Title IX Compliance Costs Don’t Add Up
The University of Richmond just decided to drop men’s soccer and track and field to make room for men’s lacrosse. Why? Because “the University is committed to gender equity in its athletic program, and this decision supports the University’s continued compliance with Title IX.”
Hardly. Pitting the genders against one another (the school had to eliminate male athletes or add new female teams as dictated by the proportionality prong) is definitely not what equality of opportunity under Title IX means. Denying one gender the chance to play sports is not fairness, nor is it in any way fostering a positive student-athlete and overall college experience.
One soccer player remarked to The Collegian, UR’s school newspaper, that “It’s an emotional situation because [for] a lot of guys, this is what we do. This is why we came to school here, and this means a lot to us.” In a post called, “A Disgrace to the Sport,” an empathetic Carl Stone writes, “It is, to say the least, a very sad moment for the running community to see another track and field program succumb to politics. We can only wish the affected Richmond athletes the best in this situation and hope that everything works out for them. ”
Unfortunately, this situation is not going to resolve, not in the least because UR officials firmly stated that no amount of money will revive the soon-to-be defunct teams; factors like “high school and college sports participation rates” (again, proportionality) are more important than meeting the needs and interests of the student body.
Let’s call the current Title IX regulatory scheme what it really is: A set of rules that require colleges to institutionalize gender-based discrimination and deny student-athletes their livelihoods (athletic competition, scholarships) to fulfill the ideologically incoherent notions of gender equality held by activists and government bureaucrats. If we don’t reform how we gauge adherence to the principles reflected in Title IX, students will continue to suffer from ramifications like those currently unfolding at the University of Richmond.