Update on UMD Cuts

Thanks to an ASC Facebook fan for pointing out the University of Maryland’s (UMD) “Save Our Sports” page and for pointing us to the following statement:

Can a guarantee be provided that should the eight-year fund raising goal for my team be reached, the sport will be saved?
The University of Maryland’s continued compliance with the non-negotiable requirements of the federal Title IX law prohibits the ability to make this guarantee. In order to save a men’s program, we must also reach the fund raising goal for a women’s program with similar squad size and scholarship commitments.

In addition to that UMD policy, this one sheds light on how the commission made its decision:

How were teams identified for elimination?
The Commission recommendation to eliminate eight teams was motivated by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics’ financial situation, and influenced by gender equity interests. Consideration was also given to factors such as whether the Atlantic Coast Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association sponsored the sport, the competitive success of the sport, ownership and adequacy of the University’s facilities for that sport, proximity and quality of available competition, level of spectator attendance, and the history of the sport at the University.

No doubt gender quotas played a major role in eliminating opportunities and/or making it harder for teams to save themselves. The UMD’s line of thinking that “continued compliance with the non-negotiable requirements of the federal Title IX” is just plain wrong. Prong 1 of Title IX — proportionality — is one of many ways to measure compliance with the law. As we’ve stated many times on this blog and in official statements, we believe that a proportionality measurement is outdated, blatantly discriminates against men, who often participate in higher numbers than women, and needs to be reformed. Clearly, if the men raised the money themselves to ensure their survival, there is strong interest in that sport and should be allowed to participate. Conversely, if a women’s team raised enough money, they should be allowed to play as well. It is simply unfair for the school to disallow hardworking, passionate men, who are fundraising for their teams in addition to completing school work, keeping up with sports, and pursuing other activities, the ability to play if they can meet the financial requirements the school has put into place.

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