Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Title IX - Some Owls Give a Hoot!

(via Harris County Sports Authority)
Once upon a time, Rice fielded a men's swim team.  So did the University of HoustonTexas Southern had men's swimming, too.

Now, the closest men's program is up in College Station.

What a sad state of affairs for the nation's 4th largest city!

The region is still producing large numbers of outstanding club and high school talent, but males are being exported to other parts of the state and country by the dozens.

Both Rice and UH have outstanding long course facilities.  What in the world is keeping them from fielding men's teams again?


An ex-Rice swimmer started a thread on the underrepresented gender in Owl Olympic sports - males!  Read more here.

Moreover, Football is a killer on the Title IX front because there is nothing you can offer on the women's side to balance those numbers of athletes involved. Net result is the revenue sports survive and the men's sports that should be offered (like swimming) get cut to meet the purely arbitrary equality standard that doesn't take into account reality.

Maybe we can make the marching band all-female to offset the football numbers.

Also, notice how John Q. Public, a.k.a. RiceDoc, used the term "revenue sports".  Note to RiceDoc:

Most college foosball programs spend much, much more than they take in.  Hardly sounds like a "revenue" sport, does it?  How do they balance the books each year?  Simple!  The university keeps them afloat with huge subsidies...check some out here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping this issue alive. Division I swimming is dying as the talent goes to an ever dwindling number of schools so enriched by the BCS that they can better afford to keep their programs.

In a long lost world, the Southwest Conference shared revenue equally, understanding that higher education is not a for profit endeavor. To ensure well rounded athletic programs the SWC required each school to field a minimum number of sports. Rice swimming limped along as the athletic department kept swimming, as it was a requirement to maintain conference membership.

Along came title IX but ....

Hidden in the debate was 1984 Supreme Court ruling which stripped the athletics governing body (NCAA) of exclusive negotiating media rights.

Former Heisman runner-up and All-American at Colorado, Justice Byron White dissented in the case, said it was wrong to treat the NCAA as a "purely commercial venture." Its TV plan, he wrote, "fosters the goal of amateurism by spreading revenues among various schools and reducing the financial incentives towards professionalism."

White saw the writing on the wall.

The dominoes fell slowly at first then in a torrent as schools saw their fortunes increasingly tied to bigger television contracts for which they could not afford. Arkansas to the SEC, the SWC imploding and the big schools negotiating their own deals at the expense of their peers (Longhorn network.)

All the while swimming (and diving) teams falling by the wayside. Of the former Southwest Conference members only SMU, Texas, Texas A&M and TCU still offer swimming (I still call out schools that list swimming as a sport that don't have men's swimming team. The proper designation is Men's or Women's (sport) for all sports.)

"1984" and the beginning of the end for college athletics being for college students.

Button said...

doesn't look like u of h is willing to return men's swimming to varsity status, so it looks like it'll be up to rice if houston is to have a men's d1 program.