The Woodward News

Sports

June 22, 2012

Law banning sex bias struck a national sports nerve

It's easy to forget just how different things were 40 years ago until you listen to former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh talk about the daughter of an Oklahoma wheat farmer who changed his life.

That girl was Marvella Hern, who'd been a straight-A student, class president and national speech champion in high school when she was denied admission to the college of her choice in 1951. The rejection letter from the University of Virginia was terse: "Women need not apply."

Bayh married that girl and has told her story again and again to explain how he became known as the father of Title IX – the 1972 federal law that forbids gender discrimination at schools that get federal aid and changed the male-dominated culture of American sports.

As the retired Indiana senator recounts it now, Marvella convinced him it was foolish to waste the brainpower of half the population by denying women access to equal opportunity in educational institutions.

"You're not exactly asking anybody to be a profile in courage when you're asking them to support a law that benefits so many people," Bayh, 84, said in a recent interview. "Still, we had no idea just how far it would go."

Championed by Bayh in the Senate and Hawaii's Patsy Mink and Oregon's Edith Green in the House, Title IX was signed into law by President Richard Nixon 40 years ago on June 23, 1972.

What started out as a means to compel equal access to education - especially in medical and law schools - also opened arenas of sport to girls and women in ways Bayh never imagined. There are nearly 10 times as many female players in intercollegiate athletics as there were in 1972; the number of girls in high school sports has jumped nearly 1,000 percent.

Text Only
Sports
  • Travelers knocked out of Connie Mack Tournament

    ENID – Texas Stix scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning and defeated the Traveler Majors 4-3 Friday in the Connie Mack Regional.

    July 26, 2014

  • Travelers drop 6-1 decision

    ENID - DBat Gallegos out of the Dallas area dropped the Traveler Majors into the elimination bracket of the South Plains Connie Mack Regional with a 6-1 decision Thursday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

    July 26, 2014

  • Majors move into regional semifinals

    ENID – A second straight dynamite pitching effort and timely offense have the Traveler Majors in the championship semifinals of the Connie Mack South Plains Regional.

    July 24, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • web1.jpg Travelers win Connie Mack state championship

    Down 2-0 and down to their final three outs, the Traveler Majors delivered a championship rally in the seventh inning Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • Traveler Majors in Connie Mack Finals

    ENID - The Traveler Majors are one win away from their second Connie Mack State Tournament championship in three years.

    July 20, 2014

  • Majors win Connie Mack Opener

    ENID – Brett Lorah allowed two hits over 6.1 innings and Jesus Gamez shut down a threat in the seventh as the Travelers beat Southmoore 3-0 in the Connie Mack State Tournament on Wednesday.

    July 18, 2014

  • State tourney field set

    Fuller Park will be the host site for the OK Kids Minors (15-under) State Baseball Tournament Tuesday through Saturday.

    July 15, 2014

  • Majors finish second in festival

    After a second place finish in the Woodward Festival on Sunday, the Traveler Majors will go to Enid this week for the Connie Mack State Tournament.

    July 15, 2014

  • Traveler Festival continues

    The Traveler Minors finished the preliminary rounds of the Woodward Festival with a 2-2 record after dropping a 10-1 decision to the Oklahoma Tribe at Fuller Park Saturday morning.

    July 15, 2014