One of the goals of the federally funded Title IX program, created in 1972 and enforced by the Office of Civil Rights, is to act as a guideline for schools to help close the gap between men’s and women’s sports.
Male athletes, however, still receive more scholarships than women. The NCAA reported in a study from 2014 that 55 percent of the scholarship athletes are male, while women athletes make up the remaining 45 percent.
Recently, several members of the USA Women’s National Team filed a lawsuit fighting for equal wages. Of course students in college aren’t paid, but often it seems as if female sports don’t receive the same amenities as the male sports which is why Title IX has become so important.
At the University of Memphis, a department within the athletic department works to monitor each program to make sure they are within Title IX compliance.
Associate Athletic Director Courtney Vinson is one of the key people at the University of Memphis whose job it is to ensure the university’s compliance with the guidelines set by Title IX.
The NCAA determines how many scholarships are awarded for each sport, but the distribution is directed by these set guidelines: enrollment, scholarship and facility.
While scholarship funding at larger schools is often brought in by the big “money making” sports like football or basketball, the University of Memphis has established fundraisers such as the Tigers Scholarship Fund to help fill the gaps in funding for the student athletes in other sports.
For instance, cheerleader Brooke Dickerson and soccer player Miranda Smith both play sports that are categorized as equivalency sports, which receive a stipend that is a percentage of the scholarship they receive for the year.
Based on information from the U of M financial aid office, a full athletic scholarship is $5,373. Starting in 2015-16, athletes participating in a head count sports, like football and basketball, received an additional $3,000 stipend for the year.