Alexa Potts


Title IX is a federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in any education program or activity that receives federal funding. Congress initially passed Title IX out of concern for sexbased equality in academia. However, Title IX has had significant impacts on athletics, resulting in increased athletic opportunities for females. To be Title IX compliant, institutions must provide equality in athletic participation for both sexes. The Office of Civil Rights provided a three-part test to measure equality in athletic participation. Institutions must satisfy at least one of the three prongs to meet Title IX requirements as they pertain to equality in athletic participation. The first prong states that institutions are Title IX compliant when they provide collegiate athletic opportunities to male and female students in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective academic enrollments. The second prong states that institutions are compliant if they show a history and continuing practice of program expansion in response to the interests and abilities of women. The third prong states that institutions are compliant when they demonstrate that the present program effectively accommodates the interests and abilities of women. This Comment analyzes how institutions can use an NCAA rifle team to achieve Title IX compliance. Applying the threepart test, institutions can maintain a women’s rifle team to achieve Title IX compliance. However, rifle is the only coeducational sport in the NCAA. Creating female rifle teams is paradoxical: Institutions intentionally segregate the lone NCAA sport that allows both sexes to compete as equals. In this scenario, discrimination against men results from a federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination. This Comment proposes a fourth prong to the three-part test for equality in athletic participation that would require institutions with coeducational teams to use such teams to achieve substantial proportionality, thereby minimizing gender discrimination as an unintended consequence of Title IX compliance.



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