The main responsibility of an athletic director is to oversee all aspects of the athletic programs that are sponsored by a school or an institution. The Power Five level is the most male-dominated part of college athletics because of the money and because of big-time football and basketball. The Power Five conferences are the five athletic conferences whose members are part of the Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA Division I.
The conferences are the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 10 Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Only four of those schools have female athletic directors. Those four Woman are Sandy Barbour (Penn State/ Big 10), Jennifer Cohen (University of Washington/ PAC-12), Heather Lyke (Pittsburgh/ ACC) and Carla Williams (Virginia/ ACC).
Title IX was established in 1972 by the United States Congress to provide everyone with equal access to any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance, including sports. This means that federally funded institutions, such as public schools, are legally required to provide girls and boys with balanced sporting opportunities.
Williams “killed two birds with one stone;” she made history not only for the University of Virginia with it being their first trip to the Orange Bowl in school history, but Williams became the first Black female athletic director at a Power Five conference school to participate in the Orange Bowl.
When the Virginia Cavaliers received the invitation to play in the Orange Bowl, Williams was thrilled.
“I’m just so happy for our players,” Williams said. “This type of accolade, they’re the result of a lot of hard work over a long period of time.”
Even though the No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers lost the game to the No. 9 Florida Gators 36-28, this was a game to remember.
Williams was introduced as the new athletic director at the University of Virginia back in October 2017. Her selection as the athletic director came just a few months after a gruesome car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia August 2017. A driver drove a car into a crowd of protesters at a white nationalist rally.
Williams hopes that her career will encourage additional young Black girls to know that they can do anything and be anything.
Since Williams has been the athletic director at the University of Virginia, they have already won a Men’s Division I Basketball National Championship (2019).
College football bowl season recap
As the 150th year of college football ends, we cannot complete the season without recapping the bowl games and matchups leading up to the National Championship game.
The New Year’s Six bowls are the top major NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision bowl games: The Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.
These six top-tier bowl games rotate as host of the two College Football Playoff semifinal games, which will then determine the teams who will play in the College Football Playoff National Championship game.
The matchups this season were the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 28, (Memphis Tigers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions) Penn State won that matchup 53-39; the Capital One Orange Bowl Monday, Dec. 30, (Florida Gators vs. Virginia Cavaliers) the University of Florida won 36-28; the Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, (Oregon Ducks vs. Wisconsin Badgers) Oregon won in a thriller 28-27; and the Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 1, (Georgia Bulldogs vs. Baylor Bears) The University of Georgia won 26-14.
In the semifinal matchups, the No. 1 LSU Tigers destroyed the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners 63-28 in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta, and the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes were defeated by the defending National Champions No. 3 Clemson Tigers 29-23 in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. Both games were played on Saturday, Dec. 28.
The College Football National Championship is set for Monday, Jan. 13, at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. This will be an all Tiger National Championship as the No. 1 LSU Tigers will face the No. 3 Clemson Tigers for the title. The game will be televised by ESPN at 8 p.m.