last-second, heart-stopping three-pointer by Charlotte Smith '95 against Louisiana Tech on national television. The unparalleled soccer squad led by Coach Anson Dorrance ' 74 continued its remarkable success, winning its 12th national championship in the past 13 years. And Shelton's field hockey team advanced to the NCAA championship game. Amazingly, the UNC women's programs in cross country, fencing, golf, swimming and outdoor track also finished last season ranked in the nation's Top 25. More important, perhaps, each team had scholarships, road trips, meal money-and enough uniforms and equipment for everyone.
In the past year alone, 59 colleges added
women's soccer to their sports menu. UNC
recently has added women's lacrosse as its
27th varsity athletic program, its 14th on
the women's side.
The law and its limits
The disturbing reality is that the amazing
level of success currently enjoyed by UNC
women's athletic teams would have been
impossible only a generation ago.
If a blossoming young female athlete was
going to be successful in sports 30 years ago,
she probably wasn't going to do it in college,
and the unfortunate odds strongly suggested
she wasn't going to be able to do it at all.
In response to this inequitable closing of
doors, the federal government passed a law
known as Title IX in 1972. It purported,
among other things, to guarantee equal sport-
ing opportunities for male and female students
in the United States. Even today, however,
women athletes in many ways remain
second-class citizens in the athletic arena.
At UNC, widely considered one of the
model college sports programs in the nation,
the numbers don't always add up. The
1994-95 UNC athletic department budget
includes $4,041,694 for 13 men's sports and
only $592,965 for 14 women's sports. The
athletic department is in the process of a
gender equity self-study.
It has been 22 years since the passage of
Title IX, and the U.S. Education Depart-
ment's Office of Civil Rights has yet to
withhold federal funds from a single offend-
ing school. Still, there are recent bright
spots for women's college athletics on an
otherwise bumpy horizon.
UNC's humble beginnings
Dr. Beth Miller, UNC's associate athletic
director for Olympic sports, arrived in Chapel
Hill in 1974 as an assistant professor of health
and physical education and as an assistant
coach on both the women's basketball and
It was perfect timing.
"I have been able to watch, experience
and participate in the building of one of
the top women's athletic programs in the
country," Miller said, "and I'm truly hon-
ored to be able to say that."
Until that time, women's sports at UNC
had consisted mainly of a relatively unorga-
"We used to think it was a really
big deal that we actually stopped
for a meal on the way home."
Karen Shelton coaches the field hockey team.
ry 19 95
Track team members
freshman Ta Bingham, left, and
junior Sandi Everett practice.
Kristine Lilly '93.
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