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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-09-04 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
115. I knew this would come in handy
from previous DU threads (I think) about Title IX ... bold emphasis is mine.

Football needs to start making Title IX sacrifices
June 12, 2002
By Dennis Dodd Senior Writer

The wrestling coaches have a point. College
administrators have been lazy over the years, axing
men's scholarships and programs in order to comply
with Title IX. It's the easy way out. Those college
administrators have acted first out of fear,
intimidation and/or ignorance rather than a
well-reasoned examination of Title IX.

When it comes to keeping an athletic department
afloat, athletic directors almost always will take the
path of least resistance. That's why baseball and
wrestling have been particular targets in recent
years. Hundreds of programs have been cut in order to
free up scholarships for new women's programs.

That's why Texas is in the College World Series this
week with Alan Bomer, a transfer pitcher from Iowa
State, which cut its program. It's also why
land-locked Kansas State has a rowing team for women.
College athletics has twisted and rearranged itself in
strange ways, all because of Title IX.

All because of football.

That's right, college football. There likely would be
no lawsuit and certainly less controversy if football
wasn't the nerd in the punch bowl. ADs won't say it,
but those 85 Division I-A scholarships are a witch
when it comes to gender equity. They count against
Title IX requirements, and there is no comparable
women's sport to balance them out.

Still, football is left untouched on its exclusive,
private island. Name, if you can, the number of the
117 I-A programs that have cut one football
scholarship in order to get in compliance with Title

That number would be zero.

That's because football is the gold standard. It's not
to be touched, even in regard to Title IX. Football
coaches routinely pull down at least $1 million a
year. Their coaching staffs are needlessly large.
Recruiting budgets approach the GNP of third-world

Football can't be touched because of the gold it
produces. Football runs through the veins of this
country and athletic departments. A BCS bowl berth can
be a windfall. Boosters get their identity from State
U. Winning and losing in football has a direct effect
on fund raising. It is a cycle that keeps feeding on

Isn't it worth it, then, to keep the monster as
healthy as possible? To a point. The swimmers,
baseball players and wrestlers are no less athletes
than football players, but they are perceived as less
important when the Title IX is put against an athletic
director's head.

The easy way out is still to ax a couple of men's
minor sports. They don't produce money anyway. Taken
to its extreme, then, Title IX compliance should mean
cutting virtually all the minor sports. Athletic
departments could succeed sponsoring only football and
men's and women's basketball. Throw in a couple of
rowing teams, some equestrian, and it's all equal
Title IX-wise.

Sound good?

No. No one wants that, but that's how college
administrators have interpreted Title IX. Instead of
building women's opportunities, they are robbing Peter
to pay Paula.
It will continue unless the wild-eyed
women's advocates, bull-headed football supporters and
skittish ADs get together and stop the craziness.

There is a solution, or progress toward a solution. It
will require some hard swallowing, but here goes:

Cut 20 football scholarships and two assistant coaches
across the board in I-A. Redistribute the money to
minor sports overall and women's opportunities in

The first cry will be that men's scholarships are
still being lost. No, football scholarships are being
lost. Other programs are being saved. Football lives
on as healthy as ever, while the athletic department
grows and diversifies.

Thirty years ago, there basically were no scholarship
limitations in football. Coaches started to cry foul
when the NCAA first cut to, gasp, 120 scholarships per
program. They cried louder when the number went to 95,
88 and, now, 85.

That's crying wolf a bit too often. Despite those
"drastic" cuts, college football couldn't be more
popular. Despite the nay sayers, the BCS is a hit where
it counts -- television, athletic department budgets
and ticket sales. The SEC and Big 12 combined paid out
$172 million to member schools this academic year.


The 20 scholarships would be doubly valuable. If the
program stayed the same size (I-A programs average
more than 100 players), then those 20 scholarships
would suddenly become more walk-ons, paying tuition
instead of sucking it out of the university on free


Because of the confusion, innuendo means a lot.
Women's advocates are concerned the Department of
Justice moved to dismiss the wrestling coaches' suit
not on its merits but on legal technicalities.

To the Women's Sports Foundation, National Women's Law
Center and others, this is frightening. They have
asked concerned parties to contact their congressmen,
asking them to keep Title IX in place. Because of
Justice s court maneuver, they worry that a revision
of Title IX is coming from the Bush Administration.

They have reason. The chief speech writer for U.S.
Attorney General John Ashcroft, Jessica Gavora, has
criticized Title IX in a new book, saying it promotes
quotas and wrecks men's minor sports.

Maybe Gavora has a heck of a point. No wonder ADs run
for the latest machete at even a hint of the Title IX
challenge. The easy way out is as unfair to men as the
pre-Title IX days were to women. The best way is to
get creative. Market, fund raise, survey. The riskiest
way is to go to trial, where a jury could de construct
a whole athletic department.

But that's the problem, isn't it? To do that would
invite lawyers, and to do that muddies the waters of a
very confusing law. Title IX definition and
enforcement changes from administration to
administration. The poorly written law provides for a
wide interpretation and empowers athletic bozos.

Football is sitting there, fat and on its throne like
Jabba the Hutt. To the satisfaction of all parties,
might we recommend a quick weight-loss program?


Schools pamper football, punt on women's sports
Thu Jan 2, 7:12 AM ET

Come Friday's national championship game, college
football fans will have had a chance to feast on a
record 28 bowl games this holiday season. Sponsors
will have doled out more than $80 million to
participating teams and conferences.

With so many players taking the field and so much
money following them, sports fans might be puzzled by
some boosters' complaints that men's intercollegiate
programs are in trouble.

Yet, that's the claim critics are using to attack a
1972 law that requires colleges to provide equal
opportunities to women, including athletes. Detractors
of Title IX claim it is squeezing out men's sports.


What the critics won't acknowledge is that the biggest
drain on athletic budgets isn't women's sports but
football, with 80- to 100-man squads (twice the size
of NFL teams) and fat salaries for coaches.


Contrary to opponents' claims, adding opportunities
for women need not hurt men. A 2001 government study
found that 72% of colleges and universities added
women's programs without cutting men's sports.

Critics who blame women's sports and the federal law
for eliminating men's athletic opportunities are
shooting at the wrong target. Athletic departments too
obsessed with bowl games to consider creative ways to
provide opportunities for women created their own

Watering down the law would reward their bad behavior.

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