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Trio of lawmakers introduces legislation tackling gender inequality in collegiate athletics

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A trio of lawmakers has introduced legislation that will address gender inequality in college athletics. 

In a statement on Thursday, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), and Mickie Sherrill (D-N.J.) introduced the  Gender Equity in College Sports Commission Act, in an effort to ensure gender equality in NCAA’s athletic programs. 

The proposed legislation will create a 16-member bipartisan congressional commission to conduct a ​​comprehensive study on gender equity across the NCAA’s sports programs, according to the statement. 

The commission’s final report will focus on an in-depth analysis of NCAA treatment of men’s and women’s teams in post-season tournaments and other student-athlete programs, an analysis of  NCAA’s constitution and policies that affect gender equity between men’s and women’s college athletic teams and an overview of the federal government’s support for the NCAA and suggest recommendations for improved federal oversight of NCAA’s promotion of gender equity as well. 

The commission will send its full in-depth report within 12-18 months, the statement noted.

“For far too long, NCAA collegiate programs have sidelined gender equity for the sake of profit,” Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee said in a statement. “NCAA basketball fans across the country witnessed firsthand the starkly unequal treatment between women’s and men’s athletic programs during last year’s NCAA tournament, and the Committee’s investigation has shown that NCAA leadership have not taken adequate steps to fix the problem.  Every student-athlete deserves to be treated fairly, and today we’re taking an important step to holding the NCAA accountable to that standard.”

“The NCAA has shown a repeated lack of commitment to gender equity,” Sherill said in a statement.  “Being a college athlete is the culmination of years of training, and hard work for the members of these teams.  These athletes demonstrate unmatched levels of commitment to their sport and their universities.  Yet, the players on the women’s and men’s teams have not been treated equally by the NCAA.” 

“That’s why I’m proud to introduce this bill and join the fight that leaders from Billie Jean King to Megan Rapinoe have championed,” Sherill concluded. 

The trio of lawmakers recently sent a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert earlier this month accusing him of failing to properly advance gender equality in college athletics following a formal review. 

The trio’s proposed legislation is endorsed by numerous organizations such as the Alliance of Social Workers in Sport, Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Tags Carolyn Maloney Carolyn Maloney gender equity House Oversight and Reform Committee Jackie Speier Jackie Speier March Madness Mickie Sherrill National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA NCAA NCAA United States
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