And Those Title IX Enforcement Criticisms Keep Coming…

Because the 40th anniversary of Title IX received mostly glowing coverage in the press, there wasn’t much room for dissenting voices while the celebrations were going on (save for ASC Chairman Eric Pearson’s op-ed and a great piece by Carrie Lukas from IWF). But in the weeks following the law’s milestone, we’ve seen people vocalizing discontent for what they’ve been witnessing in their communities: The devastation of men’sathletic opportunities because of the way Title IX is implemented.

The latest to publicly acknowledge the harmful side effects of Title IX’s three-part test is Christina Lanier Hobbs. She writes  in the Florida Times-Union:

I was a beneficiary of Title IX, having played varsity tennis in high school.

It was a wonderful experience for me, and I am so glad that my daughter will be able to have the same opportunities that I enjoyed as she grows up.

I am, however, concerned about future opportunities for my son.

While it is admirable to support giving girls and women equal access to athletics in high school and in college, at times the implementation of Title IX has been disturbing.

While not conceived as a quota system, that is exactly how it has been used.

Colleges around the country for fear of lawsuits have cut many men’s athletic teams so that the percentage of males to female athletes mirrors that of the student population. This is referred to as the “proportionality test”.

With women now outpacing men in going to college, this has been problematic.
Men’s wrestling and gymnastics programs have been among the most targeted programs for elimination.

It is one thing to add women’s teams and in doing so create more opportunities for their female students to participate in athletics. It is quite another thing to simply eliminate men’s programs in order to achieve parity.

To read the rest of her letter to the editor, including her support for student interest surveys, click here.

Christina Lanier Hobbs may be female, and she may have benefitted from Title IX, but she is certainly not afraid to question proportionality’s imminent cuts to men’s athletics. It’s her sort of reasoned approach that we need more of when discussing how best to improve Title IX regulations, not rhetoric and vitriol so rampant in reporting and activists’ talking points.

 

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