More Thoughts on Obama and Title IX

A couple of other folks have taken note of our post on Title IX and the Obama Administration form yesterday. Here’s our friends at Stick It Media:

Obama is a big sports fan. He loves to play basketball and he recently voiced his advocacy for a playoff system for college football. Since he’s such a big sports fan, perhaps he should take a serious look at a premier Olympic sport like men’s gymnastics. Title IX’s effects on men’s gymnastics is huge. The number of men’s Division I programs continues to dwindle.

Obama’s hometown, Chicago, is angling for the 2016 Olympics. We should all assume that he will be the biggest hometown homer for delivering the games to Chi-town. We wish him much success. We should also wish that his administration will take a serious look at helping to prop up men’s gymnastics to maintain our nation’s world competitiveness.

Jesse Squires at The Track and Field Super Blog also commented onthe original ESPN story that kicked off this conversation:

Obama is not an idealogue, nor does he wish to govern divisively in an “I win, you lose” type of way. So to him, the whole “lessen the impact of Title IX” idea is a classic strawman argument. (Also, Munson might not know what he’s talking about; Title IX is enforced by the Department of Education, not HHS, and it’s been that way since they split off the DOE from HEW back in 1979.)

The big problem with current Title IX regulations is that institutions are allowed to show gender equity first and foremost by having equal numbers of male and female athletes, which in turn makes liabilities out of large but inexpensive men’s sports such as track & field. This number-based approach is predicated on the wrong-headed assumption that all athletes place equal demands on the athletic department; an unrecruited walk-on (such as yours truly was) simply does not have much if any impact on the coach’s time or the team’s expenditures. This same numbers approach makes equal treatment of women’s needs as athletes secondary to merely having them present in sufficient quantities. There has got to be a smarter way, one that benefits both men and women, and for the first time in decades I trust the chief executive to look for those kinds of solutions.

Here’s hoping Jesse is right.

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