New coalition emerging for Title IX reform

The American Sports Council recently hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Titled ‘Constitutional Challenges: The Future of Title IX Enforcement,’ the event included the following speakers:

Eric Pearson, Chairman, the American Sports Council

Christina Hoff Sommers, Resident Scholar, the American Enterprise Institute

Samantha Harris, Director of Policy Research, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

Jessica Gavora, Author of Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex and Title IX

The panelists discussed the alarming nationwide trend on college campuses where Title IX regulations are used to deny basic Constitutional rights. This group of Title IX experts represent a growing coalition of leaders and organizations calling for much needed reform of current Title IX compliance guidance issued by the US Department of Education.

“I think there’s a very broad coalition out there ready to challenge the faulty interpretation of Title IX, going beyond the sports community to advocates of free speech and due process,” Pearson said.

Title IX is no longer just impacting sports teams and athletes. As reported by Greg Piper of The College Fix,

“One of the ironies of creative Title IX enforcement is that it keeps hitting female academics,” said Samantha Harris, director of policy research for FIRE.

Freedom of speech and due process rights have been under attack on college campuses. The College Fix’s Piper also wrote,

“Christina Hoff Sommers, popular on YouTube for her ‘Factual Feminist’ series and author of Who Stole Feminism, said today’s climate against college men is eerily similar to France’s anti-Semitic Dreyfus affair in the late 19th century.

Like the Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus, college men face a “hate-intoxicated mob” that knows they are guilty of any possible accusation and colleges that put them through “humiliating and unjust” kangaroo courts, Sommers said.”

Read the full article by Piper covering the event here: ‘Club sports threatened by Title IX regulation because men like them more than women do’


Christina Hoff Sommers

Christina Hoff Sommers, a former philosophy professor who taught ethics, is probably best known for her critique of late-twentieth-century feminism. She is also known for her extensive writings, among them Who Stole Feminism? (Touchstone Books, 1995), The War Against Boys (Touchstone Books, 2001), One Nation Under Therapy (St. Martin’s Press, 2005), and The Science on Women and Science(AEI Press, 2009). Her textbook, Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life, a bestseller in college ethics, is currently in its ninth edition. Her new book Freedom Feminism—Its Surprising History and Why it Matters Today will be published in spring 2013 by AEI Press. A new and revised version of The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming our Young Men will be out in August 2013 (Simon and Schuster).


Samantha Harris

Samantha K. Harris, a Philadelphia native, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and from Princeton University, where she earned an A.B. magna cum laude in politics. As an undergraduate, Samantha completed a senior thesis that analyzed the constitutional implications of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s quality-of-life initiative in New York City. During law school, she served on the editorial board of the Journal of Constitutional Law. Before joining FIRE, Samantha clerked for the late Honorable Jay C. Waldman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and most recently was an associate at the law firm of Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia.


Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a graduate of Princeton University. From 1993-97, he worked as the head coach of Princeton University’s varsity wrestling team. He served a term as President of the Ivy League Wrestling Coaches Association, and was honored in 1997 as ‘Man of the Year’ by the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA), the nation’s oldest collegiate wrestling association. In 2013, he was inducted into the EIWA Hall of Fame. Representing the ASC, Mr. Pearson has testified before the U.S. Congressional Sub-Committee for Higher Education, and participated in forums sponsored by the Knight Commission on Athletics, and Stanford University’s Center for Ethics in Society. Mr. Pearson has appeared as a guest commentator on numerous broadcast shows, including NBC’s The Today Show, CBS Evening News, ESPN, CNBC, and CNN, among others.


Jessica Gavora

Jessica Gavora is a Washington, DC author, speechwriter, ghostwriter and policy expert. Most recently she collaborated with Senator Marco Rubio on his book, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone. She is the author of Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex and Title IX.   Prior to her ghost writing work, Ms. Gavora worked extensively as a speechwriter and policy advisor. From 2001 to 2004, she was chief speechwriter and senior policy advisor to Attorney General John Ashcroft.

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