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Wrestling With Title IX
new york times ^
| JOHN IRVING
Posted on 01/28/2003 12:45:21 PM PST by freepatriot32
DORSET, Vt.Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs receiving federal assistance, may be in for an overhaul. This week a committee appointed by the Bush administration will hold its final meetings before submitting its recommendations for changing the law to Secretary of Education Rod Paige. Since Title IX was enacted in 1972, it has been the subject of debate much of it misguided about its application to college athletics. At issue now is how to alter the law or not so that, as Secretary Paige has put it, we can find ways of "expanding opportunities to ensure fairness for all college athletes."
I hope the commission will realize that what's wrong with Title IX isn't Title IX. What's wrong is that, in practice, there are two Title IX's. The first Title IX was the one passed by Congress in 1972 to put an end to sex discrimination in schools good for the original Title IX! The second Title IX, the one currently enforced, is the product of a policy interpretation in 1979 by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (but never debated or approved by Congress) and which is functioning as a gender quota law.
In its prohibition against sex discrimination, the 1972 law expressly states as "exceptions" any "preferential or disparate treatment because of imbalance in participation" or any "statistical evidence of imbalance." In English, this means that Congress recognized that the intent of Title IX was not to establish gender quotas or require preferential treatment as reparation for past discrimination. Smart thinking after all, the legislation was intended to prohibit discrimination against either sex
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Vermont
KEYWORDS: cancelled; discrimination; feminist; ix; men; sex; sports; title; women; wrestling
It's about time - some common sense on Title IX.
My daughter was able to participate in a much richer women's athletic environment than my wife was due to Title IX, and she took full advantage of it. If it needs some small adjustments, that's one thing. But it overall has brought a lot of good to women.
posted on 01/28/2003 1:21:39 PM PST
I'm happy for your daughter, I hope she enjoyed and profited from her experience.
But, all is not well with Title IX. Quotas and draconian enforcement have turned this well-meaning program on its head - the law of unintended consequences is in full sway.
At Kansas State University, Crew is a sport for both men and women. The women's team is a full NCAA accredited sport with a full-time coach, university supplied uniforms and equipment, and a budget from the Athletic Department. Women who row can receive full atlethic scholarships and, because its hard to find experienced oarsmen (oarswomen ?) in Kansas, several of the scholarship receipients have no experience in the sport - desire to row is all that's required. They often have trouble filling those scholarships. The men, on the other hand, don't have a NCAA team. Because of quotas, crew was downgraded to a club sport. No unforms, no equipment, no paid coach, NO scholarships. All of the costs come out of the students pockets. This phenomenon is true for many sports across the country. Wrestling is on the verge of extinction on college campii. Kansas State has recently added an Equestrian Team, a very expensive sport with no spectator revenue potential. But, it offers another opportunity to add women's names to the atletic rolls. The end result is that almost every woman who wishes to participate in intercollegiate athletics can find a team, and very often, a scholarship. But, only a small fraction of interested men can make a team, and the number of teams is shrinking every day. Not fair, not right, not what the law says.
Do you think Title IX discriminates against males in sports?
posted on 01/28/2003 1:58:31 PM PST
Do you think Title IX discriminates against males in sports? According to the General Accounting Office, since the passage of Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972, more than 170 wrestling programs, 80 mens tennis teams, 70 mens gymnastics teams and 45 mens track teams have been closed, thats more than 80,000 slots for men. Today, there is no varsity-level wrestling in the state of Florida. I'd say so.
Don't know. I do know that women's sports needed to be built up, but from what I hear the changes in men's sports have been based on incorrect criteria.
One thing that I have heard is that football tends to be a sacred cow. Not that I'd advocate getting rid of football, but many schools carry 100's of players, where only 50 or so ever have any hope of playing. Cutting back on that to a more reasonable level would perhaps enable schools to restore wrestling, etc.
posted on 01/28/2003 2:15:05 PM PST
One thing that I have heard is that football tends to be a sacred cow.
Let's just be realistic about Div I Collegiate Football: it is a cost-free farm system for the NFL. Some players get degrees, but, by and large, those going to the Pros do not graduate. (Although a few, like Emmitt Smith, come back to pickup the remaining credits).
I propose classifying some players as "Football Majors". Think of them as prospects who think of themselves as Pro-material. Most schools would reserve these scholarships for athletes who otherwise couldn't meet the entrance criteria, and, moreover, they won't count against Title IX. Each team would get several such scholarships each year, with a maximum serving in any given year. This could save college wrestling, at least. It would also cut-down on a lot of hippocracy.
The NFL should pay for this system, but that's an argument for another day.
posted on 01/28/2003 4:31:15 PM PST
Cutting back on (football) to a more reasonable level would perhaps enable schools to restore wrestling, etc
But how do you explain the scores of Division III wrestling programs that have been eliminated ? Most of the cuts have been made to Div III schools. Division III does not hand out scholarships at all. In fact, as Irving mentions, some Schools without football have been forced to drop wrestling just to meet the gender quota imposed by the Ed Dept in 1996
High schools offer sports to men and women equally and about 40 % of the slots are filled by women. Many surveys have been given that show girls interest in sports at about one half of those of men.. I dont know why, but those anecdotes about crew scholarships to Arizona and Kansas make no impression on you; they are not anomolous events.
Reasonable reform, using surveys to estimate interest, will probably be made. I hope you're not one of those yowling about how wrong this all is.. Fairness is what the goal should be.
There's a key in what you're saying. It's my understanding that there are multiple criteria in Title IX to evaluate whether a school is in conformance with it. If I remember correctly, one is to simply make the number of available athletic slots proportional to the level of a school's student body make up, and another is to make them proportional to the level of student interest. I've seen where it's been said that schools are using the former because it's an easier practice to defend legally, whereas the latter format, which would take into account your assertion that women just aren't as interested in sports, would cause less disruption of existing programs.
My daughter has played sports that are traditionally "female": tennis and softball (as well as soccer in HS). She also played a non-"female" sport in high school, ice hockey, and felt ripped off because you weren't allowed to check in women's hockey. Not that she didn't get her hits in; one of her personal precepts was that if she didn't have a penalty by the third period, she'd go out and get one. She'd go out and find someone who'd annoyed her during the first two periods, take them out, and be half-way to the penalty box by the time the ref blew the whistle. Not a dirty hit, but a hard one.
posted on 01/29/2003 11:51:26 AM PST
It's my understanding that there are multiple criteria in Title IX to evaluate whether a school is in conformance with it.
Read the posted article carefully. Proportional representation is the safe harbor assurance of compliance with Title IX. The only concrete (lawsuit proof) way to prove you are not discriminating is numerical quotas linked to student body make-up. If Farleigh Dickinson coeds are not interested in sports, then the men will suffer. And the Womens Law Center and other lobby groups will sue your pants off if you try to evade the "law". The last thing these groups want to do is quantify student interest (again, read the article).
BTW, Mia Hamm and all these female soccer players benefited from Title IX before there were numerical quotas, not after. So all this bunk about how women will suffer if they stop cutting wrestling programs is really...bunk.
I haven't read the article, and I freely grant that my understanding of Title IX is imperfect and less than well informed. I do not defend it's current implementation. I simply observe that it's had a very salutary effect on the opportunities my daughter has had for athletic competition, as opposed to those my wife had (we went to high school together, so I saw this first hand). My wife, not a liberal by any means, is much more highly opinionated than I am on this subject.
posted on 01/29/2003 2:32:18 PM PST
Before Title IX , as it was written in 1972, womens teams were outnumbered by mens something like 10 to 1, at both high school and college level. Nobody on this side of the argument has any problem with the original
law, as it was written. It encourages all people to participate in sports..ie equal opportunity regardless of gender, race, etc.
The problem we have is with Democraps mandated interpretation of the law; the use of numerical quotas is not mandated, mentioned or even implied in the original legislation. Some of the shrinkage in wrestling happened early, but most of it occured later on, after quotas. It is mendacious and spiteful to require colleges to cut mens programs while not adding womens programs (because demand isnt there).
We dont ask numerical balance in dance, theater, fine arts, etc... so why sports? Oh, and did you notice that 57 % of incoming college students are female? What are we going to do about THAT imbalance?? (nothing, of course)
posted on 02/11/2003 4:24:45 PM PST
by Tailgunner Joe
(God Armeth The Patriot)
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