JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If anyone knows the impact sports can have on women, it's three-time Olympic gold medalist and one-time silver medalist, Nancy Hogshead-Makar.
"I would say swimming made me who I am," said the former Olympian.
Hogshead-Makar is now a professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law. She is also the Senior Director of Advocacy for the Women's Sports Foundation
When it comes to gender equality in athletics, she is one of its biggest advocates.
"We know that female athletes in particular are much more productive in society than are non-athletes," said Hogshead-Makar.
When word spread that the University of North Florida is exploring the possibility of getting a football team, many wondered if this would open doors for female athletes, too.
Under Title IX, educational institutions must give women athletes the right to equal opportunity in sports. In other words, if 100 boys are playing sports UNF would also have to create 100 new opportunities for girls.
According to Hogshead-Makar, UNF getting a football team would do exactly the opposite.
"Typically football does not open doors for women, typically football has this insatiable appetite for money that takes away resources from everybody else," said Hogshead-Makar.
In a statement to Action News, Karen Stone with the UNF General Counsel said "any consideration of football would, of course, include full consideration of the Title IX requirements. We have not engaged in any of this analysis, so I don't want to speculate on the broader impacts."
According to Hogshead-Makar, when it comes to school sports the educational mission should always be paramount.
"Everything else that's not part of that educational mission whether you're talking about fans or you're talking about revenue,
anything that interrupts on that is corrupting the gift that sports has to give to everybody," said Hogshead-Makar.
UNF officials emphasize they are currently in the exploratory phase. It could take years before any decisions are made.