Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day Post

Most of us Title IX advocates are hopeful about the new administration. Obama, from what he said during the campaign, seems to have a clue about what Title IX actually is. He has expressed concern with the survey method of discerning interest. Though, as we mentioned previously, we don't know much about what new Secretary of Education Duncan thinks of Title IX.

But what has most sports fans talking about Obama is his seemingly staunch attitude about college football and desire to throw the power of his office behind reforming the BCS. He has mentioned it more than once--the desire for a "true" champion.
Of course it doesn't really seem to be about Title IX issues. Though a shorter season--less travel, less extravagant spending around bowl games might free up some athletic department dollars for all those men's sports that are on the chopping block because, the anti-IXers say, because of Title IX.

Obama is not the only one thinking football reform. The Bleacher Report had an interesting column the other day about the compatibility of football and Title IX. We'll ignore for now the author's description of the three-pronged test as "flawed" and move on to other ideas presented. He suggests gradually transferring some of the 85 scholarships offered by DI teams to women's and men's minor sports. This, he believes, would also address the controversy over the BCS. With all teams being down to 50-60 scholarships, the author believes there would be more parity among all the conferences thus making a playoff system more feasible. (I can't speak to the validity of this proposal, but it's a suggestion I have not yet heard.) But in the end he points out the obvious, something even Obama has not seen, or at least mentioned. With the continuing inequities in women's sports, we're still spending time and energy on the controversy around the playoff system of one sport.