To ensure HCC’s compliance with Title IX as it pertains
to athletics, Bivins conducts an internal audit every year.
“We look to make sure we are being equitable in
how we provide and maintain equipment for both men
and women,” she explains. “For instance, do we give all
of our athletes the same quality of supplies? We look
at the scheduling of games and practice times to make
sure they are equitable. We make sure our athletes have
the same per-diem allowances for travel, and the same
high-quality access to coaching, medical care and aca-
demic tutoring—even the same marketing and publicity.
We want to make sure our female athletes receive the
same opportunities as our male athletes.”
Some critics of Title IX claim it has led to fewer oppor-
tunities for male athletes and cuts to men’s sports teams
in an effort to balance out the numbers of men’s and
women’s programs. But that’s not what the law requires.
As the NCAA states: “Eliminating men’s sports programs is
not the intent of Title IX. The intent of Title IX is to bring
treatment of the disadvantaged gender up to the level of
the advantaged group.”
Bonnette attributes much of the law’s criticism to
misconceptions spread by vocal advocacy groups. Many
schools that have used the law as justification for cutting
men’s sports programs might already have met Title IX
requirements under test three.
“It’s much easier to blame this federal law that people
don’t fully understand than to have to defend their
actions,” she says. “Title IX is an easy excuse for what are
essentially financial decisions.”
Title IX has opened doors for women at Hillsborough Community College