The women's athletic directors from the D.C. area's collegs and universities were invited last week to take part in a round-table discusion of their programs, policies and problems. In a far-ranging discussion, the 11 directors who responded to the invitation from The Washington Post described their programs and dealt with such matters as their relationships with the Association for Intercollegiate Athetics for Women, the most prominent governing body for women's amateur athletics, and relationships with the news media. Here is a digest of their comments. Lynn George George Washington
On the AIAW: I think you have to remember that the AIAW is a very new organization and that they are trying very hard to keep control of women's sports so that we are not submerged into the men's model and men's atheltic role.
Their bottom line is that they are concerned about the student and not exploiting the student. When you come up with some of our rules, we look ridiculous in terms of men's athletics, but not in terms, perhaps, of changing society or cultural views toward athletics.
The AIAW is human. They've made a lot of mistakes. They've made mistakes that are sort of splitting us. But what they're facing is a split which the real world doesn't know anything about. And that is that we have come from a basis of physical education for women into a submerged world of coeducational physical education.
In other words, physical education for women as we knew it no longer exists . . . Now we've gone into athletics. So half the women who were in physical education now are in athletics and we have a split among our ranks as to whether this is really right.
So we are really fighting with a lot of internal, philosophical problems which the men have had (for) 80 years to get to wherever they are. And I think we do look ridiculous. We look like babies. We're inept in many ways. But nonetheless, we must retain control of our groups.
I've had differences with AIAW and I will continue to have them. Because I'm trying to change them in my way and they don't like the way I try to change them. Because I report to The Post sometimes the things that are going on. But, nevertheless, I think you have to keep in mind what our goal or objective is, or the bottom line. It's the student.And the men have not kept that in mind.
How should women develop their programs?
By excellence. By doing what they're doing at Maryland. By developing teams that are good and that demand crowd attention. I think we have to do our role in this developmental thing, and I don't think women have done it yet.
. . . You know, you crawl and walk and run. And I think you have to be a little bit more patient. And yet, not too patient. . .
Until the public is aware of what we are doing, until they want to pay that dollar . . . and right now in Washington I resist selling tickets . . .The high schools are charging moe money for their games that we are, women. And that's degrading. I'd rather give it away than charge a buck or two bucks or add it on to the men's price. Chris Weller Maryland
On the AIAW: I would like to see the women growing in the AIAW to be able to govern themselves. But I don't believe that in athletics it can be handled as a melting pot, which AIAW insists on continuing to perpetuate, that all sports are the same and that all schools should have the same goals.
We have taken steps to organize our competition into Divisions I, II, and III, and I think that until AIAW does that, we have different levels of schools not having their needs met. . . For example, everyone has a vote on scholarship regulations, and they don't know anything about scholarships, many of them. We have a vote on nonscholarship situations, where I don't know that we should have that right.
Just as I think field-hockey programs should make rules for tennis and so forth.
I've met with Atlantic Conference officials, and I had the false notion that all men in men's athletics and the NCAA weren't concerned about the student. And that AIAW was. Well, there are many men in the NCAA that do care about the student . . . all the administrators I feel in the ACC do care about their student-athletes.
There are coaches who abuse the powers that they have. We got a lot accomplished because all of our schools were similar-type institutions with similar needs and we could help meet those needs . . .
I think that common schools with common goals have to get together and I think the conference structure has helped in terms of our communication, at least my communication, with NCAA. I'm having a little bit more of an empathetic approach to their opinions. AIAW needs to consider that as they progress . . .
I've always supported separate (men's and women's bodies) until AIAW had the power to merge. But I am in support, in the long run, of athletic programs for people. I don't believe there should be a distinquishing organization. When women can be guaranteed due process in the power of an organiation -- that is the value that AIAW has now -- that it is allowing us some kind of brace with which to meet the men's program and give our ideas and our thoughts. But I'm hoping for a logical merger in the future. Barbara Reimann American
On the AIAW: I think, given their finances and their resources, they are doing a helluva job . . . They've made mistakes -- we have all made mistakes. But you go back a number of years, and the NCAA when they started . . . weren't doing a heck of a lot better.
And unfortunately, we are at the point where we are at the financial crunch. We do not have a great deal of money. Most of the schools have not put in a great deal of money and the NCAA is reaping the benefit of TV contracts that are giving them vast sums of money, and when you have that kind of money you can do an awful lot.
Unfortunately, AIAW has not been able to come into this money, and this would help many of our problems -- staffing, getting everything out to the schools.
I think we're moving ahead. But we're all never going to agree. I don't think any man is going to agree totally with the NCAA rules or the NAIA rules. And you'll find the same things with AIAW.
. . . I think the unique thing with the AIAW is that it is run by women, for women, whereas otherwise we would be absolutely overwhelmed and women would not have any of these organizations.
On news coverage: I'm orginally from Philadelphia and for years, even before Title 9 and anything else, they have had women's sports in the newspaper, in the Bulletin and the Inquirer. Maggie Schwartz Prince George's CC
The AIAW is one of the representative organizations and not the only one. We are members of the NJCAA and that is not in any way affiliated with the AIAW
We didn't feel that they (AIAW) were doing the job of keeping the women's sports together and representing us. They were -- if you want to be diplomatic -- we felt we had a better representative body on the junior college level with the NJCAA. Hazel Pflueger Montgomery-Rockville
Title 9 has been somewhat effective in that there has been an upgrading in the facilities. But our problems are different from some of the other colleges around here because we have a much smaller program.
. . . We've not really felt all that much of a budget crunch. We've always had primarily 90 or 80 percent of what we've asked for our program, for traveling and meals and what not. That has come from the students and they've been very fair as far as the women are concerned.
In fact, I would say that the students are probably more tuned in to women's athletics than perhaps the old guard in the control situations.
On news coverage: I think we're all very interested in our own institutions getting publicity. One of the things we are also interested in is that women get publicity, because the newspaper is a role model for women. If they don't see that they ever get any recognition or that they get adverse kind of recognition, then they feel that there is something they should do with their lives.
. . . Maybe it would be a kind of a sexist thing to have a women-in-sport article (appearing regularly in the paper). But if you could just have one and not call it that -- make sure that some kind of women's sports gets in the paper every day. Jone Dowd Catholic
At Catholic, we have . . . a facility that we all merge to. It's outdated, it's limited, it's crowded . . .
They never had any women's programs before I came, so I felt I had a job ahead of me. I dealt with intramurals to begin with and then I developed the athletic program.
At this point we have eight sports for women and eight sports for men. And all of us are suffering.
. . . Budget is definitely a problem. We have to stay within our limits. I don't think that the women's program has been hampered a great deal because we have been progressing at a very gradual rate. Our teams have gone out of the Washington area into the Maryland and Virginia (suburbs) and now we are going on into some overnight trips.
. . . And the administration has been very understanding. But this would never have happened if Title 9 had not become into existence.
We are hoping to have a new facility and we are hopeful we can work things out. At this point the men have been very cooperative, and we share. We all suffer.
We have one field and we have a football team, a soccor team, a field hockey team and a baseball team -- all fighting on the same field. So we go to the religious houses, differnt brothers and priests, for aid.
There is a lot of interest on the part of women. They are enthusiastic and they are supporting each other's teams.
I think there is a marked increase in intramural participation in the women's sports. Where it used to be five or six teams in tournaments, now we have 15 or 20. The intramural program is where you see the average kid coming out and playing . . . And jogging and running and weightlifting is another area where the girls are participating more. Much more. Nathalie Parmskas Georgetown
Georgetown is in a unique situation. It started out as an entirely male school. Also a school in which basketball is king. Not women's basketball, but men's.
But I have to say for the past few years we have made large, long strides toward bringing up our women's sports. The idea at Georgetown is that we are building up to national, regional and local levels. Some teams are going to have to stay at a local level. There is no way we can bring them all up. But in a sense, except for volleyball, the buildup costs the moneys the men are recieving for their sports.
I have to say in that sense the administration has been fair. We started building up the sports only two years ago. But they are aiming for basketball for the national level . . .
But as far as the allotment is concerned -- travel, meals, overnights -- we are exactly on the same level as the men are right now. So I cannot complain too much.
But it will take several years until we will get really to the full capacity of the women. We have 10 sports for the women right now. But it is not going to be 10 sports at the national level, it might be one or two sports at the regional level. It all depends.
We are very hampered by an athletic board that has representatives of students, faculty and administration, and they are actually voting on the budget and voting on the money allotted. But if I look back four or five years at what I had at Georgetown then and what I have now, there certainly is a difference, and Title 9 is part of it. Emma Best UDC
I am in sort of a new situation (University of District of Columbia having been created recently through the merger of three other schools.) I guess I'm fortunate in a sense because we had to throw everything out and start all over again so there was not that male establishment (to contend with) prior to UDC.
On paper, we have a women's program and a men's program. But there is nothing to fight over at the institution, everybody has to work together. So I'm just as concerned about the football coach finding a place to practice as he is about the women's basketball team finding a place . . .
If I get a place to practice, then what I have is going to another coach, be it male or female. So we have to work together.
It's very interesting to hear that the schools around us are fighting for space on campus and here we are fighting for space for all over the city . . .
Right now, we have equal money for both programs. What's bothering us is we have to pay for everything -- transportation, a place to practice -- so it's really taking its toll on both the men's and women's programs. Chris Walters George Mason
I think George Mason offers a broad-based program. We are in a unique situation in that we have undeveloped land; they call us the sleeping giant. And our alumni are all on their first mortgage, which presents a great problem for fund-raising.
So we're having to review and decide how we are going to support at the Division I, II and III level the broad-based program that we have developed. Some of the ideas that are being thrown around are to look at our sports and decide which ones we can nationalize, or look for a national level of competition, and which ones we (we keep) at a regional level and which will stay at a local level and keep the budgets as they are.
In terms of raising money, I, as an athletic director of women's sports, am in an area in which I have no expertise. I am learning a great deal from our business department and some of the business alumni and some of the men who have been in athletics for awhile. Sondra Norrell-Thomas Howard
At Howard, we did not start out with a separate program. We started out with a program for student athlets that includes men and women.
. . . We find that we cannot support a broadbased program as far as interest is concerned. But what we do have, we're going to do the best that we can with. And we don't have, at this point, 10 to 12 sports for women and 10 to 12 for men. But we have an athletic program in which . . . almost 85 percent (of the AIAW-allowed scholarships are awarded). Helen Talbot Montgomery-Takoma Park
I think our campus at the community college level is unique because, first of all, we are a controlled population. The campus was not built to be over 3,000 students. And out of that 3,000, 10 percent are under the age of 25 -- I'm talking about the women, so 10 percent of 3,000 women. So that means that when we come to interest in women's athletics, that the big problem. We don't have problems with money, we don't have problems with facilities. But we just can't get the women to participate.
The program consists of volleyball, coed tennis, which we play on a club basis . . . And this was the first year for volleyball on a varsity level. The past three years, it had been on a club level because we couldn't get enough women eligible. And we are trying to start this year a coed swimming team, which would also start out at a club level.
This is the only hope that we have, to start out as a club and as the years go on maybe there will be enough interest to gain varsity status.