Thursday, April 10, 2008

Correcting the misinformation

It seems to be my purpose in life, or at least on this blog, to find all the bits of misinformation perpetuated by sport writers about Title IX, become quite irate and then correct them on this blog and often in a letter to the writer and/or editor.
Sometimes they seem very little especially when the intent clearly is not malicious (though there are plenty of those cases too). But the misinformation is presented so matter-of-factly that it is clear the writers have no idea that they are just plain wrong and that they are adding to the considerable backlash.
A few weeks ago [I lost the link, sorry] a writer in Indiana expressed sympathy for boys' volleyball which gets little recognition because it is not a sport sanctioned by the Indiana High School Athletics Association. He encouraged IHSAA to add the sport but noted that the obstacle has been Title IX which mandates state athletic associations sanction the same number of boys' and girls' sports. Well not quite. Title IX's mandate for equity doesn't directly affect athletic associations--it affects the schools that belong. IHSAA has likely not sanctioned boys' volleyball because its member schools probably already have compliance problems in the area of equitable opportunities.
And then today I read a feature on a wrestler from University of New Hampshire who won a national title at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association championships. Good for him. Not so good was the writer who failed to correct the UNH coach who said that the level of competition is pretty intense at these championships because they are comprised of club teams that are former DI programs cut by Title IX. It was said in passing and was incorporated into the story in the same manner. And it is completely false as we have discussed here too many times already. It's budget and interest. And we know this is true at UNH. By the time Ebuz and I got to UNH wrestling was already a club sport, but we did go through a round of cuts that were all about the budget. UNH has since undergone another set of cuts that are again due to budget shortfalls and budget priorities that the administration will not alter. They aren't crying that Title IX forced their hand in the same way JMU has but maybe they should inform their wrestling coach about why wrestling was really cut.