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Title IX still making an impact

William & Mary's statement on their retracted sports cuts cites the need for gender equity, in the image of 48-year-old landmark legislation.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — "Title IX had become the common language in higher education in terms of access." 

Jennifer Fish is the chair of the women's studies department at Old Dominion University. 

"When the rule came out, we had one scholarship and it was used for cheerleading, one scholarship for girls," she said. 

Fish knows how far the legislation has brought women in education. That same law helped bring back three William & Mary athletic programs ahead of schedule. The school announced Thursday that all seven teams eliminated back on September 3 would in fact return. Three of them already had. 

Women's swimming, women's gymnastics, and women's volleyball all were reinstated following a Title IX lawsuit threatened against the school. 

The legislation goes well beyond the field of play. The language pushes for equality in "education" activities, not just sports. 

"It involves assuring that gender violence is addressed, we have women's centers on campus, and reporting (of discriminatory wrongdoing) is mandatory," said Fish. 

William & Mary often cited a push toward gender equity in their statement, undoubtedly in the image of Title IX.