Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Details on the Delaware State Title IX Settlement

The News Journal, a paper in Delaware, reported some additional details about the settlement the school reached this week with the members of its Equestrian team:
DSU officials, in a press release Friday, said they will "embrace" their obligation to provide increased opportunities for women in varsity sports. "DSU commits to achieving gender equity within a few years," said Derek Carter, DSU athletics director. "We will explore adding new women's sports, the expanding of existing athletics opportunity for women athletes and any other actions designed to achieve Title IX compliance."

Carter said while they are going to have to look closely at their budget, the school is not planning on reducing spending on men's sports to comply with the settlement because DSU is "already at the NCAA minimum for male sports at this time."
That's a detail we reported yesterday. Put simply, DSU has its back against the wall when it comes to its athletic department and Title IX. On the other hand, it wasn't all that long ago that the school was looking to cut its athletic budget. Remember, the men's tennis and wrestling teams were cut at the same time the school attempted to eliminate the equestrian team.

Funny, nobody it talking about those teams right now. Wonder what those kids think of this settlement?

So, if the budget at DSU is already stressed, where are they supposed to find the money to add new women's sports?

So, if they do want to add sports, they'll need to find ones with large rosters that can be added on the cheap. Of course, we all know that rowing is a popular Title IX fix, while we can guess that bowling may very well be in the school's future too. They'll probably also try to find a way to increase the rosters of existing teams as well.

Then again, there are only so many sports and athletes that they'll be able to add. Which means that sometime in the future, roster caps on men's sports will have to be implemented to make up the gap. On Thursday, we took a look at the numbers that the school had reported to the Department of Education after the 2008-09 academic year.

Those numbers indicated that the student population was just under 60% female, while the athletic department was 44% female. That's a heck of a gap to have to bridge in just 2.5 years, but apparently the situation was worse than the school first reported. According to the News Journal:
Currently the school's population is about 61 percent female but only 41 percent of the school's varsity athletes are women, a 20-percent gap that DSU will now have to close by 2013 to within 2.5 percentage points.
So, when the school says that it's going to also explore, "any other actions designed to achieve Title IX compliance," that means roster caps. Ironically, the continuing problem here is that sports are actively used as a recruiting tool to attract male students.

So, as the school shrinks the rosters of the remaining men's sports, it will help accelerate the disappearance of male students from campus. With fewer male students, the pressure to use roster caps to maintain proportionality in the athletic department will continue. As the rosters of the non-revenue men's sports shrink, those teams will find it harder and harder to compete. Recall that lack of success on the field of play has been cited by many schools when they cut teams.

It's a vicious cycle, and one that has to end somewhere. I'm not betting that it'll end before it wrecks men's athletics at DSU.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Delaware State University Settles Title IX Suit with Equestrian Team

Lawyers representing the members of the Equestrian team at Delaware State University have just issued a press release touting a settlement in their case against the school. With the case settled, the school avoids a trial. In turn, the school has agreed not only to maintain the team, but to increase the amount of money it spends to recruit female athletes. But the real kicker is that the school has also agreed to ...
Comply with Title IX participation requirements by providing varsity athletic opportunities for women that are substantially equal to the proportion of full-time female undergraduate students no later than June 30, 2013.
That means proportionality is coming to Delaware State, and the implications for men's athletics will most likely be devastating. I hate to say we told you so, but this is exactly what the College Sports Council predicted could happen when we published a 2008 study that detailed just how vulnerable Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were to Title IX lawsuits.

According to the EADA numbers for the 2008-09 academic year, the undergraduate population at Delaware State is just under 60% female (1,713 female students vs. 1,154 male students), but the athletic department is about 56% male (169 male athletes vs. 130 female athletes). We had to do some math on the fly because the EADA data includes counts for men's tennis and men's wrestling, two teams that were eliminated at the end of that academic year.

So how will Delaware State get to proportionality by June 2013? Well, with budget pressures being what they are these days, we'd guess that there won't be much money to add too many teams. But with only six men's teams left—football, baseball, basketball, indoor track, outdoor track and cross country—there aren't a whole lot of areas left to cut.

In this case, just getting to a 50/50 split would require eliminating 39 male athletes. In order to remain part of NCAA Division I, Delaware State needs to carry a minimum of six men's sports. As that's the exact number that remain. That means roster management is more than likely in the cards for the remaining sports.

So, if you play baseball or run track or cross country at Delaware, you might want to get started looking at other options. When proportionality comes calling, it always demands that the bill be paid in full.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Athletics Was Just the Beginning With Title IX

All over the country, we see that the basic message about the damage gender quotas is doing to interscholastic athletics is getting out. However, fewer folks seem to understand that the reach of Title IX could very well be coming to a college major near you.

Here's a passage from an excellent opinion piece that appeared this morning in The Beacon, the student newspaper at the University of Tennessee:
As an engineering major, I realize that some areas exist where interest doesn’t meet the distribution of males and females on campus. The number of girls in my engineering classes is miniscule compared to the number of guys in my classes. No one has told women growing up that they weren’t allowed to be engineers.

The university places no restrictions on who can participate in what major. However, if we were to apply the principles of Title IX to my major, I would most likely be kicked to the curb to “make the numbers work” and get participation numbers in engineering closer to the 55-45 female-male ratio.
And as crazy as that may seem, it's exactly what some gender quota advocates want to see happen. According to them, the fact that the gender balance in academic in science, technology, engineering and mathematics hasn't changed nearly 40 years after Title IX was passed is evidence that the government needs to engage in even more meddling.

The following was published last June by The White House under the byline of Jessie DeAro, Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It was headlined, "Bringing Title IX to Classrooms and Labs."
Yesterday was the 38th Anniversary of Title IX! Title IX has been credited for dramatic increases in the participation of women and girls in athletics programs; however, Title IX also covers equity in educational programs. One federal group working hard to ensure equity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs is the Title IX Interagency Working Group. The Working Group is coordinated by the Department of Justice and currently includes representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Department of Education. They recently met to discuss effective strategies for their Title IX compliance reviews of STEM programs at institutions of higher education that receive federal funds from their agencies.
In short, if you love what Title IX enforcement has done to interscholastic athletics, you'll surely love what it will do to disciplines like science and engineering. For more, click here for a position paper from Carrie Lukas at the Independent Women's Forum.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Title IX Soccer Settlement in NYC Puts Girls and Boys on the Sidelines

Back in May 2009, we called attention to the fact that female soccer players in New York City were opposed to a plan to move girls high school soccer to the Fall so it could compete in the same season as boys soccer. The move was spurred as part of a settlement forced on the the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU).

The parents of three girls sued the city claiming that their daughters were being discriminated against because playing their matches in the Spring meant having to choose between club and high school teams and limited their exposure to college recruiters.

On the other side were players, parents and coaches who claimed that there simply weren't enough soccer fields in the five boroughs to accomodate both girls and boys in the Fall. Wanting to avoid a costly law suit, the PSAL settled and arrangements were made to move girls soccer to the Fall beginning in 2009.

The result: pretty much what the folks opposed to the plan said it would be -- there aren't enough fields for everyone to play in the same season. The following comes from today's edition of the New York Daily News:
By Sprance's count, boys teams forfeited 84 soccer matches and girls squads forfeited 82 matches a year ago, and 300 fewer girls played soccer after the realignment took effect last fall.

Nearly a month into the 2010 season, Sprance has counted 59 girls forfeits and 45 for boys. Two boys programs and two girls programs have already been dropped, and Sprance estimated that more than 500 girls will have stopped playing soccer as a result of the season switch.
Remember: the suit was filed on behalf of just three girls soccer players.

Meanwhile, the original settlement agreement included a provision that the new schedule would be reviewed after three seasons. Unfortunately, no process has been put in place as of yet to even hold that review. According to the story in the New York Daily News, most coaches have decided not to make noise because they don't feel like they can fight City Hall, but a private poll of 16 soccer coaches -- 8 boys and 8 girls -- found that the group supported moving the girls season back to the Spring by a vote of 15-1.

So, in short, the politicians and the lawyers are happy, but the parents, coaches and actual players are perplexed by an arrangement that's resulted in games getting cancelled, schools eliminating soccer teams and hundreds of girls giving up the sport altogether.

Over and over again, the College Sports Council gets labled as a "men's sports" organization. But as this story shows clearly, the unintended consequences of Title IX can strike girls and women too -- and it's a story that doesn't get told often enough.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Title IX Quote of the Day

From the Daily Cal:
The federal law (Title IX), while admittedly imperfect, is out of both the state's and campus's control to be reformed, and the campus simply has to deal with it. But it is a shame that Title IX has morphed from a promotion of participation in women's sports to a mathematical formula for cutting men's teams.
The truth is getting out.

Cal Rugby Update

For those of you following the effort to preserve varsity status for the men's rugby team at Cal, you might want to consult one of the following sources:

SaveCalVarsityRugby.com
Save Cal Varsity Rugby Facebook Page
Save Cal Rugby Twitter

For other news, California Golden Blogs has been doing some excellent work recently. Bookmark it.

Other Dominoes May Fall After Elimination of Men's Gymnastics at Cal

From CrossFit Marin:
While the loss of Cal’s men’s gymnastics team is a significant loss, the damage may be more severe as this plays out. At this point Cal is Stanford’s only competitor in California. So they will now have to travel out of state for EVERY away meet. This increases the cost of the men’s program at Stanford, and increases the likelyhood [sic] that it too will be cut. This would be another program that has produced some of the top athletes in the country. With Stanford gone it could gradually mean the death toll for collegiate men’s gymnastics as a whole. Things have been heading in this direction for a while and this needs to be reversed.
That's certainly something to think about. Stay tuned.

The Title IX Enforcement Issue Reaches NPR

A couple of weeks back, we pointed to a Boston Globe story by John Powers on how budget pressures and Title IX compliance requirements were leading schools to eliminate a raft of men's athletic programs. This past Saturday, Powers was on WBUR-FM, National Public Radio's Boston affiliate, to talk about the issue in some detail with host Bill Littlefield on Only a Game.

To listen to the Powers segment, click here. And thanks to Littlefield for letting this issue get some air on NPR. We'd been lobbying him via Facebook and Twitter for several weeks ever since he had law professor Deborah Brake on as a guest to talk about her latest book on Title IX, and it's clear to us that he's open to honest dialogue.

Title IX Enforcement and College Swimming

Over at Swimming World, Kevin Weissman, the parent of a college swimmer, is calling attention to the inequities that Title IX enforcement has created in college swimming:
The opportunity to participate also is not equitable. According to the NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report, for the 2008/2009 academic year, there were 510 women's Swimming and Diving teams and 393 men's teams. There were a total of 11,626 women, compared with 8,868 men on NCAA Swimming and Diving teams. At the Division I level, there were 5,298 women (up 143 from 2007/2008) and 2,823 men (down 847 from 2007/2008).

The opportunity for scholarships is not equitable. There are 249 NCAA swim teams offering scholarships to women, and 192 offering scholarships to men. The NCAA allows each D1 swimming program to offer 14 scholarships for women and 9.9 for men. Overall, there are 3,108.4 NCAA swimming scholarships for women and 1,810.8 scholarships for men. Similarly, the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) colleges with swimming programs offer 19 scholarships for women and 16 for men. (Sources: Athleticscholorships.net and Collegesportsscholarships.com)

Swimming is growing for every age group from Novice to Masters, with the exception of the men's collegiate level. It is clear that Title IX has hurt men's swimming.
As the College Sports Council has pointed out in the past, the inequities are not limited to swimming. For more detail, please take a look at the CSC's 2009 study on gender symmetric sports.

Friday, October 01, 2010

CSN Bay Area Talks to Cal Rugby Coach Jack Clark



Cal Rugby Coach Jack Clark: "Title IX is a math test where men's teams get cut." For more from California Golden Blogs, click here.

Title IX Creates Gender Inequality in the Other Direction

The anger about the athletic cuts at UC-Berkeley, especially about the loss of varsity status for the men's rugby team, isn't abating. The following comes from an open letter from Nina Sasso, a Cal graduate, to the school's Athletic Director, Sandy Barbour. It was published in the student newspaper, The Daily Cal:
While a student at Cal, I spent a portion of my time competing for the varsity women's crew team. As a former female student athlete, I can appreciate the opportunities that Title IX afforded me as a female athlete.

However, the second that Title IX unfairly undercuts a men's team under the guise of promoting women's athletics, the purpose and intent of Title IX is completely nullified; it simply creates gender inequality in the opposite direction. Title IX dictates that participation in sports cannot be denied on the basis of sex. Denying rugby the right to remain a varsity sport solely on the basis of its male roster violates the main objective of Title IX. How does cutting men's rugby improve women's athletics in any way?
This story isn't over. Not by a longshot.