By: Tammy Wilson
Associate Director of Media Relations
View SEC "40/40" Page Here
Birmingham, Ala. -- June 23, 2012.
This date marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX. While Title IX is still considered controversial, there is no debating the fact that without it the Southeastern Conference would not be the league it is today.
Since the first women’s national title was won by Florida swimming & diving in 1982, a total of 82 national championships have been won by women’s teams from the conference. That’s 42 percent of the league’s 196 total NCAA Championships.
This academic year alone, five of the nine national championships have been won by the women of the SEC. Alabama won gymnastics, golf and softball while Florida captured tennis and LSU claimed victory in outdoor track.
Without women’s athletics in the SEC, names like Pat Summitt, Lolo Jones, Teresa Edwards, and Abby Wambach wouldn’t exist. The dynasties of Tennessee Lady Vol Basketball, LSU women’s track & field and Auburn swimming & diving wouldn’t be a part of the fabric of the SEC’s championship history.
There’s no doubt that the SEC is a stronger conference because of its women’s teams. So when I started reading about the anniversary of Title IX, it was a natural progression to start thinking about the rich history of women’s athletics in this conference.
It deserves to be celebrated, but how?
After some thought, SEC “40/40” came to fruition. An online initiative, SEC 40/40 looks to bring awareness to the 40th anniversary of Title IX through a celebration of women’s athletics in the Southeastern Conference.
So over the next 40 business days (June 25 – August 17), we will post original content on a special landing page of the SEC Digital Network. We will look at the past, present and future of women’s athletics in our conference. We hope to bring new insight into the many coaches, athletes and administrators that have worked hard to make the SEC what it is today.
While it will be impossible to write about every coach, every athlete and every moment, hopefully we can highlight enough of them to bring you, the reader, a greater awareness of the history and the importance of women’s athletics in the Southeastern Conference.