The Pac-12 Networks will launch exactly 40 years after enactment of Title IX, the federal law that requires equal access to women to federally funded programs as men. And the networks will play a big part in furthering the cause and granting fair exposure to the female student-athlete.
The Pac-12 Networks will be split down the middle in terms of games aired — 50 percent will feature men’s teams and the other half will feature women’s teams. And just the substantial increase in exposure will enhance the mission of women’s programs, not only in the conference, but across the nation.
“I think the more they see women playing, the more likely they are to keep doing it themselves,” said Washington women’s soccer coach Lesle Gallimore, who will enter her 19th season guiding the Huskies this fall. “The more girls see young women playing in college and getting an education at the same time, I think they will continue to strive to continue to play sports.”
Gallimore is especially troubled by recent statistics that show that by the age of 14, girls stop playing sports at twice the rate of boys. The Pac-12 Networks can do their part to help encourage girls to stay in the game.
Pac-12 Networks reporter/analyst Summer Sanders was born in 1972, the year Title IX went into effect. She is looking forward to continuing to champion the cause of the female student-athlete.
“My face lit up when I saw that it was split straight down the middle, 50 percent male sports and 50 percent female sports,” Sanders said. “I am very grateful for the opportunities I had to fulfill my dreams in athletics and education.”