Journal of Intellectual Property Law


Over fifty years have passed since the famous women’s rights Title IX legislation was enacted. Equal opportunity for women in education, and specifically in colligate athletics, has been an ongoing game since 1972 and while drastic improvements have been made, the playing field is still not even for female student-athletes. Many universities continue to struggle with Title IX Compliance and recent events and trends including the Covid-19 pandemic and the increasing female undergraduate population have dramatized the problems. In the wake of the Name, Image, and Likeness era, a solution to compliance is more important now than ever where a student-athlete's right of publicity is an educational benefit and opportunity under Title IX. This Note proposes a solution to the ongoing Title IX compliance issues by persuading the NCAA to recognize additional women’s sports. The argument presents Competitive Cheerleading as the ideal “test sport” for the NCAA. Competitive Cheerleading, in which the competitive aspect is in the title of the sport itself, continues to be denied sport status, thus showing how the NCAA leaves opportunities for female-student athletes on the sideline. The game of full Title IX Compliance will not be won until there are additional participation opportunities for female student-athletes. The game-clock is ticking down as NIL issues heighten the need for Title IX compliance, and the NCAA--the primary governing body of collegiate athletics--must change its playbook.