Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Outside the Lines on Negative Recruiting

This week's episode of ESPN's Outside the Lines addresses negative recruiting in women's sports. In particular, the show covered how coaches exploit parents' homophobia to lure recruits away from teams coached by women who, especially when single, are vulnerable to the lesbian "stigma."

Pat Griffin wrote about the episode on her blog about LGBT Sport. She praised ESPN's efforts to bring attention to this subtle form of discrimination in women's sport that marginalized gay athletes and contributes to the underrepresentation of women among head coaches. But she also criticized the segment for "miss[ing] an important opportunity to make the point that initiatives against negative recruiting are gaining some ground." She notes that the NCAA has shown interest in taking on this issue, teaming up with NCLR to provide resources and encouragement to member institutions to adopt policies and practices that reduce instances of negative recruiting.