Hurricane Katrina brings gender equality to Tulane athletics

Hurricane Katrina brings gender equality to Tulane athletics

Chandler Daddario, Contributing Reporter

In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina decimated the city of New Orleans, resulting in the forced closing of Tulane University for a semester. The athletes facing the adversity of home seasons away continued to honor Tulane and aided in reestablishing hope in the New Orleans community. The Green Wave continued to compete across the country.

Unfortunately, not all Tulane athletic teams were given the go-ahead to compete during Katrina. The university suspended eight teams in order to save approximately $2 million. 

The NCAA and Conference USA granted Tulane the right to compete in the conference under the 16-team minimum. Of the 16 sport teams offered at the time, only eight remained. These teams included baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, women’s cross country, women’s indoor track and field, and women’s outdoor track and field.

With the clear imbalance of men and women sports teams the NCAA had to implement Title IX in order for Tulane to be in compliance with the law.

Title IX is a “comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity,” according to the Department of Justice.

Tulane was given five years to increase the total amount of sports teams back to 16 with an even divide between men and women teams to prevent an infraction with Title IX and the NCAA.   

The Green Wave slowly gained teams by adding women’s tennis, women’s golf, men’s cross country and men’s outdoor track and field in 2008, followed by women’s swimming and diving and men’s tennis in 2009. In the 2010 schoolyear sand volleyball and women’s bowling were added to get the total back to 16.

Despite Hurricane Katrina uprooting both Tulane and New Orleans, the athletic teams remained united. Ten years later there are 16 sports but still just one team, the Green Wave.