Final Project Preparation

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The Ohio State Women’s basketball team made it to the Sweet 16 this March, though more people seemed to care about the Men’s team’s lack of even an NIT appearance. Though we will not be covering basketball in our final project, this illustrates the problem we will be covering. Photo from Land Grand Holy Land. 

“Basketball or women’s basketball?”

In sports split amongst genders, we often assume that when you mention the sport alone, you are referring to the men’s team. This habit, along with many others, contributes to the sexist culture that still very much exists in college athletics and sports media.

For our final project, we plan to create a comprehensive journalistic package discussing the issues surrounding sexism in the realm of college sports. We will speak with both female and male athletes from a non-revenue sport at Ohio State to gain multiple perspectives on the impact sexism has had throughout their collegiate athletic career.

With Title IX having been passed in 1972, it’s shocking that we are still covering this topic 45 years later. Title IX protects collegiate athletes specifically in the following ways:

  1. Participation: Title IX requires that women and men be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports. Title IX does not require institutions to offer identical sports but an equal opportunity to play;
  2. Scholarships: Title IX requires that female and male student-athletes receive athletics scholarship dollars proportional to their participation; and
  3. Other benefits: Title IX requires the equal treatment of female and male student-athletes in the provisions of: (a) equipment and supplies; (b) scheduling of games and practice times; (c) travel and daily allowance/per diem; (d) access to tutoring; (e) coaching, (f) locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities; (g) medical and training facilities and services; (h) housing and dining facilities and services; (i) publicity and promotions; (j) support services and (k) recruitment of student-athletes.

Though arguments could be made to nearly all of points, I am particularly interested in Ohio State Athletes’ views of 3(i)- publicity and promotions. Popular culture has come to accept light (at best) coverage of female athletics at both the amateur and professional levels, despite positive social progress for female empowerment in other realms of the world. In fact, as of 2015, many networks actually covered women’s athletics less than they had 25 years prior. I am interested in speaking not only with Ohio State athletes to get their viewpoints on this, but also governing bodies, such as Fan Experience, to learn how they attempt to uphold this requirement.

My team will consist of myself, Jeffrey Jessberger, and Kevin Kwiatkowski.

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