The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women yesterday blasted proposals by two men's sports organizations to begin collegiate championships for women.
With one dissent, the 339 voting delegates meeting here for the AIAW's seventh annual convention approved a resolution "strenuously opposing" the championship proposals.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the AIAW's counterpart for men's sports, is meeting in New Orleans this week where it plans to discuss the creation of women's championships for schools in its divisions II and III.
The National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, the other men's group, also has been planning women's championships.
Carole L. Mushier, outgoing AIAW president, told the 600-plus delegates at the opening session that the AIAW "must meet the constant threats of those who challenge our right to exist."
The NCAA proposals, Mushier said, "represent another attempt to deprive women of athletic opportunities and undermine the growing strength of AIAW, the organization created to govern and stimulate women's athletic programs.
"This latest effort is a continuation of the NCAA's unceasing desire to dominate collegiate athletics. They have traditionally opposed increased opportunities for women athletes.
"In the last five years, the NCAA has three times tried unsuccessfully to take over women's athletics, has labored mightily and unsuccessfully, both legally and legislatively, to exempt Title 9, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in those programs, and has twice refused to meet with AIAW and NAIA to discuss the future of men's and women's collegiate athletic programs.
"The NCAA proposals would offer less than half the championship events for women that the AIAW now offers (30) and undoubtedly at more than twice the price."
Mushier said she hoped the NCAA convention would act "responsibly and fairly" and reject the proposals. But should they be enacted she said, the AIAW would consider legal action against the NCAA.
The delegates will begin voting today on a variety of items that would alter recruiting and eligibility policies, perhaps the most sensitive subjects on the agenda because of the tremendous expansion of women's sports in the last decade.
The AIAW votes on a one-vote-per-school basis.