Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Diversity in NCAA leadership

Going on right now is the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection hearing on "The Lack of Diversity in Leadership Positions in NCAA Collegiate Sports." [I am not sure what commerce, trade and consumer protection have to do with NCAA diversity but at least someone is taking up the issue.] Here is the link if you want to listen live. And hopefully the whole hearing will be available after the fact as well.
Those scheduled to testify include Reverend Jesse Jackson, NCAA President Myles Brand, Dr. Richard Lapchick [he produces the yearly "report card" on the state of diversity in athletics], and various coaches, college presidents, and athletic administrators.

Afternoon Update: Here is an article about the hearings. It covers the major points but presents the issue at hand as the lack of black coaches in intercollegiate athletics. Like so many other reports on the status of blacks in athletics, implicit in "black coach" or "black athlete" is male. Briefly addressed was the situation of minority females. But once again the issues of race and gender in sport are separated out despite the reality that everyone is raced and gendered (and classed, and abilized, etc.). I guess that is what happens when the only people scheduled to testify are men--even if they are well-intentioned and possibly even feminist-minded men. Also, the focus of the article is on the lack of black coaches, to the exclusion of other people of color.
The article does mention the possibility of using Title VII as a legislative tool in the same way women's sports have used Title IX. Apparently a Title VII lawsuit may be forthcoming.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

APA Reports on Sexualization of Girls

Television, music, magazines, advertising and other media images frequently convey sexualized images of girls and women. A new report by the American Psychological Association has studied these images and resulting harm to girls, including mental health problems like eating disorders, low-self esteem, and depression. The Report recommends that schools teach "critical skills in viewing and consuming media" to help reduce the harmful effects of sexualized images. The Report also suggests that increased access to athletic and other extracurricular programs for girls can counteract the harm that results from overexposure to images that demean and devalue women.

One particularly interesting aspect of the study supports a possible link between sexualized images and the gender-based performance gap in math and science. The Report reviewed one study of college students who were asked to try on either a swimsuit or a sweater. While they waited alone in the dressing room for 10 minutes wearing the garment, they completed a math test. Women in swimsuits performed significantly worse on the math problems than did those wearing sweaters, but in men, no differences were found. "In other words, thinking about the body and comparing it to sexualized cultural ideals disrupted mental capacity."

(Via Feminist Newswire)

Monday, February 26, 2007

One to watch

UNC Charlotte has decided to go ahead with a study that will look at what it would take to bring a football program to the school. The school has been under some pressure from students and alumni to institute a football program, but administrators are quick to say that the study does not mean a football team is a guarantee.
Early number show the addition of a football team will result in a pretty hefty hike in the student athletic fee. Student government at UNCC organized a poll that ends tomorrow to gauge student interest in the endeavor.
UNCC has been talking about the possibility of a football team for some time now and every time they do they say a football team will not get in the way of Title IX compliance. They have stressed they will not eliminate men's teams and are likely to add women's teams. Currently the school offers soccer, basketball, track & field, cross country, softball, volleyball, and tennis for women.
Right now it appears they have achieved substantial proportionality but the addition of 80 scholarship players on a football team would skew that considerably. UNCC would have to add, I would guess, 3-4 women's teams to account for the addition of football.
It will be interesting to follow the study as it progresses as well as student and fan reaction.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A few thoughts on gays and women in sports...

...courtesy of scholar, poet, coach, and athletic administrator Nancy Boutilier.
Boutilier talks about gay athletes coming out, the status of women as athletes and as coaches in the Title IX era. Boutilier makes some good points about the lack of acceptance of female coaches by female athletes which I found too in previous research on women's ice hockey. And as more and more female athletes grow up never having been coached by women, it does not seem likely that the belief that men are more qualified than women to coach women's sports will be challenged.
It's a brief but good interview by The Oberlin Review and worth checking out.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Iowa Law to Protect Gay Students

Iowa will soon be one of ten states to enumerate protection for students from bullying and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression. Both houses of the legislature have passed versions of the Safe Schools Bill, and the Governor's signature is reported to be imminent.

According to a 2005 survey by Iowa Pride Network, 83 percent of Iowa students who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. 33 percent report having faced physical harassment.

State laws that enumerate specific protection for gay and lesbian students provide more protection than Title IX against harassment on the basis of sexual orientation. Some anti-gay harassment is actionable under Title IX (for example, as in this case) as long as it is also considered harassment on the basis if sex. Also, as the recent NJ decision explained, state statutes may impose a lower threshold for liability than Title IX's "deliberate indifference" standard.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

NJ Supreme Court Holds State Law Protects Gay Students from Bullying

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the state's Law Against Discrimination protects students from anti-gay harassment by peers. In so doing, the court rejected the "deliberate indifference" standard that applies to Title IX, and instead relied on state precedent for workplace discrimination.

New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination ("LAD") prohibits places of public accommodation from discriminating against citizens on the basis of several enumerated categories including "affectional or sexual orientation." NJ courts have held that, under LAD, employers are liable if they have "actual or constructive knowledge of the harassment and fails to take effective measures to end the discrimination." The court explained that the liability standard for employment discrimination, which is essentially a negligence standard, would offer more protection to students than the Title IX standard that only imposes liability for peer harassment when school officials deliberately fail to protect students.

A lower court will now determine whether the Toms River public schools used reasonable measures to protect the plaintiff, a former student, from years of verbal and physical anti-gay harassment at the hands of his peers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bowling Emerges

According to this article from, Kutztown (Pa.) University will add women's bowling to increase opportunities for female athletes and retain its compliance status under prong 2.

Yes, the NCAA sponsors women's bowling.

Bowling (like ice hockey and rowing) is an alumna of the NCAA's list of emerging sports for women -- a list that now includes archery, badminton, equestrian, team handball, rugby, squash, and water polo. The NCAA recognizes these designated emerging sports and encourages their development by letting universities count participation opportunities toward sport sponsorship and financial aid minimums. Once the sport is developed enough for a national tournament, it graduates from the emerging sport list.

Bowling has had a national tournament for 3 years. Nearly fifty schools sponsor a women's bowling team. They may each award five equivalency scholarships. Bowling is the smallest sport to have "emerged" from the list, but if the others-- hockey (about 80 teams) and rowing (about 150 teams)--are any indication, Kutztown's competition will continue to expand.

Monday, February 19, 2007

For Female HS Swimmers in NY, Same Season Means Unequal Treatment

At high schools in the Buffalo and Niagara region, both girls' and boys' swimming is a winter sport. But as it turns out, the girls are uniquely disadvantaged by this seemingly equal treatment. This is because the state tournament for girls swimming is in the fall, to coordinate with the season for girls swimming season in the rest of New York state.

The Niagara Gazette explains why this is actually a difficult problem to solve. The small high schools with winter swim seasons can't move the girls' season to fall without threatening the viability of already existing fall sports, including volleyball, soccer and field hockey. Such a move would also create a potential void of winter opportunities, leaving basketball, cheerleading, and indoor track the only remaining sports.

Getting the rest of the state to join the Buffalo and Niagara schools with a winter swim season for both boys and girls would solve the problem, but getting the majority to conform to the minority's schedule is a solution that lacks feasibility. According to the article, another partial solution that has been suggested in past is "having extremely talented small-school girls swimmers who can qualify to compete with the boys in the winter sectionals." But, the article explains this won't work because, "state laws prohibit both male and female swimmers in the pool at the same time." This struck me as kid of an odd law, and I have failed in my initial efforts to track it down. Does New York state law prohibits coed swimming competitions? Or does it prohibit girls and boys from generally being in the pool at the same time? Either way, it strikes me as the kind of law that should yield to the efficacy of a partial solution. In Massachusetts, a superior court judge recently held that the boys golf tournament could not exclude a girl (whose season did not correspond with state girls tournament) from the state boy's tournament. NY might consider the principle reflected in that case -- that everybody should have the opportunity to at least try to qualify for a season-ending tournament in their sport.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Single-Sex Classrooms So Boys Can Play Football?

That is what this article about single-sex classroom in Oklahoma seems to be suggesting...
According to Shelly Hickman, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the move to single-gender classes isn't a widespread trend by any means. Only a couple of other schools in the state, one in Oklahoma City and one in Edmond, have started pilot programs to measure the benefits and drawbacks. Those programs began this school year, after the reinterpretation of Title IX.

Hulbert, on the other hand, has had single-gender classes for several years at the fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade levels.

"We originally did this when they put football in for the sixth-graders," said McMahan [a Hulbert teacher]. "We just couldn't work a schedule out without splitting the classes. Some of the parents didn't care for it at first, but I think, now, most of them don't have a problem with it."
As we've noted, much of the concern about the new single-sex classroom policy is that it allows schools to segregate classes based on "overly broad generalizations about the different talents, capacities, or preferences of males and females."

Proposed Legislation Would Increase HS Title IX Compliance

Last week Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine introduced the High School Sports Information Collection Act (S. 518), a bill that would require the government to keep statistics on secondary school athletic programs, including the gender and racial breakdown of participants and teams' respective budgets.

At the same time, a similar bill called the
High School Athletics Accountability Act (H.R. 901) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York. This bill would amend Title IX to require schools to disclose information regarding the number and gender of their athletic participants and the budgets for girls and boys teams.

In 1996 Congress
passed a similar measure for colleges and universities. The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act requires postsecondary schools subject to Title IX to disclose statistics on athletic participation, including gender breakdown of participants and budgetary inforamtion. The reported data, which are publically available on the Department of Education's website, greatly enhance the public's awareness of Title IX violations and compliance.

The AAUW's website has a handy form that anyone can use to urge members of Congress to support this pending legislation that would extend such disclosure requirements to high schools.

Generation IX

Generation IX, a new documentary about the 2005 University of Washington championship women's volleyball team, airs on Seattle public television station KCTS tonight. After its tournament win, the team embarked on two week cultural and competitive exchange in China, where women's volleyball is "a national obsession." The documentary chronicles the team's journey. For more, see the filmmaker's website.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Humboldt State Considers Cuts

Humboldt State University, a Division II school in California, is considering dropping some sports. The school is trimming its budget to make up for low enrollment, and the athletics department has been asked to save $170,000. Women are already underrepresented among HSU athletes (receiving 49% of the athletic opportunities while making up 54% of the student body) so men's teams will likely bear the brunt of any cuts.

Separate Golf Tournament Is Not Equal Under Mass. Constitution

A Superior Court judge in Springfield, Massachusetts ruled this week that the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association unlawfully discriminated against Lindsey Thomka, a high school golfer, by not letting her compete individually against boys at the Division I state championship golf tournament in October 2005. Thomka plays on her high school's boys' team, which has a fall season, because her high school does not offer a separate team for girls. The MIAA allowed her to participate in the season-ending tournament and counted her score as part of her team's. But the MIAA would not also count Thomka's score toward the individual competition, as it did with the scores of the other, male participants.

According to a press release by the ACLU, which represented Thomka, the MIAA defended that it could lawfully bar Thomka from the individual competition at the fall tournment because it offers a separate, girls' tournament in the spring. But the judge ruled that the spring tournament was not equivalent of the fall tournament, in terms of "the level of competition, the coaching made available, the opportunity to practice, to the ability to compete for college scholarships." And in Thomka's case, a spring tournament does not coincide with her team's fall season.

The complaint and the judge's decision focused on the state constitution's Equal Rights Amendment rather than Title IX. In 1979, the Supreme Judicial Court held that this constitutional provision protected boys' rights to play on girls' field hockey teams. As a result, the rights of coed sports participants receive strong protection under state constitutional law--at least as much protection as Title IX affords to coed participants in noncontact sports like golf.

The judge has yet to specify the remedy that will satisfy Thomka's claims for prospective relief. He may require the MIAA to allow Thomka full participation in next fall's tournament, or he may require MIAA to modify and enhance the existing spring tournament. A hearing on the remedy issue will take place in March.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

HS Basketball Schedules at Issue in Ohio

Here is another story about the equity of girls' and boys' high school basketball schedules -- this one from Sunday's Toledo Blade. For the last few years, schools in northern Ohio have been letting girls and boys share the Friday night spotlight; prior to that, girls had a weeknight slot and boys had Fridays to themselves.

Some schools have lost ticket revenue since the switch. "Friday nights still remain as the best night, and the boys are still going to outdraw the girls, " said one athletic director quoted in the story. But at many schools, the loss in boys' team's profits has been offset by an increase in girls' team's profits. The better indicator of profitbaility, say some athletic directors, is whether the team is playing well or not--not whether its players are girls or boys.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Eleventh Circuit Again Addresses UGA Gang Rape Case

Tiffany Williams alleges that in 2002, she was gang-raped by several members of the University of Georgia football and basketball teams. The athletes, Tony Cole, Brandon Williams and Steven Thomas, were indicted but not convicted of criminal charges. While they were suspended from their respective teams (after or near the end of their college careers), the university did not levy other sanctions against them because by the time judicial hearings were held, the athletes were no longer enrolled.

Williams brought charges under Title IX against the University of Georgia, the University of Georgia Athletic Association, and a number of individuals including the University President, the UGAA President, and the coach of the men's basketball team. A district court granted the individual and institutional defendants' motion to dismiss. But, last year, a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals partially reversed the district court, ordering it to reconsider plaintiff's Title IX claims against UGA and the UGAA.

In a rather unusual move, the same panel decided Friday to "vacate[] [this] prior opinion in its entirety" and substitute a new opinion in its place. By way of explanation, the panel says, "While the Court reaches the same result, we address certain claims more fully."

The newly substituted decision indeed reaches the same result and remands the Title IX claims against UGA and the UGAA to the district court. But the decision puts greater emphasis on the legal test for liability based on deliberate indifference. Interpreting Supreme Court decisions in Gebser and Davis, that panel states that institutional liability under Title IX for acts of sexual harassment requires (a) an act of discrimination against the plaintiff, (b) to which the University responded with deliberate indifference, which (c) exposed the plaintiff to further discrimination. The court clarifies that, if proven at trial, the fact that the university decided to recruit Cole (whom Williams alleges had orchestrated the rape) even though it had knowledge of his prior sexual misconduct constitutes an initial act of discrimination against Williams. Next, the fact that the University had not responded to suggestions by student-athletes that the UGAA needed to do a better job informing all student athletes of the sexual harassment policy would constitute deliberate indifference to that initial act of discrimination. Finally, this indifference exposed Williams to further discrimination, the alleged rape incident itself.

The court further clarifies that the rape incident itself is also (a) an act of discrimination, to which (b) the university responded with indifference, that (c) resulted in more discrimination.
The court agreed that the university's decision to wait until the alleged rapists were no longer enrolled to conduct a judicial hearing was an inadequate and indifferent response to the allegations of rape. This resulted in further discrimination against Williams because it effectively denied her an opportunity to continue to attend UGA.

As the newly-clarified decision emphasizes, the fact pattern in this case is not the typical deliberate indifference scenario because pattern of discrimination-indifference-discrimination occurs twice. I think the court probably felt it was important to clarify the separate liability theories in case Williams is unable to prove some of the alleged facts at trial. In that case, the trial court would still have to consider whether the other facts alleged established liability on their own.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Striving for Equity in Indiana HS Basketball Schedules

The Times in Northwest Indiana recently reported on ongoing efforts to equalize game times for girls and boys basketball. In 1998, one high school conference proposed to designate Tuesdays and Saturdays for girls games and Fridays for boys games, and then the next week to swap days. Girls had been playing only on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the boys had been playing on Fridays and Saturdays. "The idea was to give girls an opportunity to play on Fridays -- in a premier time slot -- and to ensure that the girls and boys had an equal number of school days on the court." The proposal was adopted by many conferences, but the article points out that because not every conference in the state has adopted this scheduling paradigm, it is difficult for schools to stick to it when scheduling non conference games.

In a sidebar, the paper illustrates for all of the schools in its readership the ratio of weeknight games to weekend games for boys and girls. Readers can compare, for example, Boone Grove, where girls play 12 weekday games and 4 weekend games and boys play 4 weekday games and 12 weekend games, to Highland where the girls and boys play almost the same number of weekday and weeknight games.

The sidebar shows that progress has been made on this issue, but there is still room for more.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Reading Between the Lines

While Mechelle Voepel at had some harsh criticism of NCLR's announcement of the Harris-Portland settlement, Pat Griffin at the Women's Sports Foundation is reading it between the lines and trying to find some justice there.

Griffin is disappointed that the settlement terms are closed and that Portland gets to keep her job. But she suggests we can infer from the sealed terms that the financial payout to Harris must have been "generous," which "at the very least, the message to other institutions is that discrimination is expensive."

She also opines on that mysterious declaration in the press release that the university has taken additional steps “to further protect all students who have experienced discriminatory treatment at Penn State.”
What do these statements mean? This is where my friend the lawyer advised me to “read between the lines.” It is standard for the defendants in a case (Penn State and Rene Portland) to deny liability. What is important, I think is that Jen Harris and her lawyers from the NCLR are happy with the settlement. I don’t believe they would be happy if the settlement did not include significant agreements that can change the landscape of athletics. Did the university agree to a substantial financial settlement to make the lawsuit go away? Probably. Did they agree to more careful oversight of Portland’s practices and regular training for all staff, athletic and academic, at Penn State? I think that is what Doering’s quote is telling us.
I think Griffin (and her lawyer friend) are likely right that Penn State would not have agreed to favorable terms with respect to dollar amount and institutional reform if the settlement terms would be made public. Secret settlement terms might even be more effective than disclosed terms as deterrent to other schools contemplating whether or not to "enable" (Voepel's word) discriminatory conduct. As one university compliance officer recently put it, compliance is about managing risks. This means quantifying the risk associated with certain conduct in order to figure out if engaging in that conduct is worth it. Closed settlement terms in the Penn State case mean that university engaged in this calculation have less information with which to assess risk, and every reason to believe that the risks are quite high.

As for oversight and reform within Penn State's athletic department, well, we can only hope. As Griffin mentions in the column, she has presented there on the topic of homphobia in sport and it was not exactly well received. If she of all people can muster optimism about the settlement's potential to bring about institutional reform at Penn State, then maybe there is something to be optimistic about.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Female Athletes and Weight

The New York Times ran an intersting article today about the issues of weighing and publicizing the weight of female collegiate athletes. The article focuses on Courtney Paris, a sophomore who plays center on the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team. Paris is the ranked third nationwide in scoring, and is considered one of the best women's basketball players in college today. She is 6' 4" and weighs 240 pounds, a fact that she does not hide (and to which she and others attribute some of her success to), but her weight is not published by the University.

Why? Because the University of Oklahoma, like many other colleges, generally does not publish the weight of its female athletes. Other colleges do not weigh female athletes at all, instead relying on measures such as speed, flexibility, lean mass and strength to assess overall fitness. The article discusses how colleges are wary of triggering a negative reaction in female athletes, fearing the development of eating disorders, or that athletes will focus on weight instead of performance, due to gender stereotypes of what women ought to look like. One of Title IX's goals is to eliminate gender stereotyping in educational institutions: these colleges seem to be trying to sheild their female athletes from the effects of gender stereotyping, but does that mean they are combating the stereotyping itself?

Professor Grossman on Single-Sex Education

Professor Joanna Grossman (Hofstra) has a two part column in on the Department of Education's new single sex education policy.

In part one, she discusses the legal context for the new regulations, including the agency's former regulatory interpretation of Title IX and the effect of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. She also describes the "recent resurgence" of interest in single sex education, which derives from both "genuine concern about whether public schools are disadvantaging girls in some ways, and boys in others" as well as "dubious extrapolation from research on gender differences."

In part two, Professor Grossman analyzes the new policy's legality under the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause. In the VMI case, the Supreme Court held that government must have
"exceedingly persuasive justification" to engage in sex-based classification and the classification itself must be "substantially related to the achievement" of the government's important objectives. Under this test, Professor Grossman suggests, the new single sex regulations are constitutionally suspect. School districts can decide to experiment with single sex education for any reason, not just compelling or exceedingly persuasive ones. In particular, school districts could decide to segregate classes based on "overly broad generalizations about the different talents, capacities, or preferences of males and females," something the Supreme Court said would violate Equal Protection Clause.

generalizations are not only unconstitutional, they are harmful. By way of example, Professor Grossman suggests: "An all-female math class might help girls achieve math scores on par with their male peers. But, at the same time, it might suggest that girls are deficient in math and cannot compete against boys. Or it might make boys feel slighted, since they receive no similarly focused attention in that area.suggests that such generalizations about the different talents and capacities of boys and girls could harm students." She concludes by suggesting that without proper oversight to ensure that single sex education programs are tailored to acheive an important purpose, we risk "turn[ing] back the clock on gender equity."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day

For more, see Women's Sports Foundation's description here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Settlement Ends Penn State Discrimination Case

An "amicable" settlement of undisclosed terms has put an end to the lawsuit brought by basketball player Jennifer Harris against her former University, Penn State, and coach Rene Portland. Harris alleged that Portland's decision to dismisse her from the team was motivated by discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and perceived sexual orientation. The Title IX count alleged that Harris was dismissed because she failed to conform to the Portland's stereotyped notions of femininity.

I had hoped that this lawsuit would bring public justice to Portland for her notorious "no lesbian" policy and dykebaiting recruiting tactics. So I am disappointed that the settlement terms are sealed.

Update: Ted's comments at Women's Hoops Blog calmed me down a little.

Stanford Conference

West coast readers, mark your calendars: On Saturday, April 28, Stanford University will host a conference called Title IX Today, Title IX Tomorrow.

According to the conference website,

This event will feature leading policy makers, administrators, scholars, and public officials with the ability to influence the effective implementation of Title IX in the years to come. It is designed to provoke fresh insights and promote sound practices surrounding gender equity in college athletics and beyond [including] discussion of how to assess gender equity in college athletics, how to increase opportunities for women students and coaches without diminishing them for men, and how to promote change in athletic contexts beyond the intercollegiate setting.

Billie Jean King will give the keynote address, and the agenda also includes presentations by scholars such as Vivian Acosta, Linda Jean Carpenter, Richard Lapchick, and Mary Jo Kane, as well as advocates (for and against) such as NWLC's Marica Greenberger, WSF's Donna Lopiano, and CSC's Eric Pearson. Stanford's own Tara VanDerveer and Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby are also in the lineup.

Monday, February 05, 2007

People are catching on

The recent announcement from Ohio University that administrators have decided to cut four sports due to financial considerations and Title IX is, of course, generating some discontent among those affected. President Roderick McDavis and Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt answered questions last week in a town meeting-style event. Members of the affected teams (men's indoor and outdoor track, men's swimming, and women's lacrosse) were there when Hocutt explained OU was not Title IX compliant and that they lacked the resources to achieve compliance without cutting sports.
This brought the very smart question from a lacrosse player who asked (and I am paraphrasing) why the university shelled out big bucks for head football coach Frank Solich (who was fired from Nebraska and has run into some DUI and drug trouble--a hair sample shows he had the date rape drug GHB in his system upon his 2005 arrest) when they could use such money to fund a women's team. [Solich's salary is actually pretty paltry in comparison to some other DI coaches; his base salary is only $262,172.]
Regardless, the response was less than adequate:
"The investment into the sport of football was a decision that this institution made a couple years ago," he said. "It was a correct decision. We want to give every sport a chance for championships. A part of that is hiring talented coaches."
Every sport? It seems like they want to boost the football program and sacrifices will have to be made.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Add football, be compliant

That's the stance Old Dominion University is taking. They have brought back football to their roster of varsity sports (to take effect 2009) and say they will remain compliant with Title IX by adding three women's sports. The first will come a year before the football team comes back. Crew will be in place next academic year (2007-08). Softball and volleyball will be added at 2 and three-year intervals.
One always worries a little when football gets added to a roster but it seems like ODU has thought this through. And I think it's a sign of commitment that they will add crew before bringing back football.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Knight Commission Meeting Podcasts Available

As we mentioned last week, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics met on January 22. The Knight Commission is an independent research organization that studies intercollegiate athletic and makes recommendations for the reform in the interest of academic and financial integrity. Of the three panels that presented at the meeting, one was devoted to the topic of gender equity. The podcast of this panel, along with the other two, is available here.

I am looking forward to listening to this because the gender equity panelists represent a variety of perspectives. Dr. Christine Grant is a Title IX proponent and advocate for women's sports; Janet Judge is an attorney in private practice who represents universities in compliance matters; Ted Leland chaired the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, which made a number of controversial recommendations to weaken Title IX; and Eric Pearson leads the College Sports Council, an organization lobbies and litigates against Title IX.