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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Title 9

Passed in 1972, Title 9 states, in part, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

I was born in the 70s.  I don't remember much, except for the horrible clothes and running around the yard with my dog, but I distinctly remember that my brother was allowed to play soccer and I wasn't.


Of course, now, girls' soccer is everywhere, which is so cool!  The kid across the street in angling for a college soccer scholarship.  A lot has changed in 40 (ahem) or so years and I wholehearted think that it is good that little girls can play sports.

But, there have been some unexpected repercussions from title 9.  (We can call this an inconvenient truth!)  As always, the pendulum swings and sometimes it swings too far.

My step dad was a head track and cross country coach at a division 1 university for, like, 35 years.  (In retirement, he coaches at a division 3 school.)

Track and cross country are not "revenue" sports like football and basketball.  Because of title 9, money at colleges and universities is divided in half, half goes to men and half goes to women.

Fair, right?  Who could possibly argue with that?

Well, 80% (or so, I don't have every balance sheet for every university sitting here, ok?  come on) of the men's budget goes to football and basketball.  The rest goes to all of the other sports.  So, at major universities across the country, men's swimming, men's track, men's wrestling are all being cut.

And, for example, the men's track coach drives a white van to all of the track meets.  Meanwhile, the women's lacrosse team flies to matches in a jet.

As a hall of famer, when my step dad's men's track program was cut (after he retired) he got pretty upset with the university.  He fought to keep that team.

He lost.

I was an at alumni event yesterday and a fellow alum said, "I am sure that those men will find somewhere else to go to school."

Well, I am not so sure.  And, what are we doing to our young men?  Aren't we sidelining them, kinda like this little redneck got sidelined in the 70s?  We are taking away opportunity for these young men, while throwing money at women's curling.  Is that really the right way to go?

Has the pendulum swung too far?

I think that it has.

What do you think?