Marianne Merritt stays excellent at Auburn basketball thanks to Title IX

Marianne Merritt Melton’s name is still etched in Auburn’s women’s basketball record books.

Melton was a major beneficiary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

She was the first woman to receive a basketball scholarship to Auburn University, playing there from 1975 to 1979. Auburn’s women’s basketball program began in 1972.

Nearly 40 years after first playing with the Tigers, she still holds school records in scoring and rebounding.

Alabama’s Title IX Pioneers

Sarah Patterson helped Alabama gymnastics find its footing

Reita Clanton became an Olympic star despite the inequalities

Vonetta Flowers, first black athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics

Roberta Alison Baumgardner played for Alabama Men’s Tennis before Title IX

His 26 rebounds against Montevallo in the 1975-76 season is still the single-game record, and his 1,975 career field goal attempts still rank first.

She holds the career steals record with 114 and her record of 20.4 points per game set during her four-year career is still the best mark. She’s fourth with 1,979 points, ranks sixth in career rebounds with 976, and her 10-per-game average is second all-time.

Melton became Auburn’s first All-American, earning an honorable mention for the program in 1979. She averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game at Auburn before there was an official 3-point shot. She is one of only two Auburn players to average a double-double for her career.

Auburn said it had no record for the number of double-doubles it had, as “game-by-game records before the early 1980s are almost non-existent”.

The Tigers went 55-53 in his four seasons. They have won 13 games in four years.

After her college career, Melton was drafted by the Chicago Hustle, but passed up the opportunity to turn pro and play in the Women’s Professional Basketball League.

Melton was twice named to the South’s Top 20 Coaching Team and represented Auburn in the 2003 SEC Women’s Basketball Greatest Players class.

In 2005, she was honored to be inducted into the Tiger Trail through downtown Auburn.

According to, Melton was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. After treatment, there was no recurrence.

Contact Ehsan Kassim at 256-300-5313 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @Ehsan_Kassim.

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