Monday, August 11, 2008

Nevada soccer dad headed to court

In April we wrote about an odd argument using Title IX to prevent a girls' sport from being moved into its traditional season.
Seems that that soccer dad, who happens to be an assistant US attorney, has gotten his case to federal court this week. Eric Johnson filed suit against the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association and the county school district where his daughter plays soccer because they wanted to move girls' soccer from the winter to the fall. He dropped Clark County from his suit because they voted to keep it in the winter. But the NIAA overruled them.
His Title IX argument this time around* is that should the girls in Clark County and elsewhere in southern Nevada, which has held its own championship, continue to play in the winter--unsanctioned by the NIAA--then any championship title they receive would not be recognized. This is a violation of Title IX, Johnson says, because the law guarantees girls should have equal recognition for their achievements.
Hmmm...well girls and women certainly do not get equitable recognition from the media or society in general. But if he is referring to recognition from governing bodies that's not quite right either. The NIAA can sanction whatever sports it wants. Schools/districts then choose which sports they want to offer. In theory these offerings should provide girls and boys with equitable opportunities, facilities, coaching, etc.
I am not quite sure what is happening here. Is this truly the argument Johnson, a US attorney, making? Is the media, perpetually confused about what Title IX entails, getting this story wrong?
Hard to tell. Either way it does not seem that any viable Title IX argument can be presented as to why girls' soccer in southern Nevada should remain a winter sport. And Johnson, who is reported to be the the only parent to ever raise this issue, doesn't seem to have much community support either.

* Last time the media coverage seemed to stress that he was arguing that there would not be an equal number of girls and boys sports in the winter season should the change be implemented.