The Sports Law Blog has a post detailing the Education Department's new, and potentially controversial, Title IX policy. The change, detailed in this letter, should reduce the pressure on univeristies to comply with Title IX by eliminating male athletic teams.
Under the old policy, schools were encouraged to ensure that the male-female ratio among athletes was roughly proportional to the male-female ratio of the student body. According to Title IX's critics, this induced many schools to eliminate male teams and athletic programs so as to bring the overall numbers into line. Showing proportionality in athletic opportunities, measured by the number of athletes participating in university-sponsored programs, was the easiest way to demonstrate compliance.
Under the new policy, as I understand it, schools will be able to demonstrate compliance through the use of on-line surveys that demonstrate they are "fully and effectively" accomodating the athletic interest of female students. This means that at schools where there is not a great demand among women for athletic opportunities, there will be less pressure to create proportionality of athletic programs. If properly implemented, the policy will ensure that athletic opportunities are the result of actual student demand, and not bureaucratic bean-counting.
For more on the new policy, and the emerging opposition to it, see here.