It has been 40 years since Title IX became a law. Since then, women have made remarkable strides towards equal rights and equal participation.
Gender equity is something former Fresno state women’s softball coach, Margie Wright has fought for singlehandedly. Back in 2008, Wright settled a gender equity lawsuit with Fresno State.
“What I see happening today makes me very proud to have been a part of it and I really hope everyone will understand it doesn't have to be a negative thing. It could be one of the most positive things that has ever happened in our country,” expressed Wright.
Former athletics administrator Diane Milutinovich also settled a gender equity suit with the university. She was later named the 16th district's woman of the year for her advocacy for gender equality. She says there's still more progress to make. Milutinovich said, “We still have more ways to go. Boys and men still have more opportunities to participate and more scholarship money and their budgets are bigger. So we just have to continually monitor and make sure we continue to make progress and not think after 40 years the deal is done.”
But Title IX hasn't been positive for everyone.
“I'm still fighting to get Fresno wrestling back,” said Former Fresno State wrestling head coach, Dennis Delido. He was outraged by Fresno State's decision to sweep the Bulldogs 44 year tradition under the mat. He coached the team for more than two decades.
“Title IX, the intention of it is really good for opportunities for women. But it was not intended to decrease the opportunities for men and that's what all the athletic directors are doing. They're cutting men's sports rather than being creative and finding a way to balance it out,” Delido said.
Title IX was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1972. It's credited for putting women on a much more equal footing in opportunities in both the classroom and on the athletic field. The law also protects women from sexual harassment and assaults on campus.