Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Where's The Title IX for Black Men?

That's the title of an op ed that ran today over at The Root, the new online magazine for African-Americans created by the same minds who are responsible for Slate. The piece was written by our friend, Wade Hughes, the former wrestling coach at Howard University until the program was cut along with baseball in 2002 in order to help the university comply with Title IX.

The piece mainly deals with the implications of the study the College Sports Council released a week ago concerning Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the strict proportionality requirements of complying with Title IX.

As Wade wrote:
I support the spirit of Title IX- that no one should be discriminated on the basis of gender. I think women should have the same opportunities to benefit from organized athletics. The truth is, as a seasoned coach I have learned to appreciate women's athletics much more because of the apparent balance between athletic ability and technical preparation and execution.

What I take issue with is the unfair and unreasonable way that Title IX regulations have impacted opportunities for male athletes. The problem, in particular, is the method of compliance known as proportionality. This regulatory standard requires that the ratio of male to female athletes on varsity teams closely mirror the ratio of male to female student undergraduate enrollment.

The impact of Title IX's proportionality standard has been disastrous, because at many colleges, far more males than females are seeking to take part in athletics. Schools have been left with no choice but to eliminate men's teams, and place limits on the numbers of male students on the programs that remain. Adding a team for male athletes is out of the question when a school is out of compliance with Title IX. For the student-athletes, the unintended consequences of Title IX enforcement have been devastating.
And as a former college coach, Hughes would know all too well the toll that it's taken. Click here to read it right now.

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