For gender equity to become a reality, money problems must be overcome. So, too, must attitude problems, Renate Mai-Dalton would submit.
Mai-Dalton, an associate professor of business and a member of the Kansas University athletic board, says some steps can be taken that won't cost a dime.
``There are a lot of things that have nothing to do with money,'' Mai-Dalton said. ``Equal access to facilities, equal access to favorable practice times, equal access to summer camp dates, preparation of facilities for games. These things are non-monetary and they can be done. It's clear that money is not the whole picture.''
Mai-Dalton is gratified that gender equity has become an issue in college athletics, but she remains skeptical.
``Given that we have had Title IX since 1978, I would say we haven't made very much progress,'' she said. ``Until I see some results, it doesn't mean anything to me. I have watched it for 10 years now, and the progress has been at a snail's pace.''
ALTHOUGH SHE'S sympathetic to financial concerns, she says they can be overcome. And they shouldn't be used as an excuse.
``It is true that most universities, including ours, have monetary problems,'' she allowed.
But, she added, look at it this way: ``If you think of families that have money problems, they wouldn't dream of giving their daughters more or less than their sons. It seems if we have little money, we have to learn to share.''
And who knows, she said, maybe some women's sports can be transformed from non-revenue to revenue-producing. It's happened with basketball programs at Texas, Iowa and Southwest Missouri State.
``We have to give women's sports that have the potential to bring in money the full opportunity to do so,'' she said. ``We need to have the vision where women's sports can be more successful.
``TO BE TRUTHFUL, we all know there is gender inequity,'' Mai-Dalton added. ``Irrespective of what a definition is, we can move toward more equity than we have. So we don't have a minute to lose. We know we have gender inequity, and we can start right now with setting things more even.
``It is not difficult to know what should happen. I do believe Bob Frederick (KU athletic director) is interested in doing something. As long as we keep saying there isn't enough money, nothing is going to happen. We either do it now, or we're not serious.''