Athletics News

Saturday Celebrates 40 Year Anniversary of the Signing of Title IX

Betty Booker was one of the first females to get a full athletic scholarship at the University of Memphis to play basketball. She is still the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,835 points.
Betty Booker was one of the first females to get a full athletic scholarship at the University of Memphis to play basketball. She is still the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,835 points.

June 22, 2012

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." - Title IX, Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.

It may be surprising to some sports fans that the portion of the Education Amendment of 1972 (also called the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act) does not even mention the word athletics since it's now so widely associated with collegiate sports. Title IX has helped in the ending of quotas for female students in graduate schools and public undergraduate programs, opening up jobs on college faculties and administrations to women and allowing both boys and girls to enroll in "shop" and "home ec" classes.

Lynn Parkes (pictured here with Susan Russ, who helped build the women's track program) came to Memphis from the University of Alabama to help build a women's golf program. She stayed to help Elma Roane build an entire women's athletics program.


Saturday, June 23rd, marks the 40th anniversary of the day President Nixon signed Title IX into law. Above is the first of a multi-part video series on the role Title IX has played in University of Memphis women's athletics. Associate Athletic Director Lynn Parkes came to Memphis to create a women's golf program, working with Elma Roane to elevate women's club sports on campus to varsity sport status. Parkes now serves as the administrator in an athletic department that features 10 varsity sports programs for female student-athletes and has served on NCAA committees to offer national championship opportunities to women competing in both basketball and golf.

While Parkes was brought to Memphis to build a women's golf team, Charlotte Peterson was already a graduate student at then-Memphis State when women's tennis moved from a club sport to a varsity team. She first served as a doubles player at Memphis, then an assistant coach, then took over as the program's head coach for 32 seasons.

Beth Harrelson competed at Memphis as a college student-athlete and is currently the head coach of the women's golf team.


Also featured in this part of the series is current women's golf coach Beth Harrelson. Harrelson competed at Memphis and is a member of the M Club Hall of Fame. She has taken over the women's golf program at her alma mater and has returned the program to lofty heights. Three-time All-C-USA golfer Marissa Steen is one of the products of Harrelson's program. Steen is currently 15th on the Symetra Tour money list in her quest for a professional golf career on the LPGA tour.

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