Title IX In the News

It’s not surprise that Title IX, gender quotas and inequality of opportunities among male and female athletes are getting more attention press attention. After all, if schools keep using proportionality and unfair methods of implementing Title IX, we’re going to see more students unhappy with the status quo.

Here’s what’s happening this week around the country:

Title IX Cause Inequality, The Hoya (Georgetown)
by Matt Emch

While Title IX’s goals are admirable, it has not worked out in practice as it was meant to. Its implementation dictated that colleges had to balance the numbers of female and male athletes to mirror the student population at their institutions. In theory, it was as simple as creating more female sports teams to even out the number of scholarship athletes between the two genders. But in practice, many males suffered as a result of this legislation.

Male athletes from all over the country were told that their sports would be cut and they would have to provide an education for themselves. Young men who had dreamt of playing a sport in college, many of whom could not pay for an education if it weren’t for their full-ride scholarships, were left out to dry.That isn’t equality, but a ludicrous attempt to justify more discrimination. Not one critic of Title IX will argue that creating more athletic opportunities for women is a bad thing. But discriminating against males to fill a quota for athletic departments is just as wrong as exclusion.

College football not in PSC’s future, eCorsair (Pensacola State College)
by Brian Brian McLellan

The cost of starting a program from scratch is steep. After the inclusion of staff salaries, equipment purchases, and other necessary purchases, initial costs can run more than $1million.

“If you add in the cost of 85 scholarships, living stipends and travel expenses, we would more than double our current athletic budget,” said Pensacola State Athletic Director Bill Hamilton. “Then on top of that you have to offset those scholarships with women’s programs, which will double the cost of the start-up.”

Pensacola State has received national recognition for its strict adherence to Title IX, which requires institutions to offer the same opportunity for women’s athletic programs as it does for men. Because of Title IX, adding 85 scholarships for a football program would require the school to add a financial equivalent for either new or existing women’s programs.

Deer Valley Unified School District gives badminton a try, Arizona Republic
by Tyler Emerick

Prompted by law and fueled by eager participants, badminton in Glendale gained tremendous steam in 2011. To meet Title IX requirements, the Deer Valley Unified School District voted to introduce the sport to all five of its high schools in August.

Despite its forced origin*…

(*need we include more?)

A question of fairness in high school sports, Albany Times-Union
by Mark McGuire

This is a question of fairness in competition — the foundation of the “level playing field” principle. On one side you have people saying having a guy play is unfair to all-girls teams.
But the other argument carries greater validity: You can’t deny a kid a chance to play solely on the basis of gender. That has been clearly established for girls. The right extends to guys as well, again within reason.Rules governing guys playing field hockey and other mixed competitions vary by state. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Handbook is pretty clear:

“Equal opportunity to participate in interschool competition, either on separate teams or in mixed competition on the same team, shall be provided to male and female students, except as hereinafter provided. In schools that do not provide separate competition for male and female students in a specific sport, no student shall be excluded from such competition solely by reason of sex …”

That said, there is a clause that allows the denial of a male athlete to play in a girls’ sport, and it makes sense: school or other officials “may decline to permit a male or males to participate on a team organized for females upon a finding that such participation would have a significant adverse effect upon the opportunity of females to participate successfully in interschool competition in that sport.”

Translation: “If I think he is endangering the welfare of a student athlete, I can say no,” Johnstown athletic director James Robare said. It’s in the school’s best interest, since such a player would be more likely to injure a teammate in practice than an opponent in less-frequent games. In other words, don’t look for a 220-pound guy who can run a 4.5 on field hockey field near you.

A final counter-argument: If claims are made regarding aggressive play as the above email writer made, then that is the domain of on-field, not off-field officials. Again, treat everyone the same.

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