Forty years after Title IX, the number of female college athletes has soared, but the number of female college coaches has dropped. What happened?
"Some blame the dropoff on a shallow pool of female candidates, who often aren't as eager to apply for jobs, let alone pack up and move, as men. But there are more pernicious reasons as well. First is an old-fashioned sexism that gives men a chance to coach women's programs but squelches any thought of hiring a woman to coach men. There is also an ingrained homophobia that quietly pressures women to hire male assistants so as to combat any appearance of a 'gay' program.
"One other theme came up again and again during espnW's dozens of interviews: a lack of second chances for female coaches. Male coaches, particularly in men's sports, often pass through a revolving door whenever they lose a job—from Bob Knight to Rick Neuheisel to Rich Rodriguez. But women fear they are much more likely to be one and done."
PUBLISHED: April 2, 2012
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6406 words)
Emily Nkosi, who as Emily Niemann hit five three-pointers for Baylor in its 2005 title win against Michigan State, remembers that when recruiters came to her Houston home, as they did by the dozens in 2002, they had to pass a test. "On home visits," Nkosi says, "my dad was assigned the question: 'Do you have a bunch of lesbians on your team?'" Nkosi says her youth coaches abetted the process, vetting programs with their own inquiries about a "healthy climate" and the like. "You know," Nkosi says, "the code words." This line of questioning was especially fraught for Nkosi because, deep down, she knew she was a lesbian. But she was also a fundamentalist Christian who feared the religious repercussions of that reality.
PUBLISHED: Jan. 26, 2011
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3053 words)