Tuesday, April 24, 2007

NYT Examines Chatman Effect on Women Coaches

Local papers aren't the only ones covering the gender gap in women's coaching (see here and here). In this article last Thursday, the New York Times covered the resignation of coach Pokey Chatman over charges sexual misconduct, and LSU's subsequent hiring of a male coach for the women's basketball team, as an opportunity to examine how homophobia affects female coaches.
[S]ome coaches, administrators and academics say they fear that the accusations against Chatman will inflame homophobia; reinforce stereotypes of lesbians as sexual predators; lead to more so-called negative recruiting, or attempts to steer players away from coaches suspected of being gay; increase skepticism toward the hiring of single women as head coaches; and scare the parents of potential recruits.

Dr. Linda Carpenter suggests that this trend "gives fodder to people looking for a reason to carve out an area where women need not apply." It also plays into a double standard, according to an athletic department official at NC State, who commented that "there have been more issues with male coaches and male staff than female coaches and staff."

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