are not as easy to earn as some people may believe.

“I think there are some people who fall for the myth of college scholarship opportunity,” Glidwell said. “I say myth, there are lots of opportunities there, but the colleges are not gonna give a golf scholarship or a swimming scholarship or a soccer scholarship to just anyone. You have to be able to play your sport and excel, have a work ethic, and be a good student athlete.”

That’s something the Copeland family understands. After going through the process, they know college scholarships are harder to come by than some people may believe.

“We always heard when she first started playing that there were a opportunities for scholarships for women, for young girls coming out of high school that a lot of which didn’t get used because of various reasons,” dad Darrel Copeland said. “I think I kind of find that to be true but not as much as we were led to believe.”