What is Title IX? | 2aDays

What is Title IX?

What is Title IX?
Title IX gets thrown around often in the college sports world. But, do we know what it actually means? It was passed in the United States under the education of amendments that “prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal money.” 

Put a little more simply: a person should never, based on their sex, be discriminated against, excluded from participation, or denied benefits in a program receiving federal financial assistance. Some types of discrimination that fall under title nine are sexual harassment, failure to provide equal athletic opportunity, discrimination against pregnancy, and even denying people access to STEM (science, technology, education, and math) programs.

People that can be effected by Title IX or contribute to discrimination are students, faculty, administrative staff, anyone doing business at the institution, and other part or full-time employees. Title IX does not just apply to women; it’s in place to ensure equality between anyone and everyone. 

Related: How Title IX Fails Female Athletes


  • Sexist remarks 
  • Derogatory terms 
  • Not allowing a female to compete in a male sport when there is no female equivalent (or vice versa)
  • Unwanted sexual advances or comments
  • An intimidating or hostile environment that causes a person to fear
  • Discrimination of gender identity
  • A coach making inappropriate comments on uniforms
  • Unequal resources for athletic teams based on sex

Related: Getting Women Off The Sideline: Title IX Today

Who makes sure schools follow Title IX?
The U.S Department of Education has an Office of Civil Rights (OCR) that enforces these rules and regulations. When sexual discrimination complaints are brought forward, the OCR analyzes, investigates, and takes the necessary steps to resolve the situation. They also use compliance reviews to initiate proactive investigations to search for possible systematic violations. This allows them to prohibit problems instead of always fixing them. The OCR also provides educational guidance and information to schools to make sure people are aware of the law. 

Every school is also required by law to appoint a Title IX Coordinator. Their contact information and presence should be known to the student body so that bringing up complaints feels comfortable and accessible. 

Related: Not All Sports Are Created Equal, The Truth Behind Women’s Rowing and How it Saves Football

What happens after a Title IX complaint? 
When Title IX is violated, each institution is responsible for making the most educated decision based on the circumstances. After the process, the school is responsible for providing remedies to restore or maintain the equality in school or activity set in place by Title IX. The Title IX coordinator must embrace, add, or create different services to support the most recent complainant. 

The result could be disciplinary, and coaches who violate Title IX, depending on the situation, can be suspended or terminated from their position. If they are terminated, it is often difficult or impossible to find a similar job at another college/university. 

What can I do if I’m being discriminated against?

  1. Go to your school’s compliance office and file a report
  2. Contact your compliance officer via email or phone
  3. If your school lacks initiative, you can file a complaint directly with the OCR here
  4. Or contact the OCR by phone at 800-421-3481

You must file a complaint within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. If you are filing with the OCR, here is a fillable form to guide you. 

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