Last week I attended the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Conference where a lot of interesting work is being presented--including some on Title IX. A contingent of UMaryland folks, grad students Sarah Olson and Jaime Ryan and Professor Jaime Schultz, presented on competitive cheerleading. They, of course, have a unique opportunity to examine how competitive cheer has been implemented given that Maryland was the first, and until Oregon recently, the only school to elevate competitive cheer to varsity status.
The group's future plans with the project include interviewing administrators and cheerleaders and I imagine will address some of the key issues: is cheerleading a sport? is it an activity that promotes women's physical activity? is it in keeping with the spirit of Title IX? is this elevation of cheering to varsity sport status a trend--and is it one advocates of women's sports will be forced to either embrace or speak out against?
The UMD grad students in the Physical Cultural Studies program also have a blog worth checking out called The Corpus about a variety of issues regarding sport and physical culture.