Duquesne Cuts Point to Need for Student Interest Surveys

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a selection of letters concerning the cuts at Duquesne University in Sunday’s newspaper, and this was probably the best of the lot:

Title IX to blame

It was sad to learn that Duquesne University is dropping four men’s athletic programs. Although the news story notes that Title IX may or may not have played a role, this misapplied legislation has resulted in lost scholarships and broken dreams for thousands of athletes across the country. If this decision was not driven by Title IX, then what exactly do they mean by “an effort to maximize financial resources and ensure sustained athletic success” since no women’s teams were cut?

Title IX was a necessary and noble piece of legislation when first enacted. Women’s sports had suffered from generations of sexism and silly ideas about women’s limited athletic capabilities. Thankfully we know more now. Including this:

The purpose of Title IX was not to eliminate men’s teams, but to improve the scholarship and athletic opportunities for women. Unfortunately, this law was misapplied from the beginning. The notion of forced levels of participation has proven to be ridiculous. Some schools simply do not have enough female students who are interested or qualified. So Title IX has brought equality through a negative dynamic of eliminating men’s teams, rather than a positive dynamic of nurturing more opportunities for women.

It’s time to change and strengthen Title IX. It needs a mechanism to survey the viability of application at an individual school from year to year. “One size fits all” has proven to be disastrous, and deeply unfair to male student-athletes.

H. SCOTT PROSTERMAN, Berkeley, Calif.
H. Scott Prosterman worked in the swimming equipment business in Pittsburgh in the 1990s and serviced swim teams throughout Western PA, including the Duquesne swim team

For more on how surveys worked at Western Illinois University, click here.

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