Men’s Track and Field Under Threat at Bemidji State

Somehow we missed this news a couple of weeks back, but it seems as if the administration at Bemidji State in Minnesota is prepared to take the advice of a Title IX consultant and eliminate the school’s men’s track and field program. In response, Andy Eggerth, an assistant track coach at Kansas State University, is suggesting the school find another path to keep the team alive:

I’m writing in support of Craig Hougen and the men’s track and field team at BSU. The administration is planning to cut the program primarily because of a recommendation by their Title IX consultant: “BSU has a disproportionate number of male to female athletes, given the make-up of the student body.” They are taking the easy way to be in compliance with Title IX. There are three prongs that they can use to be in compliance:

— Providing athletic opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the student enrollment.

— Demonstrate a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex.

— Full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of underrepresented sex.

[…]

If BSU doesn’t want to expand opportunities for women, they can use the third prong to be in compliance. Have a mandatory survey of every incoming student briefly explaining the time and energy demands of competing in intercollegiate sport and they ask what sports they would actually do, I’m certain that at Bemidji the interests and abilities of our women are already being accommodated … I say this from having been in the program for five years, being a coach of a women’s only track program, and having been coaching for about 10 years now.

As we’ve seen, Western Illinois University is using a survey to prove they are in compliance. Bemidji should investigate that possibility as well.

UPDATE: Welcome to everyone who made their way here from Phi Beta Cons.

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