A significant role. The carrot of participation in state or national championships or eligibility for international competition is of significant value. What would happen if a state high school athletics association had a rule that no high school girls' or boys' team would be eligible for state championship play if the athletic program was not in compliance with Title IX, the federal law requiring equal opportunity and treatment of female athletes? Note, this is currently true in the state of Kentucky.
What would happen if a state legislature waived tuition for all female scholarship recipients as long as the athletics department used these dollars saved to comply with Title IX? Note, this is currently true in the state of Washington.
The challenge is that using the carrot requires at least a majority vote of the governance organization offering the carrot. When the members of the governance association are both the voters and the institutions not doing the right thing, change comes slowly. Only when those doing the right thing become the majority, can the carrot offer be activated.
Prepared by: Donna A. Lopiano, Ph.D., President, Sports Management Resources