The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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June 24, 2012

Law banning sex bias struck a national sports nerve

(Continued)

There are quieter stories that tell of the revolution brought by Title IX. When the law was passed, Bob Gardner was both a teacher and the boys' teams coach at rural Milan High School in Bayh's home state of Indiana.

Gardner said he couldn't help but be sympathetic to the Title IX cause. "In the same classes, I had players from the girls' team and players from the boys' team," Gardner said. "I wanted them all to be successful in academics and athletics."

Gardner is still pushing the merits of Title IX as executive director of the National Federation of High School Associations, the umbrella organization for state high school sports.

He sees Title IX as the gateway that has given millions of girls access to the playing field - including his own two daughters who played varsity sports in high school and college. One is now a bio-molecular engineer in Minnesota; the other is a college administrator in New York.

“The lessons they learned playing sports have benefited them as adults,” Gardner said. “It's given them confidence to face adversity."

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Maureen Hayden is the CNHI state reporter in Indianapolis. Contact her at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

 

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