Future of women’s sports uncertain as race for revenue dramatically alters college athletics model

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Editor’s note: Last of a three-part series examining the impact of Title IX as the 50th anniversary of its passage approaches this week.

Amy Perko is not a soothsayer by trade.

But once the COVID-19 pandemic exposed some of the cardboard bottoms on the yachts of college athletic departments, it wasn’t hard to see which ships would make it. And which ones would sink.

“I think it’s likely that you will see some fragmentation among Division I (schools) in particular,” Perko, CEO of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, told The Post. “(And) possibly different structures.

“The college sports model, frankly, it’ll look very different in five or 10 years. But I strongly believe that whatever model that is, we will see a commitment toward opportunities for women and more compliance with Title IX.”

Others aren’t so sure.

Despite Perko’s optimism, a poll of 99 athletic directors taken by the Associated Press a year ago found that 94% of respondents said it “would be somewhat or much more difficult to comply with Title IX gender equity rules if their school were to compensate athletes in the biggest money-making sports.”

As Title IX, the landmark civil rights legislation that prohibits gender discrimination in any school or education program that receives federal funding, turns 50, college athletics as we know it is entering into a state of flux.

Title IX turns 50: How 37 words shaped women’s sports, opportunities in Colorado

Student-athletes can now legally seek to profit off of their respective names, images and likenesses (NIL). The Supreme Court last June voted unanimously in the case of NCAA v. Alston that limits on education-related benefits to students violate anti-trust laws. The court accused the NCAA of “monopoly power” in its opinion and hinted strongly that it viewed the organization’s bedrock definition of amateurism as anachronistic and anti-commerce.

Athletes …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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