Friday, September 10, 2010

Unintended Consequences

Just about everyone would agree with the positive things Title IX has done for equity in athletics. Pretty much a no-brainer, right?

What about the damage Title IX has done to men's sports?

Seems more and more women are coming around to the idea that proportionality has harmed men's athletics.

Women have enjoyed the benefits of Title IX while seeing their brothers, nephews, sons, etc. lose out on their chances to participate in collegiate athletics. Great law, that Title IX, but the unintended consequences sure stink, don't they?

There are still plenty of holdouts* on proportionality, but Susannah Jacob doesn't sound like one of them. Read her editorial in The Daily Texan here.

But no legislation is perfect, particularly when executed, and Title IX is not flawless. This year, the College Sports Council, an advocacy organization that describes its mission in part as reforming Title IX regulations, conducted a study showing that male soccer players at NCAA Division I schools get the short end of the stick as a result of schools trying to meet Title IX gender quotas. The numbers are striking: about 310 women’s soccer teams compared to only 197 men’s teams, and 8,117 female players in Division I compare to just 5,607 male players. The study reports that 93.1 percent of Division I athletic programs offer women’s soccer but just 59.2 percent offer men’s soccer.

These numbers have driven home their point and may raise questions about whether some schools need to take another look at gender equality of sports programs, keeping men in mind. Overwhelmingly, however, the effects of Title IX — increasingly a part of history — are still powerfully present and should be celebrated. The underlying reality: Equality and athletics allow girls and boys, men and women, to thrive and lead healthy productive lives. And congratulations to the UT women’s volleyball team.

Thanks, EM!

*Title IX radicals into the "revenge" thing?

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