As a coach, you need to be fully dedicated to your students and their success. Your goal should always be to provide a safe and supportive environment for the students in your care, and to help them grow into the best individuals they can be. In order to do that, you need to be prepared to snuff out discrimination wherever you see it, and certainly avoid practicing it yourself. It’s not just the moral thing to do—it’s the law.
What Is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Being specifically directed at education, Title IX is understandably important for coaches to understand and adhere to. Athletics are considered to be educational programs and activities under this law. Title IX does only apply to schools that receive federal funding. However, most private schools receive some level of federal funding and are thus required to comply with Title IX.
What Does Title IX Require I Do?
Title IX requires that you treat both male and female athletes equally and that they have equal opportunities to participate in sports. It’s more detailed than it sounds: coaches are required to provide both male and female athletes equal access to supplies and equipment, funds for travel and transportation, game and practice times/scheduling, locker rooms and more. Educational institutions are not required to offer identical sports; just an equal opportunity to play regardless of sex.
If You Still Have Questions, Seek Legal Advice
If you still have questions about Title IX, your rights as a coach and instructor, the rights of your players, or if you have been accused of a violation of Title IX, then a Title IX attorney is an option to help you sort out the legalities. Even though it sounds simple on the surface, Title IX does have some very specific requirements. An attorney can take a look at your current athletic programs to make sure they meet Title IX’s requirements.
All coaches should be aware of and adhere to federal, state and local laws when it comes to their coaching practices. Title IX is one of those laws. Because Title IX requires all athletes, regardless of sex, have equal means and opportunity to play, it’s important for all coaches to know exactly what that entails. Besides being the law, it’s just the right thing to do.