||37th NACDA Convention|
June 16-19, 2002
All NACDA Members
The Celebration and Recognition of the 30th Anniversary of Title IX
June 18, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon
I am particularly pleased to be among a select group of pioneers who have had a significant impact on this journey. Before I began, I'm pleased to say that not only is Michelle Tafoya an outstanding commentator and emcee, but also holds the distinction of being, in 1996, the first woman to call television play-by-play of an NCAA basketball tournament game. Let's give Michelle a round of applause.
Here we go, 30 years in five minutes. Very often, I'm asked the question, would we have seen the dramatic changes and opportunities for women in athletics over the last 30 years without the passage of Title IX? My answer is, absolutely not.
I began my Title IX journey at the University of Southern California in 1973. The budget for the entire women's athletics program was a whopping $16,000, and I might be stretching that just a little bit. There were no full-time coaches, no scholarships, etc. It was very typical of women's programs across the country at that time. Very little attention was given to the women's program. There were sports and we did play, thank heaven, but with very limited resources.
The best description of this era for me is a true story. A young volleyball player at USC, while playing a match, sprained her ankle. She quickly got off the court, ran into the locker room without a trainer, because there was no trainer. She put her foot in the toilet bowl, flushed the toilet so that water could run on her ankle and reduce the swelling. She came back to the match and continued playing. That was our early answer to sports medicine. The good news is, times have changed.
The first indication that times were changing for me was in 1974-75 when Gwen Gregory from the Office of Civil Rights visited the USC campus for a meeting with the AD and football coach, John McKay. John met Gwenn at the famous USC watering hole, Julie's, adjacent to the USC campus. I did not attend the lunch, but I know what I heard. John was going to talk some sense into Gwenn about his foolishness called Title IX and Gwenn was trying to convince this famous and successful football coach that this Title IX was a good thing and would not ruin the football program. Well, I'm sure it doesn't surprise you, the lunch ended in a standoff. However, shortly thereafter, John McKay and I had lunch at Julie's and I convinced John that USC needed to provide scholarships for women and improve the women's athletics program. In 1976, the first women's athletics scholarship was awarded at USC to a female tennis player. It was one of the most exciting moments of my early athletics career. John McKay remained a very strong advocate of mine for the rest of his life.
The 1970s and '80s were periods of broken visibility for women in athletics, but not without many distractions along the way. The decade of the '90s has shown the most significant gain for women in athletics. There is no question in my mind that I'm a product of Title IX, not as an athlete, but as an administrator. Without the change in climate, which produced a more enlightened society, I would not be in my position today.
In 1991, I interviewed for the athletics director's position at the University of Washington. My expectations were not real high because, at the time, there were no female ADs at the Division I-A level and there had only been one previous before my hiring. On interview day, I put on my purple suit; Washington's colors are purple and gold. I interviewed for the job and by some miracle, was selected. I still have that purple suit and wear it at least once a year. I can still fit into that purple suite. It, to me, is a symbol of my success.
At the time I was hired, I felt I had the weight of women in athletics on my shoulders and I needed to be successful. As you can imagine, my hiring created quite a stir and I was asked very interesting questions. My two favorites were, do you know you are a pioneer? Yes, thank you very much. And, how can a woman hire a football coach? It's been an action-packed 11 years at Washington, with many ups and downs, but overall, very rewarding. I walked in the door and the Huskies won the national championship in football. I was thinking this is an easy job. This is a piece of cake. Unfortunately, two years later, the Huskies were on probation. It became a much more difficult job.
The odds were great in the beginning. Every meeting I attended had 100 men and me. My golf game improved significantly. Since that time, I have been fortunate to serve as the first female president of NACDA and served on the Board of Directors of the National Football Foundation. The last 30 years have been a time of remarkable and healthy change for women, not only in athletics, but high schools, colleges and universities. One only has to look at the number of women enrolled in medical, dental and law school as an example to understand the quiet and peaceful revolution that has taken place.
The early pioneers of Title IX have done our jobs. Now, it's up to future generations of men and women to carry the torch and continue the journey. Thank you very much.
We are thanking each of our speakers today with these lovely plaques. Thank you Barbara, one more time.
I would like to now bring up Norma Cantu, the former assistant secretary of the Office of Civil Rights. As the person who held that position the longest, from 1993 to 2001, Norma has been one of the most influential people in the enforcement of Title IX. She was considered by many college officials and Civil Rights watchers as the most aggressive advocate of minority, disabled and female students in the last 20 years. Please welcome, Norma Cantu.
I continue to be amazed to be invited to address a group so talented in the area of athletics as this group. I didn't come from a sports background. You can see my figure and know that. I'm a nerd. I study all of the time. I read all of the time. My academic background was that I preferred sitting quietly to anything else. I finished when I was 16, college when I was 19 and I was in law school when I was a teenager. I'm a nerd. I confess it.
When I got into the area of Civil Rights and took on issues of representing women in discrimination, it was in the area of employment. I knew Civil Rights law pretty well when I was selected to head up the Office of Civil Rights, but not in the context of sports. So, I used my first year in the Office of Civil Rights to try to get acquainted with the issues. Why are people so excited about Title IX and why is it so controversial? Even before I got there, Title IX was already controversial. I used a process of consultation. I invited people to come in and educate me about the issues and why Title IX is so important.
People taught me the value of sports. Even though I personally had ignored sports and I found out that was a mistake because sports is so important to our health, it makes us fit for the rest of our lives. I found out that women in particular needed sports because the research conducted on women showed that girls in high school who played sports were less likely to get pregnant and less likely to drop out. I found out that people could afford to go to college because of sports scholarships. I found out that sports builds leadership. People learned how to win gracefully and be a good sportsman and how to lose and dust themselves off and try again and again. I did see a sign that said, "If at first you don't succeed, try it the way your mother taught you, it will probably work."
This period of consultation in my degree taught me a lot and taught me that Title IX was about more than sports. Title IX was about sexual harassment, which affected boys too. There was a study done that boys complained they were being sexually harassed in the classrooms and at colleges. The new period of time taught me about scholarship differentials, testing practices and a lot of other Title IX issues.
At the end of this three-month consultation, I kept hearing we don't need new Title IX laws, we just need an office that will enforce the Title IX laws that already exist. Really, that's what my office did for eight years. We enforced the laws that the courts and Congress had already interpreted. We didn't create new standards, new laws; we just committed ourselves to be active and talk to people about enforcing the laws that were already in place.
In 1994, Congress changed and our office started to lose funding, so did all of the government. This was the period of the government shutdown. We had to figure out how to enforce the law with less money. We trained people to use what we then called alternative dispute resolutions, how to mediate a problem, how to bring the parties together to discuss ways to solve issues. Some people were skeptical and said it wouldn't work in the area of Title IX because everyone was so adversarial and so competitive that people don't want to talk to each other. Well, those critics were wrong. We used mediation in the area of Title IX and when a complaint would come in the office door, we immediately would get people on the phone talking to each other. A lot of these matters were resolved very amicably. I'm proud of the times we were able to solve problems without having to go to court, without having to withstand the pressure of academic budgets.
I spent eight years at OCR. I learned a lot about Title IX and making changes in that office. One of the most important changes I made was that I wanted to hold staff responsible for resolving cases quickly. I kept hearing complaints that athletics cases were taking years and they don't need to take years. The average case resolution time when I left in 2001 was under 180 days. That's almost the same semester. When we learned of a complaint, we were able to get parties together, solve problems and out of the base of university people within 180 days. That was with a smaller staff and a budget that was not at the level of what we needed for Civil Rights enforcement.
What I particularly learned about Title IX was that it's about the future. It's about an American society where discrimination has no place in the classroom. It's about a vision of America's schools and colleges where young men and young women will not be distracted by the issue of sexism in the classroom and that vision is really important. Being able to have scholarships without discrimination is essential. Being able to build leadership skills belongs to both men and women.
What did I learn personally about the 30 years of Title IX? I learned to become a marathon runner. My first run was in 1982. I signed up for the run because I was working for a non-profit group and was looking for clients and witnesses in a court case. The police department was hosting a fund run and I thought I would find a lot of police at this function. It was a 5K and I couldn't even run a 5K. I weighed 230 pounds and I couldn't do it so I walked it. I was so slow that the police cruiser behind me was removing the orange cones as soon as I passed them. I was so slow that one hour after everyone else had finished, I came dragging in. They had waited for me. I didn't understand why they didn't just go home. I found out that only two women had signed up for the marathon. I won second prize. I have a 2' trophy for my first run ever.
In 1997, I decided to see what I could do. I signed up for a marathon. I trained and guess what? With training, women were good at sports and I finished the marathon. I finished my second and I finished my third marathon. So, what I know personally about Title IX is that it is good for everyone. It's good for men and it's good for women. It makes a difference on the global scale and on the personal scale. Speaking of scales, I'm 55 pounds lighter because of the marathons.
I want to focus on a continued commitment to Title IX. We spent the first 30 years of getting more quantity of numbers; more participants and men have grown in Title IX. Women and men have been added. In the next 30 years, I'm looking to issue a challenge. I'm looking to have the best funded, the best supported, highest quality sports programs for all of our students, for everyone. I pledge to work on that challenge for the next 30 years. Title IX is great for everyone and working together, sports is something we can be proud of as Americans. Thank you very much.
Wow, three marathons. Oh my. I thought about doing one, but I don't have those guts. Thank you so much again. It's hard to read these introductions because we're consolidating the backgrounds of amazing women into a 10 or 15-second introduction and it's very difficult to look down at them and know that what I'm about to read only scratches the surface about what these people are about. Hopefully, you're learning more about them as they speak.
It's now my privilege to bring up someone that my dad idolized for a long time, Lynette Woodard, the assistant women's basketball coach at the University of Kansas. In 1984, this former all-American, whose professional career spans 20 years, made history by becoming the first woman to play in a professional men's basketball team. She played with the Harlem Globetrotters for two years, so let's bring up Lynette Woodard.
Good afternoon to everyone. It's a pleasure and a honor to stand before you today and share some experiences and just have a chance to be a part of this great celebration. I would first like to thank Bob Vecchione for inviting me. I guess you could say that my celebration started last night. I had a nice flight in and everything was on time. He said he would have one of his interns pick me up. I thought that was great. I said I would be in the luggage area. When I came off the plane, there was a gentleman holding a sign with my name. I told him I had one bag. We walked outside and there were four limos - three town cars and a big long limo. I'm very happy to be here and I thank him for inviting me.
This celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Title IX is awesome. It's great. In 1976, I was a senior in high school. My high school coach told me that it was a possibility that I might be able to get a scholarship to attend the college or university of my choice. I thought how exciting. This was something that was moving me and something I never heard of before. I was happy because I knew that was the only way I could attend college. A law passed in 1972 and I got to Kansas in 1977. In 1972, 1973, there were no scholarships. In 1974, the first scholarship for women was awarded and it was for $200. In 1975, another scholarship was awarded for $600. In 1977, when I got there, the first scholarship was awarded. I'm very thankful for that. If it weren't for that scholarship, I may not have gone to college. Yes, I am celebrating.
Four years later in 1981, there were five scholarships. I'm glad there are those people behind the scenes who kept fighting for the rights of all women. When I received my scholarship, I was so happy that all the rest didn't matter. I knew that I would be able to get an education. When we share the same uniforms and the same taping rooms, I could deal with it. Our uniforms went to the volleyball team. They sent them to the softball team and the softball team sent them to the swimming team. When we shared the same locker rooms, it was okay. In the end, I was still getting an education. Then, there were those people who were still fighting for their rights. When people thought that maybe we should have been satisfied, especially me because I had a full ride, I'm glad there were people to continue the fight to have our own warm-ups.
One time, we went into overtime and there was a men's game following, we were asked to have a running clock so that the men's game would not be delayed. There were a lot of things that happened during my career. That is part of the celebration here today. There were those pioneers who fought for our rights so that I can stand here today and have some of my dreams come true. This celebration wouldn't be complete unless I say to all of those people, thank you. Thanks to all of those people who came before Title IX and thanks to all of those individuals who, after 1972, went to the administrators and tell them that our women needed this and our women needed that. Sometimes they were turned down. We knew that if we could win, we might make a difference. There were times when we made it to the tournament, but we never knew if we could go because there wasn't enough money.
I've watched our head coach be the trainer, the bus driver, work in bake sales, at the car washes as we tried to raise money so that other young ladies could have opportunities. I thank God for all of the opportunities out there now. I am thankful that I came around just at the right time. Had I come a year earlier or a year later, I wouldn't have experienced the same things I did. I had enough people around me to encourage me, to help me to believe in my dream.
As I look back, I was saying things pretty much off the wall. If we were just fighting for uniforms or to be able to travel, it wasn't that. For me, to one day play for a team that I love, the Harlem Globetrotters, was a dream. A lot of people thought I was off my rocker. I believed in that dream. I'm glad for those people who said, "Yes, Lynette, you can do it." I'm glad that attitudes had changed by 1985 so that I might be invited to be a part of that training camp and do something that I dreamed about from a very young age.
Yes, I am celebrating. I am very happy. I'm happy, not only for myself, but for all of the young girls that have the opportunity to live their dreams all the way to the pro leagues now. It's exciting to me to watch each of them grow. Thank you.
It amazed me when she told that story about the women's game before the men's game and the women's game going into overtime. In 1995, I was at CBS and we carried a double header. It was the Kansas women against the UConn women and was followed by the Kansas men versus the UConn men. The crowd was about half full for the women, but they were starting to file in for the preparation of the men's game. They saw one of the most exciting finishes to the women's game. By the time the women's game was finishing, the place was so loud and so fired up that I actually looked up and saw that people were interested and getting to see how very good the women's game is becoming.
We're now going to be hearing about the women's game from another legend in women's basketball, Pat Summitt. She is the head women's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee. Pat is one of the most prolific coaches in the country, if not the world. She has a collegiate career of 786 wins and 157 loses. She has won unprecedented six NCAA championships. Only, Coach John Wooden has won more NCAA titles with 10. Unfortunately, Pat couldn't be here, but by the magic of television, we got her here another way, so let's listen to Pat's greetings on video tape
I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to join with you in celebrating 30 years of Title IX. I can tell you, Title IX has made the difference for a lot of little girls and a lot of young women. I'd like to take you back to my childhood.
I grew up with three older brothers. I didn't realize the inequities that existed until I had a chance to sit down with my dad as a junior in high school. I asked him where I was going to go to school on scholarship and where I was going to play basketball. He told me I wasn't going to get a scholarship. I asked him why not. He said, "Because, you're a girl." It didn't seem fair and it wasn't fair, but I was able to, with the support of my parents, attend the University of Tennessee at Martin, play basketball for four years and get a degree, only to go to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and be given a head coaching job at the age of 22. I'm sure you administrators are thinking, "22 years old?" Would you even hire anyone who had never even conducted a practice session, much less someone who never had coaching experience? Understand that opened up a tremendous opportunity for me and it certainly made a difference as I started to look at and compare opportunities for young women.
I wanted to make a difference. We all want to make a difference. You are making a difference and I want to thank you for your support of women and sports. Eighty percent of the women in corporate America today are there and they're there having had experiences in athletics and in competition. I feel very blessed to be able to, not only coach a sport that I have great passion for, but at the big picture and more importantly, be able to help shape the lives and futures of young women. Without that, how many young women would be so confident? How many young women would be able to go beyond basketball and pursue their own careers and do so in a very successful fashion?
Because of Title IX, we have a lot of great role models. Some may be daughters of yours. Some may be competitors in your own institutions and, hopefully, we make you proud. You make us proud in supporting our efforts. To the 30-year anniversary of Title IX, those of us who have been a part of it, want to say thank you for all you've done and for all the lives you've touched and the difference you make. Enjoy your Convention and thank you for letting me be a part of it.
It's now my pleasure to honor Judy Sweet, the vice president for championships at the NCAA. Judy was one of the first women in America to administer a joint men and women's athletics program when she served as the AD at the University of San Diego for 24 years, beginning in 1975. The only woman to serve as the NCAA president, the association's highest membership position, Judy's term ran from 1991 to 1993. Please give a warm welcome to Judy Sweet.
Thank you Michele, and good morning. I want to begin by thanking NACDA for providing us with these nice comfortable easy chairs. It may have something to do with us being billed as pioneers. Secondly, several of us have been introduced as the first and I want to emphasize that being the first is really a matter of timing and being given the opportunity. The most important thing is not being the last.
When I was elected president of the NCAA, I was frequently asked if that fulfilled a lifelong dream. While, I wish I could have said yes, the reality was, not in my wildest dreams could I have anticipated having that opportunity. When I was an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin, which I like to think wasn't that long ago, there wasn't an intercollegiate athletics program for women. When I was in high school, there were no interscholastic sports programs for girls.
This past winter, four sixth graders from Bakersfield, California interviewed me. They were doing a project, two boys, two girls, Audrey, Jimmy, Kelly and Kirby. Their project was for history field day. They chose Title IX to address revolution, reaction and reform in history. They called themselves the Title IX Kids. I recently receive a copy of their final paper entitled, Title IX. It's not Whether you Win or Lose; It's Whether You get the Opportunity to Play. Doesn't that accurately describe what Title IX is about, the opportunity to play?
We have much to celebrate since 1972; increased participation opportunities, greater resources, media coverage and public interest, positive role models for young girls, significantly higher competitive levels, skill levels for our female athletes and mutual respect and support from male and female athletes.
One of the defining moments for me, was sitting in the stands at a UC-San Diego women's soccer game surrounded by the male soccer players who, in sincere admiration, watched women compete. As one player broke away and was racing down the field, a comment that will always stay with me was, "she is a great athlete." To put that in perspective, prior to 1972, girls and women who had an interest in sports were rarely referred to as athletes. They were tomboys. Prior to 1972, our sports participation focused on play dates and sports dates. Now, we have national collegiate championships and the Olympics. Funding, bake sales and car washes, prior to 1972. Now, we enjoy greatly improved resources and scholarships. Prior to 1972, our participation was in recreation programs. Now, there are pro sports opportunities. Prior to 1972, our dreams were wild dreams. Now, we know that dreams can come true.
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of listening to the remarks of a seventh grader from Littleton, Colorado. Her name was Abby Goldberg. She was speaking on honoring the Colorado Explosion of the American Basketball League. I'd like to share what Abby's remarks were with you because what Title IX is really about are opportunities that are now available to young girls and women. "Basketball helps me clear my mind. After a long day dealing with teachers, parents, homework, boyfriends and all the problems facing kids my age, shooting baskets is just what the doctor ordered. I learned through play that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to. I can set goals and have dreams and make those dreams come true. I know what things could get in the way of those dreams, like drugs and dropping out of school. I feel better about myself and know that others respect me because of what I have accomplished. When I started watching basketball on television I learned Magic, Bird, Stockton and Michael, but where were the women? Weren't there any great women that I could pattern myself after? Then I went to college games and became a ball girl. I saw some great games and caught some women's games on cable TV. I learned of Rizotti, Marciniak, Roundtree, Starbird or Sheetz and D.C. Thomas. When Team USA came to town, I saw Staley and all of my heroes had come to life. Then the Olympics started and while the men's team won while putting everyone to sleep, the women's team showed what the sport is all about. Players like me all over the country were waiting for this to happen and it did. So, now here we are at the next step, the Colorado Explosion. Players like me need this to happen so we can dream of playing in the pros just like the boys. Please support this great team so that in 10 years, you can watch me play for my home town."
She went on to list 10 reasons for supporting the Explosion. Number 10, less expensive than the other league Michael plays in. Number nine, who do you want as a role model for your kids, Shelly Sheetz or Beavis and Butt Head? Number eight, your kids will know that motion is an offense, not what the room does when they've had too much to drink. Number seven, good to have our athletics talent home in the United States where they know the language and can drink the water. Number six, I stuffed 10,000 envelopes. Remember, if this team doesn't fly, I know where you live. Number five, little girls need big girls to look up to. Number four, girls get to dream too. Number three, more sports talk for the local radio stations. Number two, much cooler logos than anything you already own. The number one reason, would you rather watch Dennis Rodman act like a woman or watch real women?
So, I want to refer you back to the Title IX Kids. Its not whether you win or lose, it's whether you have the opportunity to play. That's what Title IX has meant for so many of us. Thank you.
Thank you Judy. Our next speaker is performing double duty today. She is speaking at the trainer's convention across town. Donna Lopiano is the executive director of the Women's Sports Foundation and is considered an expert, if not one of the premier experts, and strong advocate of Title IX and gender equity issues. She is consistently listed among the top executives in the sports industry in publications such as the Sporting News and Street & Smiths SportsBusiness Journal. Please welcome Donna Lopiano.
It's good seeing you guys. I'm experiencing a lifetime of 10 years ago. I was in the business of college athletics administration for 23 years. I left 10 years ago to join the Women's Sports Foundation.
My life is one of travel. I was looking at my calendar that my secretary prepares for me when I travel, but I don't look at what I'm supposed to do until the day I'm supposed to do it. This is the note that I have on my calendar today. "Please note that your letter of invitation states that this is strictly an opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been made in the last 30 years. We do not want to get into the problems that still exist." I think it was terrific of you turning the 30 years as a quiet and peaceful revolution. I was just wondering if I was in the same place or not.
Seriously, at the University of Texas, I was thinking about writing a book about my experiences one day. I was trying to think about the three things that gave me the most joy about being there way back when. One of the big treats was a tradition at the University of Texas to light the tower of the administration building when you won a national championship and black out all of the windows so that a number one shows on every side. Women won the first championship. This was not a tradition that was willingly extended to women. I remember at 8:00 p.m. at the University of Texas campus, letting the male and female swimmers into the administration building. They had to persuade security to open all of the doors for them so they could pull the shades on all of the windows to create the number one for the first national championship for women at UT.
I'll never forget the day about two weeks after we succeeded in getting a joint weight room for male and female student-athletes. They were now working out together in the weight room. I got a phone call one day telling me there was a problem in the weight room. I asked what kind of problem. They said, "I think I need to insist that all female student-athletes wear sweat suits in the weight room." It seems that two Swedish divers who were used to working out in little or nothing were upsetting the football team. My other favorite moment at Texas was getting the women student-athletes to join the Longhorn training table. I was having a discussion with the head of the training table and trying to, in a very tactful way, explain how important it was for us to really look at what these kids were eating and to design nutritious menus. He turned to me and said, "Donna, I understand exactly what you're talking about. I want to assure you that we're just ahead of the game. I want you to know that we finally got these boys to eat liver." I asked him how he did that. He told me it was pretty simple, he disguised it as chicken fried steak.
This week has been a special week because everybody is writing an article about the 30th anniversary of Title IX. The best question I've had is what do I think the American sports landscape would look light today if there had never been a Title IX. These are the answers I've been giving. If it weren't for Title IX, Doug Flutey would never have been sitting next to his daughter watching television during the 1999 World Cup. Remember the ad with Michael Jordan competing against Mia Hamm in the Gatorade commercial? Doug's daughter turned to him in the middle of this ad and says, "Dad, who's that guy competing with Mia?" I never would have had the opportunity if it weren't for Pat O'Brien to talk to Bill Bradley and to have him tell me about the first moment he was really able to relate to his daughter. She came up to him and said, "Dad, I'd like to play basketball. Can you teach me how?"
If it weren't for Title IX, fathers wouldn't be sitting next to their daughters watching WNBA basketball on television. Girls wouldn't be dreaming how they would like to be like Mia. Men's professional sports would not have audiences that are now 40 to 50 percent female. There would be no female sports commentators on television. Olympic participants would still be 15 percent female and 85 percent male like they were in 1972, the year that Title IX passed. There would be 294,000 girls competing at the high school level instead of almost 2.8 million that are competing today. There would be 30,000 women competing in NCAA sport programs instead of the 150,000 who are competing today. Female athletes at the college level would be receiving a total of $100,000 in athletics scholarships as opposed to the almost $372 million per year they are receiving today. Most importantly, girls wouldn't feel as comfortable as they do today participating in sports where they can exhibit strength, or play really anything they want to play.
My favorite moment just happened last week. I was in Washington, D.C. celebrating the Title IX 30 report card. After a session, a young male reporter, 25 years old with a blue shirt, a conservative tie, blue blazer, his hair slicked back, his nose powdered and he looks like the sport commentator to be. His cameraman is traveling right behind him carrying his microphone. He comes up to me and says, "I'd like to know your thoughts. When do you think male and female athletes will be participating together in professional basketball on the same team?" I looked at him and said, "You know, there are some differences between the sexes." He said, "What if we adjusted the teams with the same height and the same weight?" I said, "There are still differences. Because of the male hormone, you are able to build up more muscle tissue per unit body than women are, even if you are the same height and weight. If you were a real trained athlete, you'd have five percent body fat, 95 percent muscle. It's not a fair competition. He looked at me disappointed. When he walked away, I was thinking, he really seems disappointed. He should have seen us five, ten years ago.
Thank you Donna. I know you have a busy schedule and we appreciate you taking time to be with us today. I'd now like to bring up a special guest, Ruth Berkey. Ruth was the first woman to serve as director of women's championship for the NCAA and Ruth was honored last night at the Honda Dinner. We are happy to have her with us today. Congratulations.
I'm very pleased to be here today. What an exciting opportunity to talk about Title IX and especially to celebrate 30 years. Has it really been 30 years? For most of us who consider us as pioneers, we really don't feel it's been 30 years. It's been an enjoyable period of time. We had our hearts in the right place. We wanted to do the best thing and we did everything we could to make that happen.
I, personally, was involved in athletics in Southern California before coming to the NCAA office. I was interested in Lynette's stories about how women shared information and shared uniforms at the University of Kansas. I could tell you stories about kids I coached who went to a game with no money to stay overnight in the hotels. We either stayed on the beach or in people's homes and that was how we justified being out because we didn't have money to do so. We did a lot of that.
The women in Southern California in the late '60s began establishing what we called the Extramural Coordinating Council for the Southern California Colleges, the ECCSCC. This group of women developed a format where we would compete with other schools depending upon the quality of athletes we had at our particular school. I happened to be at a Division III school, but that didn't mean we weren't able to compete against Division I schools because, as you well know, there weren't scholarships. Student-athletes selected the colleges or universities they went to on the basis of the academic programs.
We had a wonderful time for at least 10 years competing on the basis of academic and athletics ability. It was nothing for us to compete a Division III school against a Division I school. The colleges were from Santa Barbara all the way down to San Diego. Donna Lopiano was one of the athletes from USC that competed against our school. I remember when she arrived and we heard about a new athlete from USC who was an outstanding player. We were all scared to death. She proved to be an outstanding player and a person to compete against.
We changed out schedules every couple of years depending upon how the competition was, whether our teams were equitable. We would then compete in different groups according to equitability. Of course, ultimately, we settled into more of a Division I, II, III regiment like the men's programs were doing.
When I had the opportunity to come to the NCAA, I was most excited. I felt very blessed and it was an outstanding time. Not that there wasn't some controversy involved with championships, but when the membership voted to incorporate 32 women's championships in 1981, it was up to our staff to make sure those championships would occur. It began with the 1981 fall semester. We were going after all of our member institutions and getting people from those various institutions to serve on committees. Women could come in and meet and decide what type of tournaments they would like to have, what kind of format they wanted and be able to establish that format within the NCAA structure. I can tell you numerable stories about women who were so enthusiastic and pleased. All of them came to Kansas City. They made sure they came to the NCAA national office so they felt familiar with the operation of the association. We made sure that each of them understood structure.
A field hockey coach came in after coaching in the sport for about 15 years or more. After the meeting was over and the format for field hockey was established, she came up and nearly almost broke my hand shaking it. She was so excited about the fact that they were truly going to have a championship. In her opinion, it was going to be a quality championship. We spent many days organizing that, many hours of planning it. As the members and people who served on these committees were all pioneers and all should receive rounds of applause to make sure that that happened.
As we moved forward into that mode, our purpose was to establish a better world for women athletes. We wanted to provide them with the opportunity. I am currently remodeling my home and I've hired a woman architect who had no idea of my involvement in athletics. We were talking and I told her I was going to be away for a couple of days. She asked where I was going and I told her. She said she couldn't believe it. She is about 6'2" and was a volleyball player in college. Without her experience on the volleyball team, she wouldn't be where she is today. She told me how much self confidence she gained, about the ability to work with others, the ability to be a person who feels secure and significant about what she does. Now she is in architecture, not in sport, but her whole basis for doing this today was based on the fact that she was an athlete and had all of the things to make her self confident.
I hope, as I look forward to the next 30 years, we'll have millions of women that can say that same thing. Because of their involvement in athletics, they will be better role models, better able to work with their constituents in whatever job they might have and they will have confidence. Thank you.
Before you go, I want to thank every one of these fabulous guest speakers. Women in athletics have, obviously, made tremendous strides in the last 30 years. I can't wait to see what the next 30 years brings. We were so glad that we could get together to celebrate this milestone. We'll close with a short highlight video and I look forward to seeing you all next door at the luncheon. Thank you.