News

At convention, Shalala emphasizes importance of women in sports, misuse of Title IX

On the day it was announced that the University of Miami had completed a state record, seven-year $1.4 billion fundraising campaign, President Donna E. Shalala also spoke about another topic.

A group of national sportswriters assembled to listen to the university’s president speak of the “balance in investing in women’s sports,” also one day after Shalala named Kirby Hocutt the school’s new athletic director. She also noted that opportunities for women in sports ultimately lead to better chances to be competitive in other areas.

“Sports has been the glass ceiling for women,” said Shalala, the keynote lunch guest at the 21st annual Association for Women in Sports Media convention at the Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove.

She credited her experience as a scrappy shortstop growing up in Cleveland with teaching her discipline.

“It is why I am so committed to all sports, not just revenue producing ones,” she said.

Shalala was introduced by Miami Herald staff writer Michelle Kaufman, one of the event’s organizers, as “Wonder Woman” for her numerous, simultaneous public campaign efforts on and off campus.

Throughout her 25-minute speech, the theme centered on addressing challenges and misconceptions athletic departments around the country have faced over the years. Chief among them was the correlation between Title IX, a law that prohibits gender discrimination in college sports, and eliminating other sports programs, a claim she called spurious. She pointed instead to the enormous costs incurred by men’s football programs.

“We’ve used Title IX as an excuse. No other country in the world does this,” she said of paying football coaches salaries that often reach into the millions. Another popular claim she dismissed as myth was the interconnectedness of school revenue streams and the football program.

Still, she said, nothing brings communities together like college football, a bonding that extends in helping with identification of institutions.

“I’m also a professor of political science; I know the value of symbolism,” Shalala said. “It is an integral part of our ability to build great institutions.

Shalala also revealed that she had made great efforts in recruiting women to interview for the athletic director opening, only to find few candidates willing to risk positions they already held.

Shalala, the only U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services in history to serve two full terms, said her advice for students was to be the best they can be, saying that over the years her philosophies and outlooks have evolved to make her more humble.

And as for students who think they have the world figured out by 21, she simply said, “You don’t.”

Krishen Rangi may be contacted at k.rangi@umiami.edu.

February 11, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Darrell Langham, the redshirt junior receiver who caused an uproar among Miami Hurricanes fans the p ...

This news release just in from the University of Miami, another impressive class about to be inducte ...

The University of Miami men’s basketball team got a welcome dose of good news on Monday night. Verno ...

After a disheartening week of practice injury-wise following the University of Miami’s victory at Fl ...

University of Miami’s highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker, who had surgery for a torn right meniscu ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Darrell Langham has been a hero twice this season, but his path to prominence has been a long one. ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2018 inductees for the 50th A ...

Senior diver Wally Layland was recognized for her standout performance at the SMU Classic with ACC C ...

University of Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV was among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

The Miami Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2018 season when fall practice commences Wed., O ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.