Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Failure of Title IX [J. Mark English]

Bill Pennington, New York Times -

The James Madison University men’s and women’s cross-country teams had run especially well against an elite field during a competition late last month in eastern Pennsylvania. Afterward, Coach Dave Rinker gathered a giddy, excited group of athletes with tears in his eyes.
Rinker’s runners noticed he was not smiling. In the middle of the meet, back here on the James Madison campus, the university had announced it was eliminating men’s cross country and track, along with eight other, mostly men’s, sports to comply with Title IX, the federal gender-equity law.
“Title IX was created in 1972 to prevent sex discrimination, and it was needed,” Jennifer Chapman, a senior on the women’s cross-country team, which is not being eliminated, said four days later as she led a protest rally of 400 students on campus. “But look what’s happening now. We rode the bus home from Pennsylvania for four hours, 14 guys and 19 girls all crying together. How is that supposed to have been Title IX’s intent?”...
...James Madison’s student body of 17,000 is 61 percent female, and one provision for complying with Title IX instructs institutions to have the percentage of participating athletes match the ratio of men to women on campus. At James Madison, the elimination of seven men’s sports (swimming, cross country, indoor and outdoor track, gymnastics, wrestling and archery) and three women’s sports (gymnastics, fencing and archery) will boost the proportion of female athletes to 61 percent from about 50 percent.
When the cuts take effect in July, James Madison will be left with 12 women’s sports and 6 men’s sports, the minimum required to participate in N.C.A.A. Division I competition. Three full-time coaches and eight part-time coaches will lose their jobs, and 144 athletes will be without a varsity team.
Comments -
Many schools around the country have also had to get rid of their football programs in order to keep up with Title IX regulations. Since the football programs are usually the only program that brings in any sort of a profit to a school, many schools are now losing funds and are forced to cut back on many more programs then just football. Why should Title IX serve as punishment to male athletes/and schools in general simply to satisfy law makers in Washington D.C.?
My stance on Title IX is that it's time has passed. I don't believe there is any college/university that seeks to on purpose...discriminate against women athletes. If there are any...let the paying public decide if their children should go to that school...don't let the government decide who gets punished.
Do we need to create a Title X to bring back male sports at the college/university level? It is time to move on from Title IX, and let EVERYONE play the games.