Greetings from Bethesda, where I’m attending the NCAA’s Gender Equity Issues Conference. This is a great annual event that brings together gender equity experts and athletic department staff from colleges around the country to talk about Title IX and gender equity issues. Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating on a panel about how to count participation opportunities for the purposes of demonstrating proportionality. My co-presenter Tim O’Brien and I used the court’s decision in the Quinnipiac case as the starting point for a discussion about the importance about looking past the numbers and assessing whether those numbers reflect actual, meaningful athletic opportunities. We also talked about some of the egregious examples of reporting violations and roster manipulation that the New York Times wrote about last week. We definitely addressed those issues as well. David Moltz covered the presentation for Inside Higher Education, so even if you couldn’t attend, you can read all about it!
Other panels have addressed such hot topics as pay equity, prongs two and three compliance, diversity and inclusion, retaliation, and emerging sports. We also had a brilliant keynote address by Mariah Burton Nelson on the importance of implementing and enforcing policies against sexual abuse by coaches. And I had the pleasure of learning about the Athlete Ally initiative to eliminate the use of sexist and homophobic language in sport, and meeting its founder, a former student-athlete and All-American wrestler, Hudson Taylor. All in all it’s been a great conference!