In January, Sandy
Bauchmoyer stood on the basketball court at Ohio State University as
a fieldhouse full of fans cheered. It was welcome recognition for a
multi-sport athlete, even though it came more than 30 years late.
Ohio State recognized Bauchmoyer, a member of the faculty in
Pittsburg State University's Department of Health, Physical
Education and Recreation, and about 150 women from all over the U.S.
in January for their athletic endeavors in the days before Title IX.
Since Title IX, the first comprehensive federal law prohibiting sex
discrimination against students and employees of educational
institutions, was enacted in 1972, opportunities for high school and
college female athletes have grown dramatically.
Bauchmoyer's story is similar to that of generations of women who
were either forced to stand on the sidelines of all-male athletic
events or go to extraordinary lengths in order to compete in
Bauchmoyer credits her love of athletics and of competition, in
part, to her experiences growing up in a small Ohio town. Two
playmates ? twin brothers Barry and Larry Blackstone ? were constant
companions. They played ball together and whiled away endless hours
in friendly competition. That competition ended at the schoolhouse
"I get emotional when I talk about it," Bauchmoyer recalls. "I
wanted to play so badly when I was in high school."
Bauchmoyer couldn't participate in school sports, so she took the
only option available to her. She became a cheerleader.
"I had no desire to be a cheerleader," she said, "but I wanted to be
Things were a little better at Ohio State University, where
Bauchmoyer was a diver, competitive swimmer, basketball player and a
member of the synchronized swimming team. At least she could
compete, although none of the teams were considered varsity athletic
teams and they certainly weren't supported financially in the same
way that men's athletic teams were.
For road trips to other Big Ten schools, Bauchmoyer recalled, the
women would take up a collection to put gas in the coach's car.
"We always felt like the women had to scramble and fight to get
opportunities," Bauchmoyer said.
Bauchmoyer earned a BSED from Ohio State and went on to earn a
master of science degree in education from Bowling Green State
University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Bauchmoyer
joined the faculty in PSU's Department of Health, Physical Education
and Recreation in 1974. At PSU, she teaches sports psychology, motor
development of children, teaching methods and first aid and CPR.
Bauchmoyer said most of her students have grown up in the years
following Title IX, so they don't have the understanding of the
issues surrounding equity that comes with her own first-hand
"It bothers me when women are blamed for having any of the pie at
all," Bauchmoyer said.
Issues of equity go well beyond athletics, according to Bauchmoyer.
And while laws such as Title IX have created many opportunities for
women, lasting solutions require "a major attitude shift."
For Bauchmoyer, a sign that attitudes may be changing, was the fact
that fans packed the fieldhouse at Ohio State to honor former female
"It was just wonderful to be down there on the floor and hear the
applause," Bauchmoyer said. "I was shocked to see so many people at
a women's event and it was just great to hear that crowd. It helped
make up for all the years (I) competed and never heard the