?Things are better at Vassar, but hardly as good as one might expect, considering the college's pioneer role in women's education and rights. In 1968 Vassar admitted male students for the first time. There are now 1,400 girls and 700 boys enrolled. Vassar men compete in five sports and have an annual budget of $4,750. The women have three sports and $2,060 to spend.
?Since its organization in 1910 the National Collegiate Athletic Association has governed men's collegiate athletics. The NCAA now has an annual operating budget of $1.5 million and 42 full-time employees. The female counterpart of the NCAA is the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. It was established only in 1971. Prior to that, there seemed little need for an organization because there were so few intercollegiate women's programs. The AIAW operates on $24,000 a year and employs one executive (who works part-time) and one assistant.
?In five major collegiate athletic conferences—Southeastern, Big Ten, Big Eight, Southwest and PAC 8—there are 5,000 students on football scholarships alone. These legitimate scholarships (to say nothing of any under-the-table goodies) are worth some $10 million a year to their recipients. Women are almost totally excluded from the scholarship system which, whatever its deficiencies, is the one used to develop most of our first-class athletes. As many as 50,000 men a year earn a college education by playing games. Figures are hard to come by, but it is likely that less than 50 American women hold athletic scholarships and enjoy the benefits—financial, educational, sporting—that these grants provide.
Whatever the small total of women scholarship holders is, it was reduced by one in January 1973 when Cathy Carr, a swimmer who had won two gold medals at the Munich Olympics, had to resign the four-year grant she had been awarded by the University of New Mexico. The reason: she and the astonished university discovered that a woman holding an athletic scholarship was barred from competing in women's intercollegiate events by, of all things, the AIAW.
Recently, Mary Rekstad, the AIAW's lone executive, explained the Alice in Wonderland regulation. "When the AIAW was formed many men told us that scholarships were a bad influence on collegiate sports, that we should avoid making the mistakes they had made and stay out of the mess." On the surface the concern of the admittedly corrupt men for the purity of their female counterparts seems more hilarious than touching—something like a confirmed alcoholic guzzling all the booze at a party to protect the other guests from the evils of drink.
"It might seem that the men were motivated by self-interest," said Rekstad. "But we did not think so. We wanted to protect girls from the excesses of recruiting and exploitation." Last month the AIAW reassessed the situation and decided to drop the regulation. Now women on athletic scholarships can take part in events it sanctions.
?When it comes to pay-for-play situations, unequal scales are established for men and women. As a small but instructive example, one of the leading events of the Northern California tennis circuit is held each May in Mountain View. This tournament is open to men and women and each entrant, regardless of sex, must pay an $8 fee. About an equal number of men and women compete. However, when it comes to prize money, sex raises its miserly head. At Mountain View the men's singles winner receives $1,000, the runner-up $500, the semifinal losers $150 each, quarter-final losers $75 each, and the round of 16 losers $25 each. On the other hand, the women's singles winner receives $150, and the runner-up $50. The women receive no other money prizes. There also is a doubles competition for men, but not for women. In all, though they have put up the same entry fee, $3,000 is paid to men while the women play for $200. In monetary terms, the Mountain View tournament considers women 15th-class citizens.
?In 1971 Billie Jean King became the first woman athlete to win $100,000 in a year. During the same year Rod Laver was the leading winner on the men's tennis circuit, collecting $290,000. To reach her total King won three times as many tournaments as Laver. Last year King captured the U.S. Open at Forest Hills and collected $10,000. Ilie Nastase was the men's winner and earned $25,000. At Wimbledon Stan Smith collected $12,150 for the men's title while King picked up only $4,830 for the women's. At Forest Hills and Wimbledon the women often draw as many spectators, and sometimes more than the men.
?In 1972 on the Ladies Professional Golf tour Kathy Whit-worth was the leading money-winner, collecting $65,063 in 29 tournaments. In the same year Jack Nicklaus was the biggest moneymaker among the men pros, winning $320,542 in 19 tournaments. The discrepancy between men and women professionals is even more notable among lesser competitors. The 15th leading money-winner on the women's tour in 1972 was JoAnne Carner, who made $18,901. The 15th-place finisher among the men, Jim Jamieson, collected $109,532. Admittedly, the women's tour arouses less interest than the men's, and sponsors feel they receive a better return for their money backing men's events.
?In the Roller Derby it is the women, more than the men, who attract fans and generate publicity. The female star of the Derby is Joan Weston, a superior athlete. She makes between $25,000 and $30,000 a year. There are six men on the Derby tour who play the same game in front of the same crowds as Weston, all of whom earn larger salaries. Charlie O'Connell, the leading male performer, is paid twice as much as Weston. When they join the Derby tour, men and women are paid about $85 a week plus travel expenses. But men's salaries increase more rapidly than women's, and once established a man will receive between $200 and $250 a week, while a woman of equal talent makes only $150.