Females in Sport: Equal Access for All

The biggest problem in high school sports is limited access to participation. As evidenced by a report from the National Women’s Law Center, US girls are not given the same opportunities in sports as their male counterparts. Furthermore, heavily minority schools (schools where ten percent or less of the students are white) “not only offer fewer overall athletic opportunities… but also fail to distribute those limited opportunities equitably between boys and girls (The Women’s Sports Foundation).” Being female, disabled, minority, or financially challenged makes it exponentially less likely that an individual has access to sports.

One remedy to this problem is to require publicly funded schools to allocate specific percentages of their athletic budget to those under served groups. For example, a school with an even split between female and male students should be obligated to spend fifty percent of their athletic budget on their female programs. If a school has a handicap population of ten percent then ten percent of their athletic budget should go towards sport opportunities for those students. A school’s spending should mirror their student body.

The biggest problem in intercollegiate sports is commercialization. A solution to correct this problem is requiring an annual disclosure from each university. The report should include information regarding how much money is made on different revenue streams, like player jerseys and video games, to name a few. It has always confused me how the NCAA can say that college players must maintain amateur status to remain eligible in the NCAA. However, the NCAA and the universities are able to make money off the athletes and their celebrity status. Commercialization in sport is such a grey area; the NCAA and schools only have a problem with commercialization when it is not working in their favor. However, if funds are exchanged and called a scholarship then it is allowed.

https://assets.aspeninstitute.org/content/uploads/files/content/docs/education/Project_Play_Underserved_Populations_Roundtable_Research_Brief.PDF

https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/education/new-national-womens-law-center-report-shows-how-girls-of-color-are-doubly-disadvantaged-in-access-to-school-sports-opportunities/