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The underrepresentation of women in athletics leadership: A qualitative study of NCAA Division II women coaches and administrators

Dissertation
Author: Jill A. McCartney
Abstract:
With the increased participation of women athletes and the growth of women's college sports teams and programs since Title IX, it would seem that this trend in participation would be translated into a golden opportunity for women to advance in athletics careers as coaches and administrators. Yet, while the opportunity for such career advancement would seem available, women remain underrepresented in these areas, particularly in key leadership positions where much of the decision-making about women's college sports get made. Such underrepresentation by women in college coaching and athletics leadership poses a problem for women in sport and has been the subject of numerous research studies. What has not been sufficiently studied, however, is the decision-making that women engage in as they consider whether or not to pursue or to continue careers in college athletics as coaches and administrators. Through in-depth interviews with current and former coaches and administrators, this study provides a greater understanding of the underrepresentation of women in athletics leadership from the perspective of the women in, and most likely to fill, those positions.

iv Table of Contents Acknowledgments iii List of Tables vii CHAPTER 1.INTRODUCTION 1 Introduction 1 Background to the Study 1 Statement of the Problem 7 Purpose of the Study 9 Research Questions 10 Conceptual Framework 11 Nature of the Study 11 Significance of the Study 13 Definition of Terms 14 Assumptions 16 Limitations 16 CHAPTER 2.LITERATURE REVIEW 18 Introduction 18 History of Women’s College Athletics 19 Title IX 25 Women and Leadership in Higher Education 30 Women in Athletics Leadership 40 Rationale for Qualitative Methodology 49

v Conclusion 51 CHAPTER 3.METHODOLOGY 52 Purpose of the Study 52 Research Questions 53 Research Design 53 Selection of Participants 55 Research Procedures 56 Instruments 57 Data Collection 58 Expected Findings 59 Ethical Issues 60 CHAPTER 4.FINDINGS AND RESULTS 61 Introduction 61 Interview Participants 61 Finding and Results 65 Sub-Question 1 66 Sub-Question 2 76 Sub-Question 3 90 Primary Research Question 96 Conclusion 101 CHAPTER 5.CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 102 Summary of Study 102

vi Discussion of Results 105 Conclusions 109 Recommendations 114 REFERENCES 119 APPENDIX A.INTERVIEWQUESTIONS 127 APPENDIX B.TRANSCRIPT GRIDS 128

vii List of Tables Table 1.Description of Participants 62

1 CHAPTER 1.INTRODUCTION Introduction With the increased participation of women athletes and the growth of women’s college sports teams and programs since Title IX,it would seemthat this trend in participation would be translated into a golden opportunity for women to advance in athletics careers as coaches and administrators.Yet,while the opportunity for such career advancement would seemavailable, women remain underrepresented in these areas,particularly in key leadership positions where much of the decision-making about women’s college sports get made.Such underrepresentation by women in college coaching and athletics leadership poses a problemfor women in sport and has been the subject of numerous research studies. What has not been sufficiently studied is the decision-making that women engage in as they consider whether or not to pursue or to continue careers in college athletics as coaches and administrators.Through in-depth interviews with current and former coaches and administrators at NCAA Division II institutions,this qualitative study proposes to provide a greater understanding of the under-representation of women in athletics leadership fromthe perspective of the women in,and most likely to fill,those positions. Background to the Study The history of collegiate women’s sports has always had at its core the issues of autonomy and self-determination.At the outset of women’s participation in organized physical activities,women collegiate educators set the agenda and determined the purpose and parameters

2 of women’s participation.As women’s collegiate sports evolved during the latter half of the twentieth century,however,those involved as coaches and administrators were faced with the question that feminists of the time debated:should women join as equals,participating according to the dominant model of men’s athletics,or should they assert their preference for a different model,a game of their own? Fromthe earliest days of women’s collegiate athletics,women participated in a “separate sphere” of sport.In the latter part of the nineteenth century,in what Guttman (1991) characterizes as a “transition fromcalisthenics to sports” (p.106),the physical education programs which originally provided women with instruction in calisthenics began to allow intramural participation in such sports as basketball,baseball,and field hockey.At Berkeley,a coeducational institution,sports clubs and a gymnasiumfor women allowed female students access to physical activities and sports competition in boating,fencing,and tennis.These early days of college sports for women were conducted in separate gyms and under the guidance of physical education departments and associations governed by women.While there was some extramural competition–including regional and national events–early women’s collegiate sports were conducted by women for the express purpose of benefiting its women participants. Women’s sports were considered a “separate sphere” frommen’s sports and were originally governed by women’s sections of the American Physical Education Association (APEA,which would later become the American Alliance for Health,Physical Education,Recreation and Dance) (NAGWS History). With the turn of the century came new developments for women’s sports,particularly in the formof community leagues and Amateur Athletic Union programs that sponsored

3 competitive teams.Within colleges and universities,however,women physical educators promoted a systemof athletics participation that decidedly eschewed a competitive model of sport.Women physical educators espoused the virtues of physical activity for women,but they adamantly downplayed the elements of men’s sports that they viewed as deleterious for sport and women–namely,excessive competition,elitism,and commercialism.In place of intercollegiate competition,“physical-education instructors,” Guttmann (1991) writes,“turned to intramural competitions...,to ‘telegraphic meets’...,and to ‘Play Days’” (p.140).With “Play Days,” women fromvarious colleges and universities met on one campus for participation in a variety of activities.Players for teams were chosen at randomso that institutions were not represented by select teams that practiced together.“Telegraphic meets,” however,did allow for some formof institutional rivalry.For sports in which results are determined by individual times and scores (e.g.,swimming),teams competed at their own institutions and then telegraphed times and scores to the other teams.These activities encouraged female participation and controlled competition in line with physical educators’ beliefs about the proper role of sport for women.What is more, the “separate sphere” of women’s college sports remained during this time a realmwhere women participated not only as athletes,but also as coaches and administrators of women’s sports. Even as most men’s intercollegiate sports programs affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) in the early 1900s,women’s sports remained under the auspices of physical education associations through most of the century.During the middle part of the twentieth century,with the advent of strong currents of social change,women’s college athletics began to move toward a competitive model with varsity teams involved in extramural competition.As Guttmann (1991) writes,“Varsity sports were not accepted until the 1960s,

4 when the second wave of American feminismfinally overwhelmed the spokeswomen for ‘separate spheres’” (p.142).The earlier generation of women physical educators had been philosophically opposed to intercollegiate competition for women and had labored hard to resist external and internal pressures to accommodate it. With the push of women’s advocates,however,a new generation of female physical educators and leaders of college women’s sports,along with female athletes,began to lobby for championships.In 1966,the Division of Girls’ and Women’s Sports (DGWS) formed the Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (CIAW) to create and administer championships for women’s intercollegiate sports.Out of this commission,women leaders created the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women in 1971.As Morrison (1993) notes,in the creation of the AIAW,college women physical educators and administrators “worked with the DGWS in examining and reevaluating previously held beliefs regarding competition for women and in assessing the needs for change” (p.61).The AIAWwas founded with a clear set of purposes designed to “extend sports programs for women,” “stimulate leadership,” and offer “programs...consistent with...schools’ educational aims” (Festle,p.110). What should be noted is that,although a new generation of women had moved collegiate women’s sports to a new era of competition,women’s college sports continued to be governed by women educators under a philosophy different fromthe prevailing model of men’s intercollegiate sports.Although,as Festle notes,the creation of a women’s college sports association was “bold,” it “also represented a somewhat conservative attempt to keep women’s sports unique and woman-defined” (p.98).In a sense,women’s sports still operated in a “separate sphere” of autonomous leadership during this time.

5 The passage of Title IX in 1972 brought a sea-change to women’s college sports.Title IX of the Education Amendments maintains,“No person in the United States shall,on the basis of sex,be excluded fromparticipation in,be denied the benefits of,or be subjected to discrimination under any educational programor activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” While Title IX applies to a whole host of programs and activities across all levels of education, it has garnered the most attention for its effect on intercollegiate athletics programs.Although passed in 1972,it was not until the early 1990s that the law was “vigorously implemented,” a time of relative affluence and growth among the nation’s colleges and universities (Zimbalist, 2003,p.56).Since the passage and implementation of Title IX,women athletes have taken advantage of the increased opportunities for participation in college sports.The number of female college athletes has grown during this time from16,000 to around 180,000.The number of college women's teams has grown from1402 in 1977-1978 to 8702 in 2006,with three hundred teams added in just the past two years (Acosta &Carpenter,2006,p.10).Clearly,the access to college sports made possible by Title IX has amounted to a boon of opportunity for female athletes. Curiously,though,the situation for female coaches and athletics administrators has not shown the same upsurge of access and participation.Acosta and Carpenter's 2006 update shows that while this year has"the highest ever participation by female athletes,"it also marks"the lowest ever representation of females as coaches of women's teams"and,moreover,it shows"a continuing decreased representation of females as head administrators"(Executive summary). While the actual number of women in coaching and athletics administration has certainly

6 increased over the past three decades,the rate of increase has not kept pace with the addition of women’s teams and athletes. In NCAA Division II programs,in particular,the situation is especially telling.Acosta and Carpenter's longitudinal study provides revealing numbers.While Division II schools have shown similar gains in women's participation,adding"an average of 1.09 teams per school"over the last decade (Participation,p.2),women coaches in Division II lag behind their peers in Divisions I and III (a percentage of 36.2%women coaches as compared to 43.9%in Division I and 44.4%in Division III) (Coaching,p.2).In terms of administration,Division II also stands out.Although in Division II there are nearly twice as many female athletic directors of women's programas in Division I,at 17.8%,the percentage is low and considerably further behind the representation in Division III (26.6%) (Administration,p.1).What is more,24%of Division II institutions lack any female in their athletics administration (Administration,p.2).Furthermore, the average number of female administrators in Division II women's programs is 0.91 (Administration,p.5).Clearly,Division II institutions provide a compelling backdrop for the under-representation of women in athletics leadership. In short,the tremendous gains in athletics participation by female athletes have not been matched in the coaching and administrative ranks by women in college athletics.The effort to achieve equality with men’s competitive college sports has resulted in a costly kind of equity.

7 Statement of the Problem With the increased participation of women athletes and the growth of women’s college sports teams and programs,it would seemthat this trend in participation would be translated into a golden opportunity for women to advance in athletics careers as coaches and administrators. Yet,while the opportunity for such career advancement would seemavailable,women remain underrepresented in these areas,particularly in key leadership positions where much of the decision-making about women’s sports gets made.Acosta and Carpenter’s 2006 study clearly reveals the stunning reality of the contemporary situation:in 1972 when Title IX was enacted, “over 90%of the head coaches for women’s teams...were female” and “more than 90%of women’s programs were administered by a female athletic director,” whereas today “only 42.4% of women’s teams are coached by a female head coach” and “only 18.6%of athletic directors of women’s programs are female” (Executive summary).Women clearly have lost more than they have gained in the control and leadership of women’s programs and teams. The literature on this inverse relation between recent participation and leadership by women in college sports has tried to make sense of the strange impact of gender equity legislation.Cahn (1994) aptly characterizes this Title IX conundrum,writing that the “simultaneous increase in participation and decrease in leadership suggests that women have struck an unintended bargain,trading control over sport for greater access to sporting opportunities and resources” (p.261).In sum,Cahn argues that,in order to gain more widespread and better funded opportunities for female sports participants and teams,women gave up the autonomy and self-determination that early leaders had labored to achieve–sports

8 programs of their own.The “unintended bargain” of Title IX amounted to more participation–a definite improvement in access–but it came at the cost of women’s power to determine the direction of women’s programs and teams.Ironically,in Cahn’s view,today’s women athletics leaders “are grappling with a problemthat plagued earlier physical educators:how to press for full inclusion in athletics without being subsumed into a preexisting model of sport viewed by many as fundamentally sexist,elitist,and exploitative” (p.248). In a similar vein,some,like Festle (1996),have rightly pointed to the issue of equality with men’s programs,as specified by Title IX,as inherently problematic.As Festle explains, women leaders who fought for the CIAWand AIAWhad to combat the notion that equality should be defined as sameness.She writes of these leaders that “they rejected a narrow definition of ‘equality’ (one that simply meant ‘sameness’).They chose instead to insist upon both greater opportunities for women and the right to define the nature of those opportunities” (p.138).Yet with Title IX’s “attention to equity and fairness” came “new,formidable actors–like the U.S.Congress and the NCAA” (p.141).In the ensuing battles over Title IX played out in the courts and boardrooms,equality ultimately became measured by the yardstick of the male athletic model.Since women’s collegiate athletics was originally based on a philosophy of being different fromthe model of men’s sports,the equality offered women’s sports might not seemto meet squarely with what women want fromcollege athletics.That is,the equality offered by Title IX meant that women’s teams and programs would be equal with men’s,but only according to the existing model of men’s athletics.Women’s college sports were subsumed under the aegis of men’s sports,under their governance,leadership,and philosophy.In this way,Title IX imposed a costly formof equality on women’s college sports.

9 A number of research studies have tried to make sense of and offer solutions to the under- representation by women in college coaching and athletics leadership.Many of these studies, like Acosta and Carpenter’s twenty-nine year longitudinal study of college sport,describe the situation of women’s participation in college athletics.Others (Teel,2005;Smith,2005; Radlinski,2003;Byler,2001) describe the traits and experiences that serve to make women better candidates for advancement in sports careers in the effort to help improve the situation. One key study (Pleban,1998) identified and interviewed exemplary female leaders in sport, looking for common threads in their experience as a way of providing an explanation for what women must do in order to succeed in such careers. What has not been sufficiently studied,however,is the decision-making that women engage in as they consider whether or not to pursue or to continue careers in college athletics as coaches and administrators.Studies have not yet provided adequate explanations for the under- representation of women in athletics leadership,particularly fromthe perspective of the women most likely to fill those positions.While the experience of exemplary women in sport is decidedly helpful,it is also crucial that a more complete understanding be gained of what women typically experience at various stages of their career. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study is to accomplish the following: 1.Discover what various women coaches (former and current) and women athletic leaders identify as contributing factors to the under-representation of

10 women in their fields. 2.Compare and contrast the career decisions of these two groups,situating their decision-making within the context of their assessment of the problemof women’s under-representation. 3.Provide suggestions,based on the information gathered,for improving the numbers of women in athletics leadership positions. Research Questions The primary research questions for this study is the following:Why,when more women now compete as athletes in college sports,are women under-represented in athletics leadership positions?Sub-questions include: 1.Why do women leave coaching and/or choose not to pursue leadership positions? 2.How do women perceive the current situation of women’s under-representation and how do these perceptions affect how they experience their coaching and administrative jobs? 3.Do women feel that there is a lack of fit between their career goals and lifestyle and a career in athletics leadership?

11 Conceptual Framework The conceptual framework for this study comes out of the literature dealing with women’s under-representation in collegiate leadership in both academics and athletics. Numerous studies have been conducted to describe the situation of women’s under- representation and to explain the factors contributing to the current situation.The findings of such studies,as elaborated in the review of literature,serve as the conceptual framework for this study. In particular,this study relies on the following for its conceptual framework:hegemonic masculinity (Whisenant et al.,2002) and gendered hegemony (Chesterman et al.,2003);sex discrimination by athletes,coaches,and administrators (CAGE Report,2005;Pleban,1998); lesbian fear (CAGE Report;Teel,2005);the unequal impact of family commitments (CAGE Report;Mason &Goulden,2002,2004);lack of women’s critical mass (CAGE Report; Trombley,2003);and institutional climate and culture (Bolman &Deal,2003).These concepts give shape to this study and provide the framework for the interviews and analysis. Nature of the Study A qualitative approach will be used for this study.In-depth interviews following a general interview guide approach will serve as the primary methodology,with institutional documents and employment histories supplying supporting material.Since NCAA II institutions show the lowest representation of women in coaching and athletics leadership (Acosta &

12 Carpenter,2006),the interviews will be conducted with women currently and formerly affiliated with NCAA II institutions across the country.Four categories of women participants have been identified for the sampling:assistant coaches,head coaches,senior woman administrators,and athletics directors.These participants will include women currently working in these positions as well as those who have left these positions to pursue other careers.Several women in each category will be selected to ensure a stratified purposeful sampling of interviewees. Most of the previous research in this area has been quantitative,using Likert-scale instruments to describe the situation.Much of the qualitative research has focused on identifying the skills,attributes,and experience of successful women in sports leadership positions,generally through interviews with women who currently or previously worked in athletics leadership positions. What has not been studied adequately is the decision-making and lived experiences that lead women to opt out of careers in college sports,particularly in leadership positions.Since qualitative study allows for a more in-depth and richly nuanced exploration of motives and experience,it has been selected as the methodology for this study.Furthermore,because this study seeks to examine the career decisions of women in college sports positions,it is also critical that the participants reflect the various stages of professional development available–from graduate assistant coaches,for example,to head coaches to athletic directors.

13 Significance of the Study The underrepresentation of women in college coaching and athletics leadership is a persistent and complex problem.With few women in coaching positions–a natural prerequisite for a career move into administration–the hiring of women athletics leaders becomes more difficult.Research has yet to provide an adequate explanation for the gap between female athletics participation and female representation in college coaching and athletics leadership. It is essential that more be done to learn about the career decisions of women in college sports.The results of this study should be helpful in creating a more complete understanding of the factors contributing to the problemof the under-representation of women in college coaching and leadership.What makes this study unique is its in-depth focus on the decision-making process of former and current women coaches and athletics leaders in order to help determine the reasons for women’s underrepresentation.With such an understanding,it is hoped that more effective steps can be taken to remedy this underrepresentation. The results of this study should be of particular interest to those groups and persons most involved in the administration and governance of collegiate athletics.Organizations such as the NCAA and NACWAA have sided with women’s advocates to protest recent efforts to weaken Title IX and provide education and development opportunities for women in college sports for the purpose of increasing the representation of women not only in athletics participation but also in coaching and leadership.This study fits neatly within the purview of such efforts to increase the representation of women in these key areas.Furthermore,with the various calls for reformof

14 intercollegiate athletics,the voices of women coaches and athletics leaders could provide needed insight for addressing certain problems in college sports. Also,this study should be of interest to women coaches and administrators at the various stages of their career,fromgraduate assistant coaches to head coaches to Senior Woman Administrators (SWAs) and athletics directors.Graduate assistant coaches may find it helpful in recognizing and understanding the challenges and barriers to advancement,whereas assistant and head coaches may find it helpful for assessing the benefits of continuing on in coaching and, perhaps,pursuing a position in athletics administration.SWAs,on the other hand,may find this study helpful in understanding women coaches'career decisions as well as the overall institutional climate that affects women's experience in coaching and administration.Finally, women athletics directors may find use in this study's explanations for a problemthat they are positioned to help ameliorate. Definition of Terms Assistant coach.Either full- or part-time coach hired as an assistant to a sport's full-time coach.These coaches may have other assigned duties they are required to performin addition to their coaching responsibilities. Association for the Advancement of University Professors (AAUP).The largest association of university faculty.

15 Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW).Established in 1972 as an outgrowth of Title IX and the push by women for greater competitive opportunities in collegiate athletics,the governing body for women’s intercollegiate athletics until its demise in 1982. Athletics director.The chief executive officer of a college or university's athletics department.Although the athletics director may also serve as a coach or have other assigned duties,most hold this position as their sole responsibility,and in this position they may perform such duties as fundraising,marketing,hiring,strategic planning,facilities management and development,and community involvement. Graduate assistant coach.Coach hired by a college or university who,in addition to assigned coaching duties,also takes classes toward a graduate degree.Graduate assistantships are generally entry level positions for collegiate coaching. Head coach.Generally a full-time coach,although there are part-time head coaches, chiefly responsible for the administration of a sports team.Head coaches may have other assigned duties,such as teaching,game management,or administration,in addition to their coaching responsibilities. National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA). Women’s professional organization founded in 1979. National Collegiate Athletics Administration (NCAA).Established in 1906,the primary governing body of intercollegiate athletics. Title IX.The landmark legislation of the Education Amendments passed in 1972 that made sex discrimination in education illegal.

16 Women athletics leaders.Women in the position of Senior Woman Administrator, associate or assistant athletics director,or senior athletics director. Senior Woman Administrator (SWA).Athletics administrator responsible for overseeing women’s athletics programs at an institution and monitoring compliance with Title IX and gender equity.Many SWAs also hold such other positions as coach,compliance officer,business manager,or events manager. Assumptions This study assumes that the current state of women’s underrepresentation in college coaching and athletics leadership is a problemthat warrants study and efforts to effect change. That women’s collegiate sports originally were coached and administered almost wholly by women before the advent of Title IX,and that women now comprise the smallest proportion of coaches and administrators of women’s teams,indicates that the problemis not one of disinterest by women in these professions;instead,this study assumes that there has been some systematic change in the nature of women’s collegiate sports that has affected the career decisions of women as they consider coaching and athletics leadership as career options. Limitations This study is limited to the experiences and understanding of the women interviewed and cannot be used as the basis for large-scale generalizations.Furthermore,this study is limited to

17 NCAA II women coaches and administrators and,therefore,the results cannot be generalized to include the experiences of women coaches and administrators at other NCAA levels or at institutions affiliated with other governing bodies. As another limitation,it should be noted that the researcher,because of her experience as a woman and coach,comes at this issue with some bias.The researcher’s strong feelings about gender equity inevitably will color the nature and interpretation of her findings.

18 CHAPTER 2.LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This chapter reviews the literature crucial to an understanding of the background,nature, and extent of the problemof women’s underrepresentation in college coaching and athletics leadership.It also draws fromliterature dealing with theories of leadership and research on women and barriers to their advancement.Fromthis review,several common themes emerge that provide a means of grasping hold of this study’s focus on the decision-making process that women in college coaching and administration use to make career choices. This chapter is divided into five main sections:(a) History of women’s participation in intercollegiate athletics;(b) Title IX;(c) Women and leadership in higher education;(d) Women and athletics leadership;and (e) Rationale for qualitative methodology. First,the history of women’s participation in intercollegiate athletics provides an understanding of the background and history that originally shaped and gave meaning to women’s involvement in sport and the role of women’s athletics within higher education.Most important,this history shows that,unlike the contemporary situation,women’s intercollegiate athletics in the past was governed,administered,and led by women. Second,the discussion of Title IX reveals the great boon for women’s access to participation in collegiate athletics,but at the same time it shows the unintended consequences for women’s control and leadership of women’s intercollegiate sports.Especially significant to this study is how Title IX’s mandate of equality with men’s college sports cost women leaders control of women’s college sports (Festle,1996).

19 Third,the exploration of studies on women’s leadership in higher education allows for an understanding of the situation of women’s leadership–the key issues and barriers women face generally in higher education,thereby situating the underrepresentation of women sports leaders within a larger theoretical and research context.These studies and theories suggest certain affinities between women in sport and women in academic leadership,particularly in regard to the barriers and challenges they face as women leaders. Fourth,a review of other studies of women in coaching and athletics leadership also reveals key insights about the contemporary situation of women’s underrepresentation in college sports leadership that will be useful for this project. Finally,a rationale for the qualitative methodology used for this study provides information about the methods of other studies and how a qualitative methodology best fits this study's purpose. History of Women’s College Athletics The history of intercollegiate athletics for women involves a struggle for power and identity.Fromthe earliest days of athletic activity for women on college campuses,the questions of the purpose,role,and extent of women’s competition were debated and discussed by those women involved in the organization and governance of women’s sports.Originally,women physical educators who served as coaches and administrators of women’s activities and teams were the primary agents in promoting a gender-specific model for women’s sports.As the twentieth century rolled on through the political developments of mid-century and the turbulent

20 waves of social change,women’s collegiate athletics became a contested space of battling organizations trying to wrestle control of women’s sports for their own purposes.Fromthe battles between the NCAA and AAU to the internecine struggles of factions within the NAGWS, women’s college sports developed amid a swirling current of competing groups and organizations vying for control. Early in the development of physical education programs on college campuses and women’s participation in organized sports activities,physical educators advocated a “separate sphere” for women (Guttman,1991).This “separate sphere” was strategically distinguished from the competitive model of men’s athletics,which was seen to be elitist,commercialized,and academically corrupt.For the women physical educators who promoted a women’s model, participation,health,and integration within the mission of higher education were the primary goals.To this end,competitive athletics were originally eschewed,with such controlled events as “play days” promoted as the proper venue for women’s participation in college sports.The key point here is that women’s athletics were originally controlled by women physical educators and consciously aligned along a model different frommen’s competitive sport. The first organizations that governed and administered women’s sports were affiliated with college physical education departments.The American Physical Education Association dates back to the nineteenth century,and it was at its conference in 1899 that a paper on the rules for women’s basket ball gave impetus for the rise of separate committees for women’s sports.In 1916,the American Physical Education Association (APEA) established a Standing Committee on Women’s Athletics and,in 1917,“the first meeting of a women’s group in the APEA convention was sponsored by the committee on Women’s Athletics” (NAGWS History).

21 Through the early decades of the twentieth century,the organizations governing women’s college sports activities continued to develop,with the “reorganization of APEA in 1932 [which] led to the formation of the National Section on Women’s Athletics (NWSA) (NAGWS History).The National Section on Girls and Women’s Sports (NSGWS) came into being in 1953 as a result of the renaming of the NWSA that emphasized the representation of secondary schools as well as colleges and universities.Although the NSGWS merged with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education,Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) in 1958 and endured another name change to the Division for Girls and Women’s Sports (DGWS),it was not until 1974 that the final transformation of the governing body for women’s sports took place:“In 1974,when AAHPERD restructured,DGWS became the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS),one of six national associations within AAHPERD” (NAGWS History).Throughout this period of development,women physical educators largely controlled the direction and nature of women’s collegiate sports,maintaining it as a “separate sphere.” Movements within the NAGWS during the 1960s,however,contributed to changes in women’s college sports.While women physical educators who governed and administered women’s sports still espoused a participatory model different fromthe model of men’s intercollegiate athletics,female athletes and coaches began to lobby for more competitive opportunities–opportunities more akin to those available to male collegiate athletes.Ultimately, the NAGWS sanctioned “competitive varsity athletics as an appropriate activity for women” (Ladda,2000,Conclusion section,¶ 4).As a result,in 1966 the NAGWS created the Committee for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (CIAW) which was charged with looking into creating championships for women’s college sports.A development that accompanied this transition to

Full document contains 136 pages
Abstract: With the increased participation of women athletes and the growth of women's college sports teams and programs since Title IX, it would seem that this trend in participation would be translated into a golden opportunity for women to advance in athletics careers as coaches and administrators. Yet, while the opportunity for such career advancement would seem available, women remain underrepresented in these areas, particularly in key leadership positions where much of the decision-making about women's college sports get made. Such underrepresentation by women in college coaching and athletics leadership poses a problem for women in sport and has been the subject of numerous research studies. What has not been sufficiently studied, however, is the decision-making that women engage in as they consider whether or not to pursue or to continue careers in college athletics as coaches and administrators. Through in-depth interviews with current and former coaches and administrators, this study provides a greater understanding of the underrepresentation of women in athletics leadership from the perspective of the women in, and most likely to fill, those positions.