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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Frances Hogan, May 23, 1991, and June 3, 1991. Interview L-0044. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Intramural and club teams for women have been organized for decades

Some have argued that women's athletics at UNC did not exist until the program was incorporated into the athletic department and the NCAA in the 1970s. Hogan corrects that opinion by describing the long history of the women's intramural and club teams and the Women's Athletic Association.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Frances Hogan, May 23, 1991, and June 3, 1991. Interview L-0044. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Women's athletics at UNC-CH was set up pretty much like most schools across the country. When I arrived in 1946, UNC had a Women's Athletic Association organized. We had campus-wide elections. We didn't need a treasurer because there was no money. [Laughter] But we did have a president and a vice president and a secretary. And we had to have what we called an "Awards Chairman." The Awards Chairman kept a record of all female students who participated in intramurals and clubs. Points were given for participation. The number of points determined whether an individual won a monogram or whatever the awards were at the time. Also, participation in intramurals and in clubs contributed to the dorm points or the sorority points, and of course back then, winning the Dorm Cup or the Sorority Cup was a very big thing. We held WAA council meetings made up of the elected officers and a representative from each dorm or sorority, and we had somebody representing the town group. The council met twice a month to go over intramural regulations, so that the representatives could go back to their dorms and sororities and give all the information. Later, as the student body grew and the dorms increased, we had two representatives from every dorm and every sorority. It was a very active group. We met, like I said, twice a month. Sometimes we met more often depending on what events were coming up. And we had intramurals in everything. Were you an undergraduate student here?
No. Just a graduate student.
The only sport we did not have in intramurals was field hockey because so few people played, and we considered it dangerous for unskilled players. We had intramurals in badminton, tennis, golf, volleyball, table tennis, swimming, softball, and basketball. We even had intramurals in dance, where the sororities or dorms had to make up dances and present them and they were judged.
So you had plenty of alternatives.
Yes, there were plenty of intramurals. The percentage of participation was extremely high. I don't know whether it was the competitive spirit in trying to win the Dorm Cup and the Sorority Cup, or whether it did afford an outlet for students to have some fun and just some real vigorous activity. We had clubs in a lot of sports. The clubs were designed for the highly skilled player. If you participated in a club in a certain sport, then you could not play intramurals in the same sport. So, we had clubs in basketball, tennis, swimming and on and on. But I know I coached the basketball, field hockey, and the tennis clubs. And I actually coached tennis for twenty-five years. We had to call them clubs rather than varsity teams. We had the craziest regulations back then. Cut that off and let me see if I have. . . [Interruption] But, here, for instance, this is dated 1970-much later. These were set forth for intercollegiate athletics for women in North Carolina by the advisors of the member schools of the North Carolina Athletic and Recreation Federation for College Women. That was a student organization. I can remember being advisor for the North Carolina Athletic and Recreation Federation for College Women, and we were having a big weekend conference here on this campus. I had Harold Meyer speaking at the general session. Somebody knocked on the door while he was speaking to tell me President Kennedy had been shot. All this was going on down there in that little women's gym. [Laughter] I took the message and told the person sitting next to me, and she whispered to the next. You could see the message being passed down the rows, and the news almost disrupted the whole convention. [Interruption] These are some old books that I've kept on women's athletics, and they were about to be thrown away. It just infuriates me that they don't keep any historical records on women's athletics. Some have never considered women as having any athletics until we became members of the NCAA or until the women's program was placed under the Athletic Department in October, 1974. It makes me mad because we had outstanding athletes as far back as I can remember. We did not have as many because it was frowned on so much for women to be so athletic. It's entirely different now.