TITLE IX TURNS 50; A CELEBRATION OR A MID-LIFE CRISIS?

The UB Law Sports Forum will publish a series of posts in commemoration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX starting Sunday, June 19th.  The articles, written by UB Sports Law students, cover a number of aspects of Title IX ranging from pay discrepancies to transgender issues. 

 It is important to recognize the many positive changes that have occurred because of the passage of this groundbreaking legislation.  It is also imperative to realize that many challenges remain.  While many more girls and women now participate in sport as athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physicians, administrators and, yes, attorneys, almost every single one of them has a story or three about discrimination, harassment and even assault.   This can and must change.  Unfortunately, the promise of Title IX has too often been hijacked by political gamesmanship, with policy and enforcement ping-ponging due to election results.  Consequently, as we celebrate the victories this week, encouraged by the US Women’s Soccer equal pay settlement, the USA Women’s Ice Hockey stand for equity and the NCAA Women’s March Madness accomplishment, we also must reflect on how to move the needle forward for the next generation of girls and women.  In the words of one my very favorite t-shirts, a gift from a fellow student: “The women’s movement never stops.”

We here at UB Law, and at the UB Center for the Advancement of Sport in particular, will continue to look for ways we can advocate for and advance the spirit of those very important 37 words:

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.

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Helen A. “Nellie” Drew is an expert in sports law, including professional and amateur sports issues ranging from NCAA compliance and Title IX matters to facility construction, discipline of professional athletes, collective bargaining and franchise issues. Drew formerly served as an officer and in-house counsel to the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, after previously working as outside counsel to the Sabres and the NHL. Among her more interesting experiences were assisting former USSR superstar Alexander Mogilny in obtaining asylum status in the U.S. and working on multiple NHL expansions, including San Jose, Ottawa, Florida and Tampa Bay.
Drew teaches a variety of courses that incorporate topics such as drug testing in professional sports and professional player contract negotiation and arbitration. She is especially interested in the evolving research and litigation concerning concussions in both amateur and professional sports.

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  1. Thank you for working every day to make Title IX the way we operate and not a legal protection.

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