A few days ago, I read Sum It Up: A Thousand and Ninety-Eight Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective by Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This book aroused emotions from my days of playing basketball at Morehead State University and Kentucky State University. Without a basketball scholarship, I would have not been able to attend college. And without Title IX, colleges could not afford to offer me a basketball scholarship.
Title IX or the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
I salute Pat Summitt for weathering the storms and holding fast to the dreams of many girls while the University of Tennessee implemented Title IX. I also salute the late Hon. Patsy Mink for her foresight in authoring an early draft of the Title IX legislation that provided an opportunity for many girls to pursue their dreams. Title IX was more than a basketball scholarship—it was an education. In the words of Loretta Lynn, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”
This Women’s History Month, as I look forward, I am working for a President that has expanded opportunities for students to afford college, made it possible for students to stay on their parents' health insurance, and expanded tax credits to assist families with the rising cost of education.