View Full Version : Title IX

04-26-2011, 02:34 PM
This article shouldn't surprise any of us following women's sports!


04-26-2011, 05:26 PM
University of Illinois would add women's hockey before men's because of Title IX

March 21, 2011 from Journalstandard.com - Champaign, Illinois

"HOCKEY: Athletic directors at Big Ten schools that field hockey voted unanimously to recommend to the Big Ten council of presidents in June the addition of hockey as an official conference sport in the 2013-14 season. Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin already field teams, and Penn State will add the sport for the 2012-13 season.

There is no movement to add the sport at Illinois, said athletic department spokesman Kent Brown. If the Illini would someday consider hockey, it would most likely happen first for women because of gender equity issues.

The recommendation includes the establishment of a Big Ten Tournament, awarding the automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament to the tournament winner and a 30-game conference schedule with each team playing the other five schools four times."

04-26-2011, 05:52 PM
I actually find a lot of fault with the women's advocacy groups for this outcome. We're devoting enforcement resources to a system that believes women's opportunities should rise in response to an increase in women's college enrollment. I'd much rather devote resources to making sure that women's opportunities are legitimate opportunities.

Unfortunately, any attempt to change the status quo on Title IX enforcement is deemed "weakening" Title IX by the women's sports foundation and other like-minded groups. They are dead-set against anything other than the status quo.

The way I frame it, under the current law, a school with a 60-40 female-male ratio will seek compliance by cutting men's teams and creating phony women's opportunities, like 200-person crew teams and 100-person track teams, so the numbers work out to 60-40. I would much rather devote resources to making sure that such a school had a 50-50 ratio of solid (i.e. scholarship or preferential admissions status) opportunities across each sport. I don't see any reason why proportionality to enrollment should be the standard for discrimination, when athletes are recruited and you have a 50-50 pool of potential applicants who would certainly be willing to accept an athletic scholarship to play collegiate sports.

The current system works against women's hockey because it encourages schools to pursue large numbers in the cheapest way possible.

04-27-2011, 01:06 PM
Dave, The recommendation of Brown's Athletics Review Committee that was released last week includes the elimination of the men's wrestling program and adding a women's varsity team "in order to ensure equitable participation by gender as required by Title IX." What additional women's sport will be added is left for the Athletics Department to determine.

Considering that Brown already offers women's basketball, crew, cross country, equestrian, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, squash, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and water polo (and would be dropping fencing and skiing as part of the overall recommendation) what would you consider a legitimate athletic opportunity to add? Rugby (there are only five varsity teams in the entire NCAA) and ultimate frisbee (not recognized by the NCAA) are Brown's only women's club teams that do not already have a varsity counterpart.

04-27-2011, 02:11 PM
moxie, in my scenario, Brown wouldn't need to add another women's sport. Brown is now a majority-female college (52-48). I'm saying it's fine for a school to be 50-50 for athletics. Brown is 50-50 or close to it right now.

David De Remer
05-01-2011, 04:09 PM
I wrote the following letter to George Vescey yesterday of the NY Times, in response to his column here (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/sports/ncaafootball/01vecsey.html?ref=georgevecsey). I doubt we'll all agree on my policy recommendations, but this my opinion.



I agree with you that capping football scholarships would be a significant step towards gender equity, and I agree that OCR needs to look more at the "creative bookkeeping." But I strongly disagree that a 60:40 male-female quota would bring about as much mischief as a 50-50 male-female quota, and I don't agree capping football scholarships should be the top priority in reform.

For evidence in support of my mischief claim, observe that this increase in shenanigans for providing female "opportunities" came about as female college enrollment increased, shifting the relevant quota from 50:50 male:female to one approaching 40:60 male:female in many schools (assuming big schools are seeking compliance via the proportionality prong of Title IX, as most do). If athletic directors faced a 60:40 male:female quota, I have no doubt that a much larger share of those female opportunities would be real opportunities rather than accounting tricks. I question whether these 40:60 male:female quotas make women better off relative to the 50:50 quota, because athletic directors are forced to waste resources creating phony opportunities for women that could be devoted to real opportunities.

Sensible interpretation and enforcement of Title IX, unlike the current three-prong interpretation that dates back to 1979, needs to abide by sensible definitions of "discrimination" and "opportunities" as follows:

-- Recruited "opportunities" that come with scholarships or preferential admissions treatment are entirely different from walk-on "opportunities." There is no doubt that the number of men and women interested in such recruited opportunities exceeds the number being of such opportunities offered at colleges. The relevant standard for discrimination for such opportunities is then 50-50. This standard would be easy to measure and easy to enforce: there is no way to fake these opportunities and no triple-counting of female athletes in cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Unfortunately, so much focus of Title IX has been on ambiguous measures of participation opportunities being matched with enrollment gender ratios, and the Office of Civil Rights has failed to even ensure that women have as many athletic scholarships as men, despite the majority of women on campus today.

-- Walk-on "opportunities" are where the current third prong of accommodating the interests of students on campus matters. Here measures need to be taken to ensure that the quality and encouragement and support for walk-on opportunities are the same, and this is a trickier issue, but it's undoubtedly a lower enforcement priority than the goal of ensuring parity in the quality of recruited opportunities. If quality of walk-on opportunities are the same, and men are truly more interest than women at walking-on, then it's fine for there to be more male athletes. But to contrast with what you term the "male chat room", there is no sense in which men are "more interested" than women in full scholarships and preferential admissions to play college sports.

I've looked long and far for anyone matching my views for on improving Title IX as I suggest, and I've been disappointed again and again, which is why I'm compelled to write you. Unfortunately, Title IX propaganda is dominated by two extremes. On one end, there's the Women's Sport Foundation who wants participation and scholarships to be in proportion to the majority female enrollment on campus no matter what, which I believe discriminates against both male recruited and non-recruited athletes. On the other end, there's the College Sports Council who wants to use on-campus surveys to determine the gender ratio of both recruited and non-recruited athletes, which would undoubtedly lead to unfair discrimination of female recruited athletes.

Some of my ideas were inspired by reading the full transcripts and reports of Bush's Title IX commission while I was reporting on these issues as sports chair of the Harvard Crimson in 2003. The Title IX commission had some sensible discussion but suffered too much from the extremes of the WSF and CSC to lead to any recommendations as succinct as what I have just described. But anyone wanting to be informed on Title IX should re-read these discussions.

One of the most disappointing consequences of Title IX that I observed in the past decade was the University of Michigan choosing to add women's water polo instead of women's ice hockey, even though there is clearly more interest in ice hockey in the surrounding area. Again, the motivation was providing the cheapest opportunities possible for women, rather than doing what was right. While the Title IX interpretation and enforcement I describe won't guarantee that athletic programs wouldn't make the same mistake again, I do believe my recommendations are fairer and offer more flexibility than the status quo.