Athletes reflect on Title IX’s impact

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    Forty years after the passage of Title IX, the TCU rifle team, currently comprised of women, not only plays men but wins against them, Sarah Scherer, a rifle team member, said. 

    "We do compete against Air Force Academy and West Point, and those are the ones that you would think are top in line since they're part of our armed forces," Scherer said. "But we actually kick their butts pretty well so they should watch out for us." 

    At a panel discussion on Wednesday night sponsored by the Women's Studies Program and the American Association of University Women, Scherer, who placed seventh in the 10-meter air rifle at the 2012 Summer Olympics, shared memories from her Olympic experience and the impact of Title IX. 

    Title IX states, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." 

    According to Bob Frye, TCU's first coach of women's basketball, seven women's sports, including riflery, became varsity sports in 1974 and divided a budget of $18,422.

    Even with the Title IX provisions, Frye said it was difficult to start a team from scratch. 

    "We had no uniforms, we had no scholarships, we had no shoes, we had no basketballs," Frye said. "This makes it difficult to practice." 

    The women's basketball team may have worn mismatched blue and purple uniforms, but Frye said he hoped his first team started a precedent for the future of the Lady Frogs. 

    Scherer said she is thankful for the female athletes that came before her and paved the way for Title IX. Without Title IX and the scholarships provided, she never thought it would have been possible to attend TCU as a student athlete. 

    Director of the women's studies program, Dr. Theresa Gaul said, "We are all familiar with the stereotype of women as pretty things who go to college to find a husband, go on to graduate school because they want a more interesting husband, and finally marry, have children and never work again," 

    The enactment of Title IX was an important first step to changing the stereotype of women by providing an equal chance for women to attend the school of their choice and receive equal pay for equal work, Gaul said.