I. Preface Princess and maids delighted in that feast; then, putting off their veils, they ran and passed a ball to a rhythmic beat. 1 So Homer, c. 800 B.C., sings of Princess Nausikaa before she befriends Odysseus near a stream on the island of Skheria. Homer's adventurer ac- cepts his royal rescuer's "game of her own" without surprise. Three millen- nia later, many American colleges are still unsure how men and women can have as equal a chance to "pass a ball" against other colleges as to parse the epic of Odysseus and Penelope in their classrooms. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 2 which bans sex dis- crimination in all education programs that receive federal financial assistance, should have assured those opportunities. Almost a quarter-century later, however, its promise is still unfulfilled, 3 and major litigation to define its application to athletics has begun only recently. These delays have created an air of crisis, division, and anger on many campuses. Because most college presidents and athletic directors do not know what Title IX requires, they frequently overestimate the difficulties of compliance. In my experience, supporters of men's collegiate teams are espe- cially likely to lack clear information, and to be frustrated with what they believe are overly rigid obligations. Yet a generation's delay in enforcement has led women student-athletes and their coaches to view compliance with increasing urgency. We should be asking why equal opportunity has been so long in com- ing. When we ask instead ...

Included in

Law Commons