The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education (OCR) enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities by recipients of federal funds. The regulation implementing Title IX, at 34 C.F.R. Part 106, effective July 21, 1975, contains specific provisions governing athletic programs, at 34 C.F.R. § 106.41, and the awarding of athletic scholarships, at 34 C.F.R. § 106.37(c).
You may have heard about the "Three Part Test" of Title IX. To read about this test, you can consult OCR's website.
OCR's most recent pronouncement (July 2003) on the subject of equity in college sports can be also be found on its website. ("Further Clarification of Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Guidance Regarding Title IX Complance").