Alfreeda Goff is the Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief of Staff at the Horizon League, where she has served in that capacity for 14 years. A founder of the annual Women’s Leadership Symposium, Goff spent four years as the Director of Athletics at Virginia State University before coming to Indianapolis.
In 1999, Goff was named one of seven district winners of the Administrator-of-the-Year Award, presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletic Administrators (NACWAA).
She served as an assistant track and field coach at the University of Pittsburgh in 1975 before serving as head coach for six years. Goff then joined the administrative ranks as the administrative assistant for women's athletics and departmental scheduling at Pitt. She was an Associate Athletic Director at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1987-94.
With that in mind, HorizonLeague.com asked Alfreeda to share her thoughts and recollections on 40 years of Title IX legislation.
Celebrating 40 years of Title IX!!! I remember when the bill was passed as I was a high school teacher in a school system where athletic competition for the girls was held twice a year – fall & spring – and it was called a play day after which we served cookies, orange slices & a drink. As the commercial says, “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby”. I was excited to see that now there would or should be opportunities for girls/women that we did not have, but was also cautious as I wasn’t sure how serious the bill would be taken and enforced.
The organization that helped push Title IX was AIAW. It was the governing body for women’s intercollegiate sports. The organization for women led by women made an effort to ensure that based on the written word of Title IX, that women would become very prominent in intercollegiate athletics.
The entire 40 years have not been smooth sailing. There were people who after 10 years were no longer following the requirements of Title IX and tried to go back to pre-Title IX years with opportunities for girls/women. The 25th anniversary saw people in Congress trying to repeal the Title IX bill. Men’s sports were dropped and Title IX was the scapegoat. Even with those things happening, Title IX is still on the books and because of it the number of girls/women participating in sports in some capacity has exploded during this 40year period. Minority women and men are in coaching and administrative positions that were available to them prior to Title IX. Because of Title IX, females are in leadership positions outside of the educational setting and in corporate America, government and industry and in positions as pilots, firemen, police officers, etc. that were at one time for “men only”.
Is Title IX good? YES!! Is Title IX still needed? YES!! My hope is as the next generation picks up the banner for Title IX that they will know whose shoulders they are standing on and will make sure that the banner is never dropped, but continues to fly high so that there continues to be growth with opportunities for boys & girls/men & women without regard to their gender, ethnic origin and sexual orientation. As the journey continues for Title IX, we must make sure that the road traveled does not get narrow on us but wider as time goes by.
Without Title IX, I do not believe that I would have had the career experiences that I did.
Thank you Title IX!!!
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