Friday, August 15, 2008

Nebraska-Kearney adds women's soccer

University of Nebraska-Kearney is adding women's soccer as a varsity sport in fall 2009. Though much of the discourse around the addition is centered on adding a sport that almost every other state university already has and the popularity of the sport in Nebraska high schools, the brief mention of Title IX and the fact that the university has not added a sport--any sport, men's or women's--since 1963, makes me think that providing equitable opportunities was more of a factor than the university is letting on.
I am a little curious about the statement that none of the funding will come from any new state dollars and thus not "take away" from any of the existing programs. The program is expected to be self-sufficient and that revenue will be gained through ticket sales. There is a belief that fans are ready--have been ready--for women's soccer at UNK for a while now. I hope they're right. Because even if they don't show up and if they cannot become self-sustaining, the university, it would seem from the facts given, will be obligated to keep the program and not take away opportunities from women.