Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Apples and Oranges

Club sports at most schools are funded by a recreational services department, while varsity intercollegiate sports are funded by athletic departments. This is the case at the University of Iowa. Recreational Sports, however, can usually not afford to completely fund a team and that team looks elsewhere for money: fundraising, dues, etc.

According to the student newspaper, The Daily Iowan, the men's rowing club at Iowa has made a request to the student government association for money to buy a new shell. This all seems reasonable even though student government has never before funded a club sport. They seem open to the possibility.

What is curious is that in the presentation to the association, the team plans to relate what the women's rowing team receives and suggest that Title IX is to blame for the men's current situation of poor equipment and large out-of-pocket fees.

But women's rowing at UI is a varsity sport. It was made a varsity sport in an attempt to comply with Title IX. That has nothing to do with the men's team.

The argument that the women rowers get more money than men rowers is inapplicable in this case, since nothing in Title IX requires intra-sport equity. Moreover, team captain Meylon's comment that "Since [Title IX] men's rowing at Iowa has been on a downward spiral" seems purely sour grapes in this situation. If Meylon and others are sore that men's rowing does not have varsity status, blame the excessively large football roster the university has or the millions of dollars the administration pumps into the football and basketball programs.

I was a little surprised that both the newspaper and the team members pursued this line of reasoning. After all, they have one of the foremost experts on Title IX, Dr. Christine Grant, right there. But it does not seem anyone spoke with her.

1 comment:

Gender Blank said...

Of course no one spoke with her. They would've been smacked down so unbelievably hard in about two seconds flat. I would have paid money to see that, actually. :)