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Sabretooth Tiger
July 11th, 2006, 09:52 AM
Interesting piece on Title IX in today's NY Times. Worth a look. Here's the link:

http://select.nytimes.com/2006/07/11/opinion/11Tierney.html?th&emc=th

Sydney
July 11th, 2006, 12:15 PM
We can't see the article unless we subscribe to Times Select.

That being said, the title alone is enough to irk me.

Sabretooth Tiger
July 11th, 2006, 01:26 PM
Editor's note - DO NOT post the full text of outside articles here. It is a violation of copyright law.

Matt S
July 11th, 2006, 06:31 PM
I think it would be fair use (and I mean that in the technical, copyright law definition) to reproduce the title of the column and the gist of the thesis contained therein. Therefore,

Let the Guys Win One
By JOHN TIERNEY
"Why is it so important to cling to the myth behind Title IX: that women need sports as much as men do?..."

Oh dear, where to begin?! Well, I'll ration myself to one point based on the one sentence reproduced above. Please note the rhetorical slight of hand he uses to put forward an incredibly questionable proposition. Mr. Tierney does not say straight up "women do not need sport as much as men do," and then spend the rest of the column trying to back up that statement. NOOOOO...he has to go one step beyond and assert at the outset that it is in fact a myth (and presumably all "right thinking" people already acknowledge this). Please ladies, trash this notion he is offering that somehow you folks don't "need sports" as much as men do. I'll leave that one to your tender mercies. I'll confine myself to observing that this so-called smart guy is beginning his erudite observations with the assertion that those who disagree with his thesis are not merely mistaken, but they are also stupidly "cling[ing] to the myth..." I'm not sure I'm missing very much because I don't have the subscription necessary to read the rest of the article.

[insert anatomically difficult, if not impossible, colorful description here]

Sabretooth Tiger
July 11th, 2006, 07:03 PM
I have to say that I don't think that Matt's characterization of the article is accurate . . .

Here's the opening:

Suppose you’re the head of a school whose students belong to two ethnic groups, the Alphas and the Betas. The Alphas get better grades and are more likely to graduate. They dominate the school newspaper and yearbook, the band and the choir, the debate team and the drama club — virtually all extracurricular activities except for sports.

How much time would you spend worrying about the shortage of Alpha jocks?

Not much — unless, of course, the Alphas were women, the Betas were men, and you were being sued for not complying with Title IX. Then you would be desperately trying to end this outrageous discrimination.

He continues to discuss the fact that the numbers of women enrolling in college outpaces men as does women's academic performance in college.

Later there is discussion about the disparate demand for sports between men and women. He does not say women don't want sport or that it is not important . . . rather, then generally the demand by women is not as great.

There is discussion of how to determine the appropriate measure of compliance with Title IX.

I've been a huge proponent of Title IX. I also believe, however, that there is a place for legitimate debate as to how it should be applied. I also think that people should be open to considering how long remdial programs remain necessary to overcome past inequities.

Just saying that there is room for thoughtful debate.

craiglll@yahoo.com
July 12th, 2006, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by Sabretooth Tiger
I have to say that I don't think that Matt's characterization of the article is accurate . . .

Here's the opening:

Suppose you’re the head of a school whose students belong to two ethnic groups, the Alphas and the Betas. The Alphas get better grades and are more likely to graduate. They dominate the school newspaper and yearbook, the band and the choir, the debate team and the drama club — virtually all extracurricular activities except for sports.

How much time would you spend worrying about the shortage of Alpha jocks?

Not much — unless, of course, the Alphas were women, the Betas were men, and you were being sued for not complying with Title IX. Then you would be desperately trying to end this outrageous discrimination.

He continues to discuss the fact that the numbers of women enrolling in college outpaces men as does women's academic performance in college.

Later there is discussion about the disparate demand for sports between men and women. He does not say women don't want sport or that it is not important . . . rather, then generally the demand by women is not as great.

There is discussion of how to determine the appropriate measure of compliance with Title IX.

I've been a huge proponent of Title IX. I also believe, however, that there is a place for legitimate debate as to how it should be applied. I also think that people should be open to considering how long remdial programs remain necessary to overcome past inequities.

Just saying that there is room for thoughtful debate.

I went to a high school very much like the one you example. However, the jocks were also the "Alphas." The "Betas" had lower graduation rates. It basically was the kids who had parents who didn't work in the factories and the kids who had parents that did. The second group were not to suppose to go to college, become successfull, nor participate in any ssports except football, basketball, and track. This was especially true if those students were black. It was a horrible situation that produced horrible results. Not until many of the oldline teachers started to retire did any changes come about. What was so terrible was that no one thought this was wrong!

Although I believe it is rather odd that schools in the swouthwest have rowing teams, I think there must be a way for women to participate in college atheletics that truly speaks to their needs. I went to a very small college. It has been known for its women's softball teams for a very long time. It has a terrible pool. there are usually 10 women swimmers and about 2-4 men. Plus we have water polo htat is coed and female.

knelson
July 12th, 2006, 10:57 AM
Women's crew is definitely a sport that has been helped by Title IX. I think that's great. Rowing is a great sport and great exercise!

Matt S
July 12th, 2006, 11:33 AM
Sabertooth,

I'm completely down with your point about having a discussion or respectful debate about Title IX. What made my blood boil is that the column seemed to be set up do to exactly the opposit of that.

Personal digression only intended to explain how I feel, and not make any general political points: I am politcally progressive, church-going, career Naval Officer. I am get just a little tired listening to conservative commentators who don't go to church and never served in the military call me "Godless" or a "Traitor" because of my political views. The lead in sentence of the column dragged up a bit of personal baggage.

Turning to the substance of this discussion, you would like to sanitize the issue of Title IX with an analogy to "alphas" and "betas." I don't think that is helpful. We have a history in this country of dissimilar treatment of mens and womens sports that simply can't be ignored or addressed by everyone agreeing to suddenly be gender-neutral from here on out. As Craig pointed out, nothing really changes if the people in charge refuse to change their mind-set, and sometimes you need a really big hammer and a dramatic change in the rules to get people's attention.

Having said that, I'm open to a conversation about Title IX that tries to address particular circumstances, such as the fact that football has no comparable female sport, and in Div I & II those programs consume a whole lot of scholarships for male athletes. I would like to shift the focus so that eliminating a men's varsity sport is NOT seen as "progress" under Title IX. However, I don't think you need to make sweeping generalizations about women "not needing" sports as much as men. I'm fairly surpised that proposition has not drawn any fire so far.

Matt S

mattson
July 12th, 2006, 02:07 PM
When we hear about programs being cut due to Title IX, it might be interesting to know if they meant:
(a) No programs would have been cut, except they had to comply with Title IX, or
(b) They were planning on cutting programs anyways, but Title IX limits which ones they could axe.

I suspect that we are really talking about situation (b), in which case bringing up Title IX [and making sound like situation (a)] is a red herring.

dorothyrde
July 12th, 2006, 03:08 PM
At the U of I, Men's swimming was cut, and women's softball and soccer were added to comply with title 9. Now there are rumors afloat that Gunther wants to add another woman's sport, and if he does, he wants to bring back men's swimming. Just rumors thought, so who knows.

Matt S
July 12th, 2006, 06:31 PM
Mark, I emphatically think Title IX is a sham excuse to allow Athletic Directors to duck responsibility for unpopular decisions, and we advocates of men's "minor" sports who attack Title IX have fallen for it.

Dorthy, I don't want to spread unfounded rumors, but my understanding is that there was a personality conflict between the Illinois AD and the Men's Swim Coach. Now it's darn hard to revive a men's team after it's been cut, but if the interpersonal dynamics are different, U of I could avoid that baggage. Maybe possible?

dorothyrde
July 12th, 2006, 11:08 PM
Since neither the men's swim coach that was there at the time, nor the AD that was there at the time are at the school anymore, who knows. There is interest, whether it could ever become a reality, who knows. It would certainly help women's swimming as well, as the recruiting is easier when a school has both men's and women's. Right now some things are dreams, but there are some hard working people trying to make some good things happen down here.

craiglll@yahoo.com
July 13th, 2006, 10:41 AM
Rowing in Arizona, AState, and New Mexico are only htere so that those schools can rationalize spending so much of their budget on football. I have a brother-in-law who went to Arizona State inthe sixties. he used to support the baseball team. He played there. When they asked him for money to update women's sport facilities, he stopped donating money.

If Illinois is going to restart its men's swimming program, it will take a lot of work. From Galesburg, we have had several top swimmers over the years go to Notre Dame, Western Ill., and West Point. Most though go to Div II or III schools because life is much better at them than at U of I. It would be great to have men's swimmiing here though. i wonder if that's why they've been spending so much money onthe pool at IMPE?

dorothyrde
July 13th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Nope, IMPE is for the students, not the swim team. The swim team has to borrow time there from the Campus Recreation department and they definately do not get first dibs.

I think it would take time, but Illinois could attract decent swimmers. It is a good University, and swimmers can get a good education, which is the most important thing. I highly respect the U of I's coach.

knelson
July 13th, 2006, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
When they asked him for money to update women's sport facilities, he stopped donating money.

Why? He doesn't believe in supporting women's athletics?