Don’t Be Fooled by Budget Claims: Part 2

In the Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota’s student newspaper, Sports Editor Derek Wetmore examines how the school can reign in its sports budget after athletic director Joel Maturi leaves. The athletic department is currently a big money loser. Only 3 of the school’s 23 varsity sports actually make money: football, men’s basketball and men’s hockey. On top of that, Wetmore describes Maturi as having an “unrelenting dedication to non-revenue sports.”

To fix the budget mess, cutting teams seems like the go-to option. But as readers of this blog know, resolving budget issues is the perfect excuse to enforce proportionality by cutting predominantly male teams. We just saw it at Millersville University, and we will certainly see it throughout “Spring Slaughter.” Yet the writer seems to have been tricked by the budget claim. Wetmore cites cuts at the University of Maryland, University of Delaware, James Madison University and Bemidji State University. He also includes teams that were cut and then saved at St. Cloud State, University of California-Berkeley and the University of Minnesota. He says that only James Madison University dropped teams because of Title IX enforcement.

This is false. All of the schools listed above chose the teams they did because of Title IX concerns like gender quotas and proportionality. Here are press statements and news coverage proving that more than just money — specifically gender — factored into their decisions: University of Maryland, University of Delaware, Bemidji State University, St. Cloud State, University of California-Berkeley and the University of Minnesota.

Additionally, the reporter notes that private donors, joint fundraisers and booster clubs have rescued teams in the past. However, he does not address the fact that if Title IX activists get their way, no amount of voluntary money will be able to save sports. Requiring booster clubs to split their money across all teams is one of the new trends in Title IX enforcement. This essentially means that private citizens, such as parents and community members, who care only about certain sports are no longer entitled to donate their money as they wish. This notion of forced sharing also applies to teams on the chopping block; vulnerable teams at the University of Maryland are currently scrambling to raise enough money not just for their own sport but also for the gender-opposite team they are paired up with. Otherwise, both teams are gone.

Let’s hope that if and when the University of Minnesota is forced to cut teams due to budget shortfalls, it doesn’t use proportionality to guide its decisions. After all, when schools claim that they’re considering Title IX alongside the budget, they usually mean that they will implement enforcement mechanisms that cause rather than prevent discrimination on the basis of gender.

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