Female X-Country Runner Stands Up for Men’s Team at Delaware

A little less than a week ago we pointed to a story that there was a rumor on the campus of the University of Delaware that the men’s cross country team was about to cut cut due to Title IX.

Well, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and Lexi Ambrogi, a senior at Delaware and a member of the women’s cross-country team, doesn’t understand why this decision needs to be made. Here’s an excerpt of her editorial that appeared this morning in the UD Review:

As a senior on the women’s team, I am struggling to understand how the team with the highest cumulative GPA and least amount of budget money spent per athlete ($771 per year) would be the first to go. There has been talk of starting an athletic endowment fund, financed by donations from alumni and other community figures, that would lay the groundwork for bumping the women’s golf team up from club status to varsity. This would satisfy one of the Title IX prongs without eliminating any men’s programs.

Though I am proud to be a university of Delaware athlete, I cannot imagine feeling anything but disappointment a year from now with an institution that didn’t do everything in its power to stop Title IX from claiming another under-funded men’s athletic team.

What does this say to aspiring young athletes? If you want to be a part of a collegiate team, you’d better pick up a football, baseball or basketball. If you’re a swimmer, a wrestler or a runner, good luck after age 18 – you’re on your own in the crapshoot of higher institutions’ budgetary negotiations. Surely this cannot be Title IX’s intent.

No, I don’t think that’s Title IX’s intent at all, but even the best intentions can go awry after nearly four decades. Overall, Title IX was a landmark piece of legislation in guaranteeing equal access to higher education for women. But now, more than 36 years after its passage into law, Title IX is now being used to drive certain sports out of existence.

NOTE: Ambrogi also mentions the program cuts — excuse me, I mean the decimation of the athletic department at James Madison University. That’s an event that’s already become the subject of revisionist history when it comes to hard line supporters of quotas.

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