Judy Stansbury wore hand-me-down warm-ups from the Washington State University men’s basketball team when she played on the Cougar women’s team in 1972.
Later that year, Title IX was passed. Stansbury didn’t know it at the time, but it meant her daughters would never have to wear hand-me-downs from the men.
Title IX is a federal mandate that requires state-funded schools to give women equal funding in educational programs, including athletics.
Today, Stansbury entertains her three daughters with tales of high jumping into sawdust pits and wearing skirts while playing basketball. Her second daughter, Kaci, a track and field athlete at the University of Nevada, talks about a weight training coach and flying to track meets almost every spring weekend.
The contrast is stark. Still, the goal of total equality is far from complete.
Monday, Title IX marks its 25th anniversary. In the early years of Title IX, compliance was non-existent.
A group of coaches and athletes at Washington State changed that with a lawsuit against the university.
Today, WSU is considered the nation’s model of Title IX compliance.
In today’s sports section, The Spokesman-Review examines the local history of Title IX, the lawsuit that followed and the impact on athletics regionally and nationwide.