The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey /
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Looking back, reaching forward

City College athletes haven’t always been on equal ground

Kayla Nick-Kearney | Staff Writer
[email protected]

For a campus of students who are lucky enough to attend a school where both men’s and women’s sports are funded equally, it may be difficult to imagine a time when women’s athletics were treated as a casual diversion and not a serious undertaking. During the 1930s women’s sports were not well funded or even competitive.

“There were women that fought very hard, that basically put their reputations and jobs on the line for caches and athletes thereafter,” said Julie Ferrara-Jones, City College women’s track coach, who wrote her dissertation on women’s sports at City College from 1923-2000.

Thanks to the work of pioneering female athletes and government support through laws that mandate equal funding for women’s sports, like Title 9 legislation.

In the 30’s women sports’ coaches were referred to as women physical education teachers. Many of these teachers didn’t want women’s sports to follow in the steps of men’s sports, according to Ferrara-Jones. They believed that men’s intercollegiate sports were corrupt, with a win-at-all-costs attitude – an attitude that female students might be influenced to adopt.

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“It was for the sheer enjoyment and social interaction,” said Ferrara-Jones.

In 1923 the first official women’s sports teams came into existence, but it was not until the 1960s that the competitive logistics were even recorded. It was this competition that first allowed women to join the intercollegiate sports world, a world City College men’s teams ruled over for decades.

“It was one of the big forms of entertainment in town,” Jan Haag, co-author of City College’s commemorative history, said of the importance of sports to the school.

Men’s basketball coach Andrew Jones, Ferrara-Jones’ colleague and spouse, wrote his dissertation on the sports history of City College. According to Jones, the 1920s and 1930s were the Golden Age of men’s sports at City College, especially for track and field.

“I believe that athletes, coaches, and administrators all had different philosophies regarding college sports at that time,” Jones said. “Some emphasized the athletic aspect, some the academic, and some a combination of the two.”

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