Define Equity, Title IX

Submitted by Brian on April 26th, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Today the New York Times launched a broadside at the widespread practice of futzing your participation numbers to make it look like your school meets the "proportionality" requirement demanded by Title IX. This trick in particular is bizarre:

At Cornell, only when the 34 fencers on the women’s team take off their protective masks at practice does it become clear that 15 of them are men. Texas A&M and Duke are among the elite women’s basketball teams that also take advantage of a federal loophole that allows them to report male practice players as female participants.

The federal government doesn't actually care what your gender is as long as you don't play.

To me, that absurdity demonstrates how futile Title IX is. There is more interest in men's sports to the point where you can't even fill out your rosters with women because no one is interested, so dudes step in to fence. Those guys can't play varsity (Cornell has a club team) because of Title IX.

The Times article and the reaction to it is totally opposed to this view. Triple counting track athletes and jamming tennis walk-ons for whom practice is optional is portrayed as scandalous. The very headline of the article establishes an editorial viewpoint:

College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equity

Football comes in for its usual hit here:

Yet football, the pride of many universities and a draw for alumni, rarely faces cuts. The average Division I football team went from 95 players 30 years ago to 111 players in 2009-10.

“Football is the elephant in the whole thing,” Mr. Crouthamel said. “That’s the monster.”

This is obviously stupid. The Average Division I Football Team added a dozen or so walk-ons over the past 30 years. Walk-ons don't travel with the team. They don't get financial support. They just show up and fail to kick balls through the uprights. These days they don't even have an equipment cost—many schools have deals where they get that stuff for free. Meanwhile, many places the monster hands out free candy.

If we're talking about "equity" as treating different groups fairly, the thing that's undermining gender equity is Title IX. The article hits a bunch of different schools for practices like the bizarre loophole above but focuses most heavily on South Florida. The Bulls have 71 women's cross-country runners, many of whom are not aware they are on the team. The practice started shortly after USF started a football team, because football is a monster.

Football is a monster!

South Florida

Football
Men's Basketball
Women's Basketball
Other
Non Program Specific
Total
Revenue
$5,293,997
$1,729,709
$257,631
$569,360
$12,715,174
$20,585,871
Expense
$5,379,609
$1,769,094
$1,071,617
$4,096,472
$7,507,081
$19,823,873
Expense to Revenue Difference
$-85,612
$-39,385
$-813,986
$-3,527,112
$5,208,093
$741,998

Description of Expense Fields

Football… uh… essentially breaks even. Since basketball gets 100k in "direct university support" this makes it unique amongst USF sports. Women's basketball, meanwhile, gets 232k in direct support—those thirteen scholarships cost the school over a million dollars. Football's 85 cost the university 1,000 bucks each. USF could have 12.3 football teams for what it costs to run one small women's team.

In terms of money thrown at sports that don't have a prayer of ever making a dime, USF's women are killing the men. Football and men's basketball  could break even with small tweaks. The attention they get is a major way to let people know the University of South Florida exists. The reason USF sponsors those sports is because they are a net positive.

But Title IX pretends that money sent to them is like money sent to baseball/swimming/track/cross-country—essentially burned. It's not. There is a ROI in football. It's absurd to force a university to maintain proportional representation as if football is some sort of charity. Many places it's not: it's an investment. A law that isn't insane would recognize that.

Comments

Feat of Clay

April 26th, 2011 at 1:58 PM ^

I think you guys are talking about different things. 

The poster above you was making an excellent point about female athletes formerly being treated as second-class citizens in terms of equipment, funding, practice times, facilities, etc. (regardless of their athletic prowess). 

You're talking about colleges being forced to field women's teams to keep the NUMBER of athletes equal.

Maybe it's a problem that the mandated solution (Title IX) to the first issue leads to the second.  We could argue that an imperfect solution.  But they are two different things.  I'd hate to think you were arguing that because women lack upper arm strength and have vaginas, it's okay to make roadtripping female athletes bunk in alumni basements while the male athletes stay in hotels.

AAB

April 26th, 2011 at 2:00 PM ^

is begging the question.  

Yes, Title IX imposes costs, and it makes universities less profitable.  Legislation designed to remedy discrimination or guarantee equal access often imposes costs.  It is expensive for businesses to comply with the ADA, Title VII and the FMLA, but many people think the benefits that those statutes convey to potentially unprotected classes of people outweigh the costs that they impose.  

It's not enough to say "Title IX imposes costs" unless you can also say that the benefits aren't all that great.  I think it's implicit in a lot of the comments here that people don't feel the benefits of Title IX have been great enough to outweigh the costs, but no one seems to be showing their work on the issue, and it's undisputed that the number of women in athletics has gone up by orders of magnitude since Title IX passed.  

Yinka Double Dare

April 26th, 2011 at 1:33 PM ^

I laughed at this:

Walk-ons don't travel with the team. They don't get financial support. They just show up and fail to kick balls through the uprights.

but then realized that it also needed to say "or start at safety as a redshirt freshman" and wept for our cursed secondary.

jls1144

April 26th, 2011 at 1:37 PM ^

I played Basketball in college. We were D3 but very sucessful. Went to
The Final 4 my fresh year and had won back
To back Nat Champ in the years previous. My relevance to this story.....

Our practice team consisted of male students. They learned the opposing teams offense. It gave us a distinct advantage. I don't know how they were counted. I didnt care. It helped is be a better program. It was not a disservice, it was a leg up.

This also brought with it a stronger fan base. These practice members were the
Core and grew our 6th man club, an over the top fan
Base.

mejunglechop

April 26th, 2011 at 1:51 PM ^

The investment line works fine for Michigan, but what about all the non BCS schools who are bleeding money out of their eyeballs and are extremely unlikely to see a payout?

patrickdolan

April 26th, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

They aren't amateur and the people playing them are primarily athletes, not college students. The problem is that if you cut them loose from the athletic department, then logic says that you should cut them loose from the university altogether. What's their educational purpose again?

Men's football and basketball could be required to break even, and the university take independent responsibility non-revenue sports. Then it would be feasible for Title IX to be enforced for non-revenue sports. Of course, some of the football and basketball programs would die, but wouldn't that increase competitiveness?

I don't know what the research says now, but I do know that the last time I looked, the vast majority of Division I athletic departments got subventions from their universities, and quantifiable benefits from increased exposure and increased alumni giving weren't evident. If that's the case, women who don't bring in money and men who don't bring in money should be supported equally.

By the way, there are more women in college now than men. Not sure how that figures into things.

 

 

Sgt. Wolverine

April 26th, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

At what point do you all think women's sports would have enough cultural momentum to be taken off the life support of Title IX?  A recurring theme in the comments here is the fear that things would go back to the way they were before Title IX if it were repealed or significantly amended.  For those with that fear...when does it subside?

MGlobules

April 26th, 2011 at 4:59 PM ^

that has had enormous effects, wanted and unwanted, across a very big board, no? You're muddying your message, Brian. 

The fact that women do not participate in the numbers men do does not mean greater equality of participation is not a worthy goal. Doesn't have to be equal--who cares--but most high and middle school educators will tell you about the desperate need to get kids, especially girls, moving. 

A broad-brush condemnation gets you nowhere, only prevents everyone seeing the more thoughtful fine print. Title IX isn't going away anyway, so rants (what this occasionally thoughtful screed dressed up as macho rant may elicit) are less than wutless. Problematic as it is, it has lifted womens' sports in a way that has enriched this country's u's.

Edit: one of the ways that I think we get confused, as fans, is in failing to distinguish our pleasure as consumers of the college sports spectacle with sports as participatory activity that schools offer kids as part of a college experience. They've ended up being pretty different animals. I love my hoops and football, but hint to me--as an educator, father, UM grad, etc.--that it's those activities that should suffer/lose support, when women got nothing routinely almost from the beginning, and sorry. . . The Times dangled the scandalous--just scandalous!--bit of info that guys were playing womens' sport to draw in readers to their (as often) botched piece, but from my pov they got the "protecting access to and boosting of women's sports" part mostly right.

Rasmus

April 26th, 2011 at 2:36 PM ^

[1] Accept that there will be 85 more men's sports' scholarships than women's at FBS schools, and 63 (aggregate) at FCS schools -- not sure about DII. 

[2] Mandate that existing women's programs don't get cut to pay for new men's programs, or something like that. I don't think it would be too terribly hard to develop a set of rules about what schools can and can't do as they transition toward a reformulated Title IX.

remdog

April 26th, 2011 at 2:27 PM ^

Should be abolished.

It's based on the invalid assumption that men and women are the same.  They are not.  They are different both physically and intellectually. That is a biological fact.  I'm not suggesting one gender is better either physically or intellectually - just different.  Not only do men and women have different athletic capabiliites, they also have different interest levels in athletics.  Treating them the same results in inequities favoring women.  Rather than a one-size fits all edict from the state, a more libertarian free market approach would be fairer.  Schools should be allowed to fund athletics for men and women based on demand from students and based on economic incentives.  If schools receive greater revenue from certain male or female sports, they should be free to fund these based on this economic reality.  If men or women demand greater athletic opportunities, they are free to attend the school which provides these opportunities.

Ok.  The close minded here are free to neg bomb.

patrickdolan

April 26th, 2011 at 6:40 PM ^

So your "free market" solution is to give government support to men's sports and not to women's? WTF?

Men and women are different, so men who want to play sports should get more government support that women who want to play sports?

Libertarianism has cognitive dissonance at its heart, but this is special.

I didn't neg bomb this. I'm laughing too hard.

WindyCityBlue

April 26th, 2011 at 7:23 PM ^

...I think you misread his post.  First off, Libertarianism has no more cognitive dissonance than reps or especially dems, so I don't think that's really relevant to your point.

Libertarianism adovcates people to live as freely as they want in accordance to the tenet "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as long as it respects those around you and does not impede others from living their lives as freely as they want.  Unfortunately, Title IX at times does this.  Its has certainly expanded access to collegiate sports for women, but many times at the expense of a men's sport.  This is hard to stomach for a Libertarian (such as myself).

Also, we are not really talking about government money are we (especailly at Michigan, when we get so little from the state)?  We are talking about tuition money or money that I pay for Michigan football season tickets that gets funneled to losing sports (men and women). 

"Men and women are different, so men who want to play sports should get more government support that women who want to play sports?"

That is not his point.  His point is that men DO want to play sports more than women.  That is a fact.  And a proportional amount of money in this regard doesn't seem too outlandish, does it?    

patrickdolan

April 26th, 2011 at 8:57 PM ^

Michigan's athletic department may break even. If so, it's very, very unusual. At almost every other school in the country, private and public, student tuition fees, donor money and state funding (315 million in UM's case, 1/5 of its funding, less money, higher percentage where I teach) support the athletic department, specifically non-revenue sports. In other words students' tuition, their fees, and taxpayers' money goes to, say, the wrestling team. You can't say "It's tuition and students fees that fund it." It's all the revenue stream, including the state money. Even at private schools there's substantial federal money involved--student loans, Pell grants and other--which is what allows the federal government to impose Title IX on them as well.

This is partly why libertarianism as it's expressed in the United States requires cognitive dissonance: in-state students at public institutions regularly rail against government intrusion into the marketplace. As a taxpayer and donor, I listen bemused. I'm subsidizing them with my taxes and donations. I'd subsidize them more, too, if the people I vote for won more often, or if university faculty were getting raises. (My favorite libertarian moment came when I was doing work study (federal money, state administered) for the university at which I did grad work . One of the guys I was cooking with said to me, "Could you ever imagine working for the government?" I said, "I don't have to imagine it, I'm doing it now. So are you." He was incredulous.)

Yeah, partisan politics require cognitive dissonance. I'm well to the left of the Democrats on most things (one of the reasons I chose the University of Michigan, by the way). The best take on the three main threads of American politics is here: <http://whatever.scalzi.com/2002/03/22/i-hate-your-politics&gt;. I think libertarians who drive cars and rely on people who went to public schools are a little more dissonant.

Even if we funded intercollegiate sports with only tuition and fees, you'd still have this problem: most university students are women. Why should their money go to fund men's sports?

The best comment in this whole thread speaks to women athletes who experienced what it was like before Title IX.

WindyCityBlue

April 26th, 2011 at 10:22 PM ^

...of libertarianism.  I can agree that there is cognitive dissonance if all the people you described were actual libertarians (highly unlikely).  Me and the rest of the tiny libertarian nation are fully aware of our government at work around us and we do what we can to ensure they do not intrude into our liberty.  However, we are not anarchist.  We believe that the government is essential to our nation, but only in a few key ways (protection of rights and property mostly), and anything beyond that is sometimes unavoidable at this point (like in your case of public education).  I went to Michigan twice as an out of state student, so there :) 

Sorry, now back to the original topic. "Even if we funded intercollegiate sports with only tuition and fees, you'd still have this problem: most university students are women. Why should their money go to fund men's sports?"  Because men's sports enrich the schools spirit and image more so than woman's sports.  I know that sounds sexist, but it is true.  Even the not-so-major schools have great traditions derived from the achievements in mens sports that make the school more than just an academic hub.  Think what Michigan, Stanford, etc would be without football and men's basketball.  I can't tell you how many old timers from the Univeristy of Chicago think that dimishing their sports programs were a bad idea.  I happen to agree.   

Title IX needs a huge overall.  If we can amend our consitution to prohibit alcohol consumption and amend it again to repeal prohibition, then we can tinker with Title IX.  As a libertarian, it's hard for me to behind such a "law".  It's a government "entiity" that is impeding the liberty of many other Americans.    

remdog

April 27th, 2011 at 1:46 AM ^

your detailed reply.  But I believe you seem to misunderstand libertarianism and equate it with anarchism.  It is not cognitive dissonance to believe in libertarianism and at the same time, use government supported services and institutions.  Since government intrusion into daily life and the marketplace is so widespread, it is impossible to avoid.  Moreover, libertarians recognize the need for limited government to maintain order and protect one's rights.

Your reply does illustrate the complexity of the entire situation.  Once government begins to support or subsidize an activity or industry, it gradually increases its control over said activity or industry.  So there is a good case to be made for lessening or eliminating government support for higher education.  There is currently a major bubble in higher education (much like the housing bubble inflated by government involvement) due to government support - it may be one of the next bubbles to burst (it's already burst for many who are unemployed and burdened with huge loan debt).

Anyway, it's a complex subject.  As for libertarian philosophy, I think should try to give it more serious thought rather than laughter. It's principles are strongly based in and supported by empirical and historical data - as opposed to left or right wing ideology which usually ignore the lessons of history.

Sorry to digress.  But it was necessary to explain my view of a government edict like title IX.

patrickdolan

April 27th, 2011 at 12:14 PM ^

You and WindyCityBlue have provided thoughtful responses. Cool. I think we're OT enough that we should stop, but I appreciate the engagement.

Also, Go Blue, including the softball team, which is up there, in my view, with the hockey and football teams.

One parting thought: I hope that sometime down the road, women's and men's teams get the support from the university and the fans that match their efforts and attainment, undiminished by outdated attitudes about gender (or race, for that matter). I also hope that every student has the opportunity to compete at the level he or she can achieve. I expect Michigan to lead the way in this, because that's what a university is for--leadership.

BlueCE

April 26th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

I hate the New York Times... it is amazing how they are all about failing to see the facts and just making wild claims for page hits...

remdog

April 26th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

of the New York Times either.  It's "news" stories are incredibly tainted by bias.  I'll give you just one example.  It plastered the unsubstantiated Duke lacrosse player rape accusations all over the front page but gave much less coverage to their exoneration.  When their accuser was charged with her boyfriend's murder recently, this story was buried as a small blurb on one of the back pages.

jatlasb

April 26th, 2011 at 8:41 PM ^

That's a fairly standard thing with modern news media:  hype and outrage at first but if corrections need to be made they're utterly buried.  It's endemic to pretty much every venue--newspaper, magazine, and television.

I mean, do you remember that Fox News  Se"Xbox" thing where a bunch of talking heads tried to say Mass Effect was Super Erotic Space Porn?  I don't remember hearing about any apology or correction.  It might have existed, but it wasn't any where near as publicized. 

(That is not to say the two stories are equivelent in scope or in harm, simply as an illustration of my point.)

chitownblue2

April 26th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

I think most reasonable people agree that Title IX is sort of screwed up, even if it did correct a flaw that existed at the time.

It's easy to poke holes in it, but I suppose the question is "what do you propose as an alternative?"

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

April 26th, 2011 at 2:52 PM ^

Any dollar earned in ticket revenue in any sport should count for Title IX accounting purposes as a dollar spent on that sport.  That would be a fair way to gauge "interest" and account for sports that require large investments but bring in even larger returns.  I don't like the idea of "any sport that breaks even" because that would create a cliff and wildly separate haves (Michigan, Alabama, Texas) and have-nots (Sun Belt.)

GBOD79

April 26th, 2011 at 2:50 PM ^

What I would like to see happen is the NCAA doing away with the terms Varsity and Club. Instead adopt revenue and non-revenue. Revenue sports are able to give scholarships just like they always have, because they make money. Non-revenue sports are not able to give scholarships because they do not make money. The schools have to offer the same nonrevenue sports it has in the past.

 

Non-revenue players are still able to compete for championships and are still able to offer the opportunity to play a college sport. If they meet academic scholarship requirements they can receive these and play, without counting against the athletic departments budget.

Does the law go further than just mandating that female athletes have the opportunity to play college sports? If not, this is a solution.

Seth

April 26th, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

The reason we're talking about this right now is because the Commision on Civil Rights released recommendations last week that advocate using interest surveys to allow schools to reapportion and still meet a Prong Three standard of the regulation.

Before the law, athletic departments "figured" that men's sports were more important than women's, thus women's sports were given far, far, far less support, way out of whack with how many women actually wanted to compete, and the level at which they competed. Get rid of Title IX and you're basically sending women's sports back to 1960.

The law just says you can't discriminate. This is an important distinction because to change it doesn't need an Act of Congress; you need to get the Department of Education's Civil Rights Office to tweak the regulation.

The regulation is how the law is applied, and is retarded because it doesn't acknowledge that revenue sports are different, specifically that football will eat up half of the men's budget no matter which prong you're trying to meet. If you don't count football, schools can meet this easily. On the other hand it was created in the first place because schools used to put their football teams in gold chariots while giving out partial scholarships and 3-wheel carts to all of two girls teams.

We have lots of laws which in application treat different subsets of a regulated industry differently. We don't make dairy farmers, for example, control air pollution the same way we would a gas plant because it's not realistic to expect dairy farmers to get the cows to stop farting, for one, and two the scale is completely different.

I think the survey thing would help, and the Administration doesn't seem adverse to it, so we might see that implemented in as soon as a year. Another option is to provide a revenue apportionment based on ROI. You can't count TV exposure as ROI but that will play into schools' decision-making processes regardless. What you can do is exempt 1/2 of revenue brought in by a sport, so that apportionment of funding is more in line. It's still not "fair" but at least this would put women's sports and non-revenue men's sports on equal footing, and place revenue sports outside of that.

enlightenedbum

April 26th, 2011 at 3:07 PM ^

There's a pretty wide variety of data out there that women who play sports do better at getting to college, being succesful in college, and being successful after college.  I could give a shit about the financial costs, the mission is to educate people.  Title IX helps that in a variety of ways.  It can be tweaked to be less rigid so that in the name of equity we don't take away opportunities from non-revenue male sports (wrestling being the hardest hit, nationally) for the same reason, and I think exempting football is probably the easiest way to do that.

But calling it "futile" because of profitiability is ridiculous and beneath you, Brian.  It misses the core mission of universities.  Which is not to make fucking money.

justingoblue

April 26th, 2011 at 3:15 PM ^

Calling it futile doesn't have to do with not making money, it has to do with actually diverting money from other aspects more directly related to the school's mission.

Are you willing to tell a pre-med chem major with a 3.7 and 150,000 in debt that they can't get a scholarship because the school is forced to fund a sport with little to no interest? In my opinion, one deserves a scholarship and one does not.

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

April 26th, 2011 at 3:26 PM ^

The problem with articles like these is that the only effect they'll ever have is negative.  Suppose someone went to the worst offender, whether its USF or whoever but we'll say USF, and waved this article in their face saying, "you're cheating on Title IX, you're cheating female athletes, stop these accounting shenanigans or we'll sue."

Well, the staunchest Title IX defenders will say that schools aren't supposed to come into compliance with the law by cutting men's sports, ideally they're supposed to be doing it by increasing opportunities for women.  The problem is that only the government can spend money it doesn't have; everyone else has to find it somewhere.  That's how the real world works.  So USF looks at where it can spend money "correctly" and decides that money's going to have to come from men's sports because it can't come from other women's sports.

So the net result of the article is that just as many women are playing sports as before, and just as much money is being spent on women's sports because you can't round up a bunch of girls and force them to start fencing or swimming, but now there's no more men's soccer or wrestling or track or whatever and men have fewer opportunities.  But equality has been achieved!

That is the problem with Title IX and these wonderful exposés that purport to blow the lid off of unfair practices.  Fantasyland meets real world.  Title IX has done wonders for women's sports, fine.  Now it's a dinosaur.  Just because it served this wonderful purpose in the 70s doesn't mean it shouldn't be changed.  So did leaded gas.

TrppWlbrnID

April 26th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

i have to say i like how title IX works because it serves to keep the small schools without huge stadiums, tv deals, marketing, etc. down.  the money taken from football and basketball revenues at a small school is disproptionately larger than the money takem from big school since big school's revenue pot is much bigger.  it likely only takes michigan one home game to pay for south florida's entire athletic budget on tickets alone.

does this make me an asshole? maybe. am i an asshole who roots for the winningest team in college football history and not some glorified arena bowl team that plays in south nowhere and has a nonplural nickname and a congressperson that won't quit complaining about a level playing field? yes, i certainly am.

Seth

April 26th, 2011 at 5:43 PM ^

There are three ways a school can meet Title IX, established in '79. Any of the three will do:

 

  1. Prong one - Providing athletic participation opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the student enrollment, OR
  2. Prong two - Demonstrate a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex, OR
  3. Prong three - Full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of underrepresented sex.

Through the '80s, even under Reagan when Title IX wasn't enforced, most schools used Prong Two, because every school was slowly adding women's programs and could demonstrate that. The real ugliness began when the growth ended, between the early '90s and late '90s, when the cost of having a footbal and basketball team skyrocketed. Their revenues don't help them, so you end up with ludicrous spending disparities that basically null Prong One except for the uber-rich.

For Prong One, "substantially" is interpreted as "financially." Let USF demonstrate why that's not going to work for most schools:

Total Operating Expenses:

 

Sport Men's Women's Total
Basketball $3,215,424 $1,956,324 $5,171,748
Football $12,177,182   $12,177,182
Baseball $812,426   $812,426
Golf $294,346 $265,841 $560,187
Sailing   $88,885 $88,885
Soccer $843,281 $721,635 $1,564,916
Softball   $639,439 $639,439
Tennis $343,730 $433,931 $777,661
Track&Field/CC $355,607 $975,537 $1,331,144
Volleyball   $729,710 $729,710
Total $18,041,996 $5,811,302 $23,853,298
Total minus FB&BB $2,649,390 $3,854,978 $6,504,368

For the record, Michigan spends $33.7 million on men's sports and $15.2 million on women's sports. We could meet Prong 1 but that would mean spending what USF does on football, which would be silly because football operates at 190% profit not even counting the "everyone knows Michigan" factor it brings.

So right now schools meet it with Prong One using number of participants. Basketball helps because it's only a few players, but football is still the biggie.

However there's another Prong: "Full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of underrepresented sex." How do you show this?

Recommendation for Fix:

Well, poll your student body to see how many of either gender want to play sports, then check that against the participation in your athletic programs. Gauge interest by two polls: one for incoming freshman added to the polls you have to take at the start of orientation, and one a random poll taken annually from the student body at large.

Polls ask freshmen "do you plan on competing in a varsity sport during your career at [school]?"

The at-large poll gets into specifics: "Please select up to three sports from the list provided..."

Then allow universities to show that their athletic offerings and support are roughly in line with male/female student body competitive interest and sport interest. This would allow smaller schools to meet a Prong Three definition.

Another exemption would do the trick as well: Allow schools to exempt up to 50% of funding provided to a team, so long as the amount exempted is exceeded by the total amount the sport brings in. Include a formula for counting Television exposure.

omahagoblue

April 26th, 2011 at 7:30 PM ^

University of Nebraska Omaha, had to cut football and wrestling (3 time defending national champions) completely when moving to division one this year because we couldn't afford to comply with title IX

NJWolverine

April 26th, 2011 at 7:54 PM ^

The current system really doesn't matter to me because I don't think any school should offer any scholarships to "athletes" who play sports with zero chance of playing professionally.  Let's be honest.  Football and basketball subsidize everything else.  Why should rich kids get into good school through the backdoor with lesser credentials playing some sport (for purposes of ease, let's call that sport "lacrosse") they have no shot of making a career of.  It's a waste of time.  The commitment required to play any sport on a D1 level is immense.  There's just no way you can get around the simple fact that someone who has more time to study is going to do better.  Look, I work out at a gym that produces a lot of D1 talent.  I understand the benefit of athletics, but only to a degree, only to the extent that it helps you focus.  When you spend too much time on it, with no benefit on the horizon, you're wasting your time.  At the end of the day, rich kids who never should have gotten in, except that they can play lacrosse or squash or field hockey or whatever, are the ones who are hurt by this.  When you mismatch students, the weaker ones will struggle, and they will struggle even more with a sports commitment.  If the NCAA really wanted to help kids, they should do away with all these useless addendums and just focus on the revenue sports.  At least with football and basketball (and to a lesser extent hockey and baseball), you can make the argument that providing a base education as a backup or addendum makes sense for those athletes. 

BlueFordSoftTop

April 26th, 2011 at 10:03 PM ^

I worked my way up as a man through five sides of Michigan Rugby to a starting slot initially having zero knowledge of the game, as with majority students on the mens' rugby team.  Bo had rejected me for football despite my high school success.  Each Fall, we had at least 150 men competing for a slot on sides A-E under Ruf, Swanie and Perp The Almighty.  Our A Side was continually ranked #2 in the country yet we still had to sweep Crisler floors as a means to earn our travel money.  The Michigan women's rugby team, on the other hand, seldom could amass the minimum number to play a single match by a single side and therefore existed as forfeit queens, yet, they had better resources than we men and they received a varsity letter at one point in time despite their lack of success on the field.  This disparity was all due to the way by which the University administered title 9 at the time.  I hate it.  It cost my University recognition of many national titles and, eventually when Old Boys pulled out after time due to age, the rugby program frankly died.  This is what you want in the name of equality?