FanDuel - WFBC

April 26, 2011

The members of many collegiate women's sports teams....aren't: Aren't what? Aren't women? Aren't team members? Aren't athletes? The answer: yes.

posted by lil_brown_bat to other at 08:23 AM - 13 comments

Yeah, you know the books are getting cooked when South Florida claims to have 71 people on its womens' cross-country team.

posted by NoMich at 08:45 AM on April 26

Under these parameters, I was on the women's golf team. Too many times I would shank my drive and not make it past the ladies tees.

posted by JohnnyGunn at 02:01 PM on April 26

I'm not surprised. Why try to actually obey the spirit of the law when we can move some numbers to fake participation levels? I hope this article brings them the negative consequences they deserve.

posted by bperk at 02:15 PM on April 26

Title IX is well intentioned and has done much for women's sports, but it is horribly implemented and needs to be reworked if it is to bring about the change it was intended to.

posted by Ricardo at 03:25 PM on April 26

Question: What if this is a genuine case of an athletic program having significantly more men who wish to participate in athletics? Isnt saying "we can't let you play your sport because we don't have enough women to play some other sports" essentially a form of gender discrimination?

I'm not claiming to know why these schools are doing what they are doing. If they are preventing women who want to play sports from playing, then by all means, throw the book at them. But if not, it might be worth asking if following the letter of Title IX doesn't actaully violate the spirit of it. I'm not condoning lying -- the correct thing to do is fight for Title IX reform if that's the situation they're in -- but I can see why it happens.

posted by TheQatarian at 03:29 PM on April 26

Question: What if this is a genuine case of an athletic program having significantly more men who wish to participate in athletics? Isnt saying "we can't let you play your sport because we don't have enough women to play some other sports" essentially a form of gender discrimination?

One of the ways, according to the article, to demonstrate compliance with Title IX is by "meeting the athletic interests and abilities of their female students."

posted by bperk at 08:06 PM on April 26

Yeay! My alma mater is in the New York Times! Victory!

(reads the article)

Er...um...wait a second...

One of the ways, according to the article, to demonstrate compliance with Title IX is by "meeting the athletic interests and abilities of their female students."

And the other two:

...by showing that the number of female athletes is in proportion to overall female enrollment, by demonstrating a history of expanding opportunities for women...

Remembering from a discussion a few years ago on this subject, the reason that colleges elect to go with "matching the numbers" option is that it's the easiest to demonstrate. "Meeting the athletic interests and abilities of their female students" is waiting for some girl to sue the college, and say that their interests/abilities weren't met. And how do you demonstrate beyond a possibility of lawsuit that you have a history of expanding opportunities for women?

Making female athlete numbers=male athlete numbers is the easiest to prove in front of the a judge.

I have a solution that would make the person who complained about the federal funding happy-no more varsity sports. Everything becomes a club sport and forced to fund itself. Football and men's basketball survive, but I doubt very much else does. I really don't think that's what she was going for, though.

posted by Bonkers at 09:14 PM on April 26

Football and men's basketball survive

In a few colleges and universities, but really, in many fewer than you think. For the most part, if you read the article, football is the source of the problem, and other men's sports are squeezed out by the sacred cow of football -- not by women's sports.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:55 PM on April 26

In a few colleges and universities, but really, in many fewer than you think. For the most part, if you read the article, football is the source of the problem, and other men's sports are squeezed out by the sacred cow of football -- not by women's sports.

Yeah, but that's because they are trying to play by the rules. If they moved to a club-level, it'd be free from most of the Title IX rules (at least by my understanding. I can't imagine NCAA can afford to try and investigate club-level teams, or keep too good an accounting of them).

I understand it would also turn these sports into something like modern AAU basketball (eg unregulated, anarchic cesspools), but we wouldn't have federal money going to it.

I've long that football shouldn't count for Title IX numbers just because it's such a huge skew that there's no way to compensate for it, but that's just me.

posted by Bonkers at 11:10 PM on April 26

I've long that football shouldn't count for Title IX numbers just because it's such a huge skew that there's no way to compensate for it, but that's just me.

But why? If the purpose of Title IX is to equalize opportunities for women, leaving out football just means not counting a large number of athletic opportunities for men.

posted by bperk at 09:30 AM on April 27

While I see no way that football will be given an exemption from Title IX compliance, I do see how it could make sense.

Almost all other sports involve equal numbers of men or women. That is, the men's basketball team has the same number of players as does the women's. Same for softball/baseball, gymnastics, track, skiing, cross country, volleyball, etc.. There is no female equivalent of football. Especially not anything that comes close to making money, or bringing prestige to a university the way football does. (I fully recognize that not all football programs make money, and the prestige factor may be highly over-rated). So, if a school is going to have a competitive football program, it means either loading up on women's sports well past the level of real interest, or cutting men's sports, perhaps both.

Given the huge expense of providing so many scholarships, and fielding so many teams, I'd be all for schools going to a club format. The article speaks to the large payback to society for the money spent on sports, but I question just how much of a payback we get anymore.

posted by dviking at 03:45 PM on April 27

What if the football team were stocked with "professional athletes", instead of "scholarship-earning amateurs"? They'd be paid a living wage and it would help cover the cost of their schooling, but to make the team they would have to earn the spot in tryouts (before deciding which school to attend).

Would that allow them to be exempt from the Title IX calculations?

posted by grum@work at 04:18 PM on April 27

I've always thought that female athletics was probably the most susceptible to cheating in college sports. A college needs female athletes to meet its quota; there are a limited number of "qualified" female athletes; the college pays for those female athletes to attend their school to increase the number and meet the quota. And I always assumed that the lack of discovering such cheating was the result of looking the other way.

Now I see that standard forms of cheating do not need to apply to female athletics. The colleges have figured out a whole other form of cheating.

posted by graymatters at 09:35 AM on April 28

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