Women in Sports at ISU
Starting as early as 1899 under Edith MacLure Love, the women of Indiana State have played sports, almost always away from glaring men. By 1902, female students had formed Basketball teams and eventually a variety of other sports teams under the auspices of the Women’s Recreational Council, the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) and later, the Women’s Physical Education Department. Since the early days, predominately white female Sycamores took part in a variety of athletic endeavors, from the more traditional Basketball and Softball, to the less-traditional Tumbling, Dancing, and Synchronize Swimming. The predominance of white female students in athletics started to change by the 1930s as a few African American women played alongside their classmates, with one notable woman, Georgia Offutt, being one of the first African American woman on the WAA Council and the first to win the “I” for her involvement in sports. These early female athletes usually played against their fellow classmates or other locals, but by 1972 the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) and later the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) gave women the opportunity to play against other colleges and in national tournaments. The introduction of intercollegiate Women’s sports came after the Title IX in 1972 demanded schools offer equal opportunities, no matter the sex, in both academics and athletics. Today, Women’s athletic opportunities continue to expand with ISU’s addition of Golf, Soccer, and Swimming and Diving. Sycamore female athletes have come a long way from a few local white women in bloomers playing Basketball to women of various ethnicities and from around the world playing in front of crowded stadiums.