Puppeteering at Towson University

Men’s baseball and soccer are no longer welcome at Towson University after the 2012-2013 seasons. For that matter, no men’s team at Towson is safe from the administration’s masterful manipulation of roster spots, scholarship awards, recruiting budgets and team funding so long as the university is steadfast in its reverence for proportionality, that destructive Title IX regulation that will pare down the number of men so long as females comprise the majority of students at universities.

According to the “Recommendation to the President,” the “proposed proportionality will put Towson Athletics in a strong position for the long term. Towson will be able to provide a better student-athlete experience and to be more competitive in a broad spectrum of sports, as opposed to the select few in which we are competitive at the present time.”

So getting rid of 60 male athletes and their coaches, as well as cutting a few roster spots here and there on other teams like men’s swimming and diving and men’s basketball is a positive development? Decreasing male student-athletes by seven percent but increasing female student-athletes by seven percent — as Towson’s math ensures — means that the sexes are equal? Denying competitive, rigorous programs a future — and thus inevitably turning away athletes who would have been thrilled to play there because of their successful histories  — will contribute to the university’s rich campus life?

Don’t think so.

But of course, by “increased competitiveness,” Towson actually means supporting the achievements of female athletes — and their’s alone — by reallocating  resources for men’s teams and leaving those boys to struggle. Yet again, they hear the message that their sports don’t count; that their desired achievements don’t matter.

You may wonder whether the baseball and soccer teams and their devoted alumni can save themselves. Of course they can’t, says Towson, because though it is “admirable that there are fans, parents and student-athletes willing to try to fund the programs themselves, this recommendation is much more complex.” Condescending and white-washed. In reality, proportionality is the “complex” factor; money will never rescue any team while universities strictly adhere to rigid gender quotas.

As for the final kicker, Towson blatantly admits that prong two of the three-part test to measure compliance with Title IX — “whether the institution can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion” — is just not enough. “By attaining proportionality,” the school explains, “the department reaches a safe harbor and will not have to further divide resources.” Just who exactly is it protecting themselves from? Activists and government bureaucrats who ignore the other two Title IX measurements  — history and student interest surveys.

So much for athletic opportunities being about the students.

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