FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Diane Milutinovich was a Fresno State administrator for 22 years. She was usually not the most popular person on campus.

“The biggest problem I had was the lack of history and knowledge. People thought they understood Title IX and they didn’t,” said Milutinovich, a former associate athletics director at Fresno State. “When things got personal, things got bad. You know, I was called everything from a troublemaker to a number of other things that I don’t want to repeat. But, you know, I was just trying to make things better.”

Milutinovich was a student-athlete at Fresno State in the late 1960’s, before Title IX. When she returned in 1978, Title IX had reached a critical point.

“Title IX was passed in ’72, the regulations came out in ’75, then by ’78 everybody was supposed to be in compliance with Title IX,” she said. “But most people didn’t know that.”

Title IX requires equal opportunities for both men and women. Signed into law exactly 50 years ago this week (June 23rd, 1972), it is not about spending dollar for dollar.

“You know, if a football uniform costs $500, the top of the line, and a volleyball uniform costs $100 and it’s top of the line, that’s equitable,” explains Milutinovich.

Title IX helped get Bulldog Diamond built in the mid-1990’s.

“When baseball got its enhancements, we got the baseball press box and that was really good,” said Milutinovich. “But then as part of the Title IX review in ’92 and ’94, building the softball stadium to be similar to what the men had was amazing.”

And the team was dominant.

One decade earlier, the volleyball team was dominant and Lacy Barnes was dominant in the discus. All of that was a direct result of the passing of Title IX in 1972.

But it has not been all positive at Fresno State.

Diane Milutinovich herself was a victim of Title IX. In the early 2000’s, she was reassigned to a different position. She sued the university, claiming it was because she was vocal about gender equity.

She won that lawsuit.

Volleyball coach Lindy Vivas and basketball coach Stacy Johnson-Klein were both fired from their respective positions for speaking out about gender equity. They also each sued, and they both won.

Millions of dollars were handed out in all three cases.

“I’m sorry it had to be so much heartache for those who fought the battles,” said Milutinovich. “We have made significant progress, but, I hate to admit it, we’re a long way from being totally equitable.”