Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh, Florida

There is no new news to report out of Florida and the situation with the Florida High School Athletic Association. But there has been plenty of media coverage--including editorials that ask the hackneyed question: "Is it time to revise Title IX?" Various constituencies and individuals have been asking that question since the 70s.

But Lee Nessel asks it anyway in light of the FHSAA lawsuit. She also points out that she benefitted from Title IX as a swimmer at a DI institution. But she says she also benfitted from football which funded swimming (as well as other sports).

And Ray McNulty doesn't actually ask about revision--he just says that Title IX should exclude football because football is popular and generates revenue.

None of these excuses are new. But they are especially disappointing, to me at least, when they are proferred here, in the current debate that centers on high school athletics. It seems more perverse somehow to simply disregard the educational mission of schools--the mission that Title IX aims to keep equitably applied. That intercollegiate athletics has become the model to follow despite its obvious and numerous problems is disheartening.

And thus it's not surprising that we keep hearing--over and again--the same rationales for football's exemption, now being given in the context of high school football which McNulty calls "a different animal." Yeah, it's an animal. An animal that eats up the opportunities for men and is never held accountable.

And speaking of accounting. All this football revenue talk is being done without a lot of numbers. FHSAA never offered a specific economic rationale for its decision not to cut football contests.