In an editorial on April 12th The New York Times attacked the Bush administration and the Department of Education for issuing a memo clarifying Title IX regulations. According to the Times “the memo amounted to a major weakening of the criteria used to determine compliance with the rule that all schools receiving public funds provide equal sports opportunities for men and women.”
What galls the Times (and the feminists) is that schools can show they are in compliance by conducting an online survey showing that women have no unmet sports interests. They consider this method less accurate than participation in “feeder” high schools, recreational leagues and opinions of coaches and administrators. They say that surveys are a poor predictor of behavior if sports opportunities are afforded equally.
I have a daughter in college who played both tennis and lacrosse in high school. One of the reasons she played is that she was one of a handful of girls at her school that were interested in playing. In other words, the coaches were almost begging for players. She considered it fun and she made some new friends but had no interest in pursuing her athletic career in college. I think that is the mindset of many young girls. They see getting an education as a better path to success than athletics.
What the Times ignored is the effect of Title IX on men’s programs. According to an editorial in the Washington Examiner , 360 men’s indoor track and 120 men’s wrestling programs have disappeared over the last 15 years. That doesn’t include the 53 golf programs, 16 baseball teams, 39 tennis squads and 23 swimming teams including the UCLA swimming and diving teams that was dismantled in 1993 after producing 22 Olympic medalists.
Instead we get women’s crew teams filled with people who have never rowed in their life or having cheerleading declared a sport in a desperate attempt to abide by the law. There is little doubt that Title IX has led to the explosive growth of women’s sports programs, but at what cost?
The new regulations will actually enhance sports programs overall, not hurt them as the Times and other liberal would have us believe.
For more information on this issue I recommend reading Tilting the Playing Field, by Jessica Gavora.