After the passing of Title IX in 1972, which prevents discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs and activities, changes at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay began to take place slowly. Although, in hind-sight, the changes made by the passing of Title IX were beneficial for both men and women, staff, specifically those involved in sports at UWGB, had varying opinions about these changes. We will explore differing opinions of three staff members, both female and male, at UWGB and examine how views of Title IX even differed between female staff.
During the changes happening during Title IX, Carol Hammerle, a Northern Michigan grad in physical education, was invited to start the first women’s basketball team at UW-GB in 1973. In an interview with Jane Rank about UWGB history in 2013, Hammerle tells about the difficulties of creating and entire women’s basketball team from scratch even after the passing of Title IX. Hammerle focuses of the difference in funding for the female team. In the interview, when asked about equal funding for both male and female teams, Carol responded, “Again, Jane (the interviewer) that was the time and it wasn’t…until probably ten years from the time it was initiated before it really started to make some impact…and we started scholarships, we had $3,000 and we raised the money. We did bake sales, we did a softball tournament and did concessions, so we ended up raising money and we had $3,000”. Hammerle’s response may be quite shocking to some. Unfortunately, the impact of Title IX was not immediate but what may be shocking was the amount of time it took for funding to become equal. Hammerle’s response shows how difficult it was to be taken seriously as a team. While the men’s team received funding and scholarship funds from the school budget itself, women, while Title IX was not yet being enforced, struggled to raise what little money they could for the team. Hammerle’s interview focuses intensely on the impact of Title IX on funding for the women’s team, but other staff members were not as concerned as Carol Hammerle.
Bruce Grimes was the athletic director during the passing of Title IX and also when Carol Hammerle, the first women’s basketball coach, was employed at UWGB. Grimes was first a faculty member, then a college chair and finally the athletic director. During his interview with Jane Rank in 2013, Grimes tells the fascinating story of how he went from the chair of the college of arts and communications to athletic director. While that story is definitely worth a read, his focus on Title IX is not quite as thrilling. When asked about expanding women’s programs and the money that was involved, Grimes stated, “(laughter) if you’d go back and look at salaries now, it would be laughable. You know I think, the head basketball coach and athletic director (both men) were making $34,000 a year. Some of our coaches, I can remember one of our assistant basketball coaches, was making about $13,000. I mean we had pretty paltry salaries”. Although, asked about female teams and funding for women’s teams, Grimes ignores women’s teams all together and responds instead with salaries of male coaches. He then continues in his response to this question to talk about Dave Buss, who was the male basketball coach instead of Carol Hammerle who was the women’s basketball coach. This response gives off the impression that Title IX didn’t concern Grimes too much. He seems to have entirely skipped over the point of women’s funding. Was this because he is a male and identify more with the male oriented teams, or is this because he didn’t see Title IX pertaining to him? No matter what the reason, this quote shows how some staff ignored the importance of Title IX and the progress of women in sports programs at UWGB.
Jan Pum was hired to coach the women’s tennis and cheerleading team at UWGB around the same time Hammerle was brought in to coach women’s basketball. Pum was hired to start the tennis team entirely from scratch, just as Carol Hammerle did with the women’s basketball team. In her audio interview, Pum goes into detail about recruiting team members from the beginning tennis class offered at UWGB because there weren’t enough women even trying out for sports at the beginning. Pum also describes the unorganized manner in which the team’s schedule was set up and how she managed to fix those issues all by herself. With Pum being a women, many would expect her to have roughly the same views of Title IX as Carol Hammerle, but Pum describes a different view from other women. In her audio interview, Pum stated, “I didn’t want the women’s program to be like the men’s program. I didn’t want it to be so demanding”. This statement shows that although, Pum wanted the same funding for the women’s tennis team as the male, she wanted the structure of the teams to be different. In the interview, Pum talks about a day she told her girls that they were students first and then athletes. Some may see this as being counterproductive to the cause of Title IX because many, including Carol Hammerle, saw this as an opportunity to get just as competitive as the male teams, but Pum still thought that a distinction between the male and female teams was to remain.
Although, differing opinions about Title IX between males and females was expected at UWGB and all campuses across the country, the differing opinions between female staff members was surprising. But this goes to show that although, in hind sight, Title IX was a progressive and beneficial movement, it took many years for staff at UWGB to all agree about the significance of Title IX.