Club and Intramural Sports Now in Title IX Crosshairs

For years, the ASC warned that gender quota advocates would insist on the enforcement of Title IX’s Three Part Test in high school sports. Unfortunately, that prediction has recently become fact.

Now our warning is this: Watch out collegiate club and intramural sports. You are next!

According to a news story posted last week by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, a working group there has written ‘revised gender equity guidelines’ for Title IX compliance for collegiate club and intramural sports.

The working document, “Toward the Development of National Intramural and Club Sport Gender Equity Guidelines,” has yet to be published, though according to Dr. Jacqueline McDowell of George Mason University, a select group of NIRSA’s members as well as the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights have already received an advanced copy of the document.

Dr. McDowell has posted a YouTube video where she discusses their proposals.
At 15:28 in the audio Dr. McDowell states, “the substantial proportionality test, it can be used for intramural sport…”

Guideline recommendations such as these made by NIRSA often precede actual policy changes. There’s more than enough detail here to worry us that the same sort of gender quotas and spending controls that we’ve seen applied to college varsity sports will someday be used to regulate club and intramural teams.

In a way, the threat here is far more significant in the total numbers of athletes who could be impacted. A 2008 New York Times article by Bill Pennington said that while the NCAA governs about 430,000 athletes, more than 2 million student athletes compete in club sports.

We have witnessed significant growth of intercollegiate club leagues in men’s lacrosse, swimming, volleyball, and wrestling, among others. These collegiate club leagues have grown in response to the reduction of playing opportunities for males at the varsity level caused by the cutting and capping of teams in order to comply with the gender quota.

NIRSA plans to unveil the new guidelines to the public at their conference in Texas in 2015.

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