The early-to-mid-1970s modes of transportation described by former University of Wisconsin female basketball players paint a starkly different picture of planes and coaches than today’s college programs and their female students- athletes can use.
“We had fleet cars,” said former UW player Kristi Austin (née: Condon), who also later added that vans were another option.
Austin, a Brodhead native who led the team in scoring and rebounds during the 1975-76 season and is a former president of the W Clubrecalled how three people were allowed to drive these fleet cars, including the coach and a former player, Tasha Bolton, and one other person.
“We were literally taking off later in the day, driving at night,” Austin said. “So I was always standing with Tasha, and we could just pull the breeze back and forth.”
UW Women’s Basketball register states that the program began “intercollegiate play” on December 6, 1974, when the Badgers defeated Minnesota 55-45 in Iowa City, Iowa, but there were teams that organized and played before that 1974 season- 75.
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The State Journal spoke to three former players – Austin (1974-76), Sandi Skubal (1969-73), Kim Bertagnoli (1974-75) – about their experiences on UW basketball teams before, during, and after Title IX passed for nearly an hour on a June afternoon inside the Kohl Center.
Skubal played before that “intercollegiate” first team of 1974-75, training and playing at Lathrop Hall. Skubal, who became a physical education teacher and coach of basketball, track and volleyball at Middleton High School, remembered that she needed to get behind the wheel, literally, to get better. sure to get to a game.
“There was a time when we didn’t have anyone to drive, so I think that was my last year, I drove to a game and then I played,” Skubal said. “So you just did what you had to do, because we just wanted to play and it was great.”
Bertagnoli only played one season for the UW women’s basketball program, but she also played three seasons for the women’s volleyball team. She thinks it was in 1975 that this group of badgers learned they were taking a new route.
“My second year in volleyball, I believe it was my second year,” Bertagnoli said. “It was towards the end of the season, a big volleyball tournament, and we managed to get a steal.”
Bertagnoli recalled being in the old Natatorium building, which she described as having two basketball courts side by side. She will never forget how the team walked around the gym and performed warm-ups.
“And that day when we found out,” she said, “we were pretending to be airplanes running around like children do with our arms outstretched, because we were so excited to be able to fly somewhere.”
Writer’s note: Be sure to watch the five videos the State Journal has compiled of various clips from the chat.
Title IX Timeline: 50 Years of Interrupted Progress in the United States
A federal appeals court actually says doctors can prescribe birth control to women.
The first report of the Truman Commission calls for more equitable access to higher education, including an end to racial and religious discrimination.
US Supreme Court says ‘separate educational institutions are inherently unequal’ in landmark Brown v. Board of Education of the Topeka decision.
The Commission on the Status of Women, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, finds widespread discrimination against women in the United States and urges federal courts that “the principle of equality be firmly established in constitutional doctrine” . Congress passes Equal Pay Act.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides federal funding to K-12 schools with low-income student populations. President Lyndon Johnson also signs the Higher Education Act of 1965 which gives students access to loans, scholarships and other programs.
The National Women’s Organization is established, calling for women to have “full participation in mainstream American society…in a truly equal partnership with men.”
The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) is founded to govern collegiate women’s athletics and administer national championships.
Congress passes Title IX, which is enacted by President Richard Nixon. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, because of sex, be excluded from participation in, denied benefits, or discriminated against in connection with any program of education or an activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Congress also passes the Equal Rights Amendment, but it never gets the 38 state approval needed to become law.
The Women’s Education Equity Act provides grants and contracts to help with “gender-neutral programs,” as well as to help institutions meet Title IX requirements.
President Gerald Ford signs Title IX Athletics Regulationswhich gives athletics departments up to three years to implement, after noting that “it was the intention of Congress, for whatever reason for interpretation, to include athletics.”
The NCAA challenges the legality of Title IX regarding athletics in a lawsuit that is dismissed two years later.
US officials have implemented the important three-pronged test for Title IX compliance in athletics.
Oversight of Title IX is performed by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
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Louisiana Tech defeats Cheyney State for the first NCAA women’s basketball title. Two months later, the AIAW folded, placing top women’s collegiate sports entirely under the umbrella of the NCAA. Cheryl Miller scores 105 points in a high school game for launch one of the greatest careers in basketball history.
Congress overturns President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, mandating the application of Title IX to any school receiving federal funds.
The Athletics Equity Disclosure Act is passed. Under Title IX, schools with federal financial aid and athletics programs must provide annual gender equity information, including roster sizes and certain budgets.
The female athletes win a lawsuit and force Brown to restore funding for women’s gymnastics and volleyball after saying the school violated Title IX by turning both teams into donor-funded entities. The NBA clears the way for the Women’s National Basketball Association to begin play the following year.