A Place on the Team is the inside story of how Title IX revolutionized American sports. The federal law guaranteeing women's rights in education, Title IX opened gymnasiums and playing fields to millions of young women previously locked out. Journalist Welch Suggs chronicles both the law's successes and failures-the exciting opportunities for women as well as the commercial and recruiting pressures of modern-day athletics.
Enlivened with tales from Suggs's reportage, the book clears up the muddle of interpretation and opinion surrounding Title IX. It provides not only a lucid description of how courts and colleges have read (and misread) the law, but also compelling portraits of the people who made women's sports a vibrant feature of American life.
What's more, the book provides the first history of the law's evolution since its passage in 1972. Suggs details thirty years of struggles for equal rights on the playing field. Schools dragged their feet, offering token efforts for women and girls, until the courts made it clear that women had to be treated on par with men. Those decisions set the stage for some of the most celebrated moments in sports, such as the Women's World Cup in soccer and the Women's Final Four in NCAA basketball.
Title IX is not without its critics. Wrestlers and other male athletes say colleges have cut their teams to comply with the law, and Suggs tells their stories as well.
With the chronicles of Pat Summitt, Anson Dorrance, and others who shaped women's sports, A Place on the Team is a must-read not only for sports buffs but also for parents of every young woman who enters the arena of competitive sports.
"[A] must-read for any sports historian or female athlete interested in how the opportunities she so freely enjoys came about."--Publishers Weekly
"Ultimately a gripping story of Title IX's triumph."--Harvard Law Review
"Finally, a lucid, thorough and non-polemical accounting of Title IX's origins, development, and impact. Welch Suggs traces the women's sports revolution back to its roots in physical education, details Title IX's origins in civil rights law, and explains why the law has proven to be so resistant to legal challenge. He doesn't flinch from taking stock of the law's regrettable consequences. All future discussion of college sports and gender equity will begin with this book."--Alexander Wolff, Sports Illustrated
"Suggs provides brief histories of college sports, women's college sports administration, and civil rights legislation before wading into case law that Title IX begat. He makes sense of this convoluted, contentious journey through 2004 and fairly presents a range of feminist, conservative and libertarian viewpoints."--Library Journal
"With A Place on the Team, Suggs has done a service to anyone who wants to understand the history of Title IX and the debates that continue to swirl around its implementation."--Michael A. Messner, Academe
"Title IX is arguably one of the most important pieces of federal legislation affecting higher education in the past fifty years. Welch Suggs's A Place on the Team chronicles the history, legal interpretations, and battles surrounding Title IX and gender equity in intercollegiate athletics. It is an exceptionally well-written, well-researched, and balanced book that should be read by anyone interested in the present and future of college sports."--Myles Brand, President, the National Collegiate Athletic Association
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