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Sporting Chance: Title IX Q&A with Theresa Moore

Theresa Moore is a former track standout at Harvard and is currently the president and founder of T-Time Productions. Moore produced “License to Thrive: Title IX at 35,” a documentary that was supported by the NCAA and aired on ESPN.

Moore will be featured in the NCAA film, Sporting Chance, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual. The film, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of Title IX, will air on ESPN 2 at noon on June 23—the anniversary of the law’s passage.

Moore offered some thoughts on how her life was shaped by the law and the work that remains for gender equity.

NCAA: How has Title IX shaped your life?

Moore: I know that I am a true beneficiary of Title IX.  I grew up after the Title IX legislation passed so I had the opportunity to participate in sports from a very young age all the way through college. Through sports, in addition to the obvious health benefits, I also learned and developed skills such as teamwork, confidence, self-esteem, success, failure and persistence, all of which helped me significantly in my professional career.  Additionally, on the academic side, I was a math-science major and was able to take advanced classes in chemistry, physics and trigonometry as well as electives like wood-working which were not available to earlier generations of women.  I also received athletic as well as academic scholarship offers to college.

NCAA: Do you believe Title IX is still relevant?

Moore: Title IX is still very relevant and continues to evolve.  Some of the blatant discrimination that existed when the legislation passed in 1972 has been eliminated but there are still gender disparities in the courtroom, executive suites and locker rooms that still need to be addressed and corrected.

NCAA: What do you hope the documentary, Sporting Chance, will do for Title IX?

Moore: Much like “License to Thrive:  Title IX at 35”, my hope is that “Sporting Chance” continues to educate people about the Title IX legislation, its wide-ranging impact and influence in addition to the challenges the legislation will encounter in the future.  The more people who are engaged in the discussion from various disciplines, both within and outside of the sports realm, the better the chances for finding innovative uses, applications and solutions.

NCAA: What do you say to the critics of the law, many of whom argue that Title IX eliminates opportunities for young men?

Moore: I think the key to any constructive discussions about the Title IX legislation is to understand its history and original intentions.  Many second-tier men’s sports have been told that Title IX is the reason their respective sport is being cut/phased out.  It sets up an “us versus them” mentality.  Many institutions continue to use Title IX as an excuse to eliminate a men’s sport when the larger issue is, in actuality, a financial one (i.e. how the allotted budget and revenue are being/can be used).  True, Title IX is one factor in this discussion but not the only factor.  No one wants to see sports opportunities eliminated for women or men.  They key is to try and find solutions that can help support the interests of both sexes but at the same time are financially viable and sustainable.