Carol Hutchins ESPN article

Submitted by karlfink18 on June 19th, 2017 at 2:16 PM

I ran across an interesting article on ESPN about Carol Hutchins and her fight for the rights of female athletes while she played basketball at Michigan State. She spearheaded a lawsuit, Hutchins v. Board of Trustees of Michigan State University, that helped improve conditions and expand opportunities for women's sports teams at MSU.



June 19th, 2017 at 2:30 PM ^

What a great ambassador for women's sports and the university.

Also great to see she's always been a wolverine, playing the long con by infiltrating the enemy and taking them down from the inside.

The Krusty Kra…

June 19th, 2017 at 2:52 PM ^

MSU had a chance to hire one of their more decorated alumni before she ended up with the Michigan job in 1985. She went from a coach who had to do groundskeeping on her own field to becoming one of the winningest coaches in NCAA softball history, and one of the greatest coaches in the history of the University of Michigan. 

As John U. Bacon often relayed the story in his class when he was with Bo: "BACON! You see that woman there? That is the single greatest coach at this entire university."


June 19th, 2017 at 2:56 PM ^

There was only so much she could do to remedy the situation. Michigan's athletic director at the time, Don Canham, opposed Title IX so strongly that he made trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby against it. As he told The Michigan Daily in 1975, "If you add a women's program, where does the money come from? If it comes at the expense of the men's program, you're going to have fewer sports."


Hutchins, on the advice of colleagues, kept her involvement in the Michigan State lawsuit from Canham. 


June 19th, 2017 at 6:48 PM ^

There are only 2 possible games that meet the description here:  both MSU men & women playing at home, 1975-76 season:  the dates are January 12, 1976 (women vs Wayne State, men vs Indiana) or February 23, 1976 (women vs Central Michigan, men vs Purdue).

So either Robert Knight or Fred Schaus.  Since the man was described as "very famous" and "we were all excited to meet him," that narrows it down further--nobody was ever "excited" to meet Fred Schaus.


June 19th, 2017 at 4:00 PM ^

Whoever the coach was, it's probably just as well for his sake he mouthed off to Hutchins when she was only 20.  If he'd tried it now... that wouldn't go well for him.

Mr. Yost

June 19th, 2017 at 5:27 PM ^

Just build the damn statue now...this woman is a legend, the GOAT.

Male/Female/Alien...Hutch is one of the greatest coaches of all time, regardless of sport.

Hutch/Bo/Red...not a bad trio.


June 19th, 2017 at 6:21 PM ^

I will say that I would be disappointed if there isn't ultimately a statue for Hutchins. When you look at the body of work, you see someone that not only has coached a team to be a dominant force in their conference and in the country, but also someone who was part of the movement which made that run eventually possible. 


June 19th, 2017 at 6:20 PM ^

I was a contemporary of Hutch at MSU.  I too was female and loved sports.    I tried out for that 1976 basketball team at MSU but wasn't good enough to make the team. To this day I am gratetful for the one year of high school basketball that I got to play because of Title IX. The ladies have come a long way in sports. Thank God.


June 19th, 2017 at 7:29 PM ^

We're just lucky to have her here. I think she genuinely is that person who simply wanted to play and didn't accept the status quo.

Don Canham was a trip. I doubt he didn't know about the suit - he was far too well connected to everyone and everything in sports. Hutch kept it low-key, didn't embarrass him, and he really wasn't an ass. Every time I talked to him, he was quite courteous. But his interests were solidly in doing what he could do to keep football and men's basketball national names. He loved quoting George Steinbrenner, for some reason.

Still, Michigan was late fully supporting women's sports while most of the Big Ten and Pac 8 took leadership roles.