Title IX, the law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in schools, has paved the way for hundreds of thousands of women who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to participate in college sports. Before Congress enacted the law in 1972, fewer than 32,000 women played college sports, and athletic scholarships for women were nonexistent. Today more than 230,000 women compete and receive an average of $7,500 each in athletic scholarships. But schools across the country still routinely fall short of meeting two of Title IX’s most critical requirements: providing women equal opportunities to participate in sports and making sure they get their fair share of athletic scholarship dollars.
Florida Atlantic University reported false numbers to the government, exaggerating how many women played for its sports teams, just a year after it ranked among the worst in the country for female representation in sports. In 2016, women represented more than half of the Boca Raton school’s enrollment but only 31 percent of its athletes. The percentage was the lowest of all 127 schools participating in the highest level of college sports.