Sams Center

Shirley Rushing Poteet Yearbook Photo

In the beginning of Trinity’s time at Skyline, there were just blueprints to build a sports center on the south side of campus. When Shirley Rushing Poteet, a physical education (P.E.) administrator from 1960-1995, came to Trinity in 1960, there was not a gymnasium. She was the only woman in the P.E. department at the time and because of the strict, non-slacks dress code, she brought multiple changes of clothes in a briefcase for the sports she taught and changed in the swimming pool changing room or the women’s restroom. Click here for her oral history quote.

Basketball Players on Sams Center Court

Lynn Luna, class of 1977, remembered that the basketball team was often relegated to the smaller, auxiliary gym for practice. She recalled that the only time the women’s team could use the big gym was when the men’s basketball team was out of town for a game. In the beginning years of Title IX, relegation to smaller and less equipped facilities, like the auxiliary gym, were commonplace for Luna and the women’s teams. As Title IX started to gain some traction, these athletes were not necessarily denied the ability to practice, but they contended with subpar practice locations and resources. 

In 1979, John Moore, an education professor at Trinity, completed a report that detailed the aspects of Trinity’s athletics programs that were not in compliance with Title IX. The report identified inequities in the availability of training facilities for women’s athletes. The Sams Center’s insufficient locker room space presented significant issues of compliance. The only women's locker room had all women’s sports, intramurals, and PE; meanwhile men’s basketball, baseball, and football all had separate locker rooms.

Title IX Compliance Report
Sams Center Ground Floor - Floor Plan

Terri Hailey, class of 1981, said that if it rained, then tennis moved into the Sams Center and got priority for practice space because they were Division I. At this point, there was a hierarchy of priority in women’s sports because tennis players received scholarships along with several national titles, while basketball, volleyball, and softball were under the non-scholarship conference and were only intercollegiate since 1974.