Dr. Bob Wuornos Offers Insight On The Future Of College Sports
In his commentary, The Future of Other College Sports, published in the National Review Online, Dr. Bob Wuornos, founder of the Men’s Intercollegiate Gymnastics Support Program (MIGSP) offers some clear insight into both the dilemma and opportunity presented by the NCAA rule change that allows Division I schools to pay athletes stipends. Too few sports leaders are willing to be as candid as Dr. Wuornos is in his assessment of the problem and his presentation of a realistic path forward for non-revenue sports.
From his commentary:
‘As stewards of our sports, we need to plan and prepare for the future. Change can be traumatic, but it also presents us with opportunities to rethink and reevaluate to create a better future.
Hundreds of teams have been dismantled in the disastrous enforcement of gender quotas. But in a number of cases, alumni and sports communities have stepped forward to endow or fund their programs, ensuring their survival. This can serve as an example for how to deal with the present crisis.’
Through his volunteer work at MIGSP, Dr. Wuornos has shown how social enterprise can play an important role in preserving and promoting collegiate sports like men’s gymnastics, a sport that has been decimated by Title IX’s gender quota. MIGSP offers a way for alumni gymnasts, whose collegiate programs fell to Title IX’s unreasonable compliance regime, to support existing college teams.
In most cases, even offers of money from big donors are not enough to save a team when a school is found to be out of compliance with gender quotas. However, in the rare cases where Title IX compliance is not a factor in the decision to eliminate a team, sometimes we hear heartening stories of generosity from former athletes giving back to their sport. The extraordinary effort by the gymnastics community with the MIGSP leadership that saved the Cal-Berkely gymnastics team is a shining example of such generosity.
Reforming Title IX regualtions, so that gender quotas no longer create arbitrary numerical limits on athletic opportunites, is essential to the future of non-revenue sports. Free of Title IX’s current restraints, social entrepreneurs like Dr. Wuornos will be able to do their good work, helping to start up new college programs for future generations of athletes in sports like gymnastics, and in doing so, giving back to the sports from which they have benefitted so much.