SI Vault
Edited by Jerry Kirshenbaum
February 19, 1979
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February 19, 1979


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College administrators alarmed by the movement toward budget parity for women's sports have tended to focus their ire on Title IX, which forbids sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds. Under an interpretation of Title IX by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, per capita expenditures for female athletes will have to be increased next fall to levels virtually equal to those for men. Critics say that this will drain athletic budgets, thereby endangering men's sports programs.

But Title IX may not be their only concern, as the case of the Michigan State women's basketball team suggests. Sixteen months ago MSU's women athletes began to complain that they were being treated less favorably than the men. While the men were issued three or four pairs of gym shoes, the women received only one. A doctor was present at men's games, but not when the women played. The women had to wash their own uniforms. What is more, they practiced in a gym with a warped floor and inadequate heat and returned to their dorm so late they had trouble getting a hot meal. And. oh yes, they had ample time to talk over these grievances during all-night drives home from games in station wagons. The men traveled by bus and plane.

Two months ago, concluding that conditions were unacceptable even for Spartans, the women filed complaints with HEW and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The heat was soon turned up in their gym and laundry facilities were provided, but the women remained dissatisfied. Last week they brought suit in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids asking that they receive $16 a day for meals and that they be billeted two to a room, the same as the men's team; they had been receiving $11 and had been sleeping up to four to a room. Judge Noel P. Fox issued a temporary restraining order granting their requests. He also ordered the MSU Board of Trustees to show cause at a hearing later this month why the ruling should not be made permanent. College administrators elsewhere will note that the women's suit is being argued not under Title IX but under a somewhat older legal provision: the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley last week finally got around to naming a successor to Manager Jack McKeon, whom he fired four months ago. The new manager is Jim Marshall, who may be interested in what happened when the American League recently asked managers to provide preseason analyses of their teams for publicity purposes. Oakland promptly sent in a detailed—and anonymous—position-by-position rundown of how the A's shape up. League officials naturally wanted to know who the "manager" was to whom the preview should be attributed.

The word from Finley's office: "We don't know. When we announce one, just put his name on it."

Welcome to the A's, Jim.


A 30-member AAU track and field subcommittee will meet in New York next week to select either Eugene, Ore. or Durham, N.C. as site of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials. All other things being equal, a strong case could be made that it is Durham's turn. After all, Eugene put on the '72 and '76 Trials while Durham has played host to several major meets but never to an Olympic Trials.

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