Monday, April 11, 2011

How Title IX Enforcement Harms Both Men and Women

It was a sad weekend at the University of Delaware, as the 100-year old men's track team competed on campus for the last time. You'll recall that the team, as well as men's cross country, was recently eliminated, with the school citing Title IX compliance as the reason why.

Jim Tresolini of the News-Journal was there, and he picked up on something we've been telling folks for a while now: when men's teams are eliminated due to Title IX compliance concerns, female athletes suffer too:
The UD women’s track and cross country teams, which will remain, have also been negatively affected. Some prospective recruits, worried the women’s programs could be axed next or just preferring the camaraderie that men’s and women’s teams share, have looked elsewhere.

When the meet ended Saturday, and people began to disperse, members of the UD women’s team stayed the longest as Fischer was called into one photograph after another.

“We’ve been so lucky,” said senior distance runner Karen Mandrachia, a Newark High graduate, of having been around Fischer, whom she called a “one-of-a-kind coach.”

Yet, the absurdity of it all – UD losing two men’s teams and a beloved coach in the name of gender equity – was hard to swallow.

“The irony, oh my God, I don’t even understand it,” Mandrachia added. “It [Title IX] is supposed to be helping us, but it’s actually hurting us because we need him just as much as the guys need him.”
It's a terrible shame this message didn't get out sooner.

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