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After 50 years of Title IX, Sen. Chris Murphy wants fair pay for female athletes

NCAA UConn South Carolina Basketball
Charlie Neibergall
UConn's Paige Bueckers tries to get past South Carolina's Destanni Henderson during the first half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) highlighted the lingering gender inequities in both college and high school sports with members from the New York-based community group Voice In Sport.

“For every dollar that top colleges spend recruiting athletes for men’s basketball, they spend less than 60 cents recruiting athletes for women’s teams,” Murphy said.

The senator added that the sports landscape has seen progress since the landmark 1972 Title IX civil rights law that banned discrimination based on gender in education, including sports.

But Murphy said the nation also needs a co-ed approach to fix the discrepancies that still exist in intercollegiate athletics.

“It should not be up to only women athletes to raise the importance of preserving and expanding the rights under Title IX,” Murphy said. “All of us should be invested in this fight and in this work.”

Murphy is proposing legislation known as the Fair Play for Women Act of 2022 that would hold the NCAA and athletic conferences accountable to Title IX’s laws.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education released proposed changes to Title IX regulations. Those changes include fully protecting students from all forms of sex discrimination, instead of limiting some protections to sexual harassment alone.

It would also make clear those protections include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, said U.S. Secretary Miguel Cardona, who is a former Connecticut education commissioner.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.