Sam Houston State explores options for addition of women’s athletic team

After the addition of the women’s soccer team in 2003, the Sam Houston State athletic department recently disclosed its plans to introduce another women’s program in the near future thanks to pressure from the Title IX regulations governing equality in education.

According to Athletic Director Bobby Williams, the department has been conducting research concerning the matter and will make an announcement about their decision in January.

“Right now we’re in the process of studying,” Williams said. “At this point, it will only be one team, but we have not yet determined which sport will be added.”

Though officials within the department have remained tight lipped concerning the matter, rumors of the addition of a women’s lacrosse or bowling team have been circulating since early in the semester. Yet Williams emphasized that the department has not yet decided which sport would be the best fit for the university.

“We have to look at scheduling options locally and the availability of athletes for the sport,” Williams said. “I also want to talk to the club teams before reaching a decision.”

Though initially written to cover all educational opportunities, the Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 has become a blanket governance covering all aspects of educational institutions, most notably high school and college athletics.

The 37-word law states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of gender, 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.”

By adding another women’s sport to the program, the Bearkat Athletic department will be exhibiting compliance with the second “Prong of Compliance” in which educational institutions are required to “demonstrate a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented gender.”

Sam Houston State currently offers five men’s sports and seven women’s sports.

“It’s always a positive when you expand opportunities for any student athlete,” Williams said.

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