Thursday, October 01, 2009

Alaskan softball players cite inequities

Can't believe Sarah Palin who, during her vice-presidential campaign, espoused the benefits of Title IX, let her home town get away with inequitable treatment of female student-athletes.
But the Mat-Su School District, which includes the town of Wasilla, is facing a lawsuit brought by two softball players (and their parents). The facts, at this early stage, remain somewhat ambiguous but apparently some of the issues brought up in the filing are ones school officials have heard before. The issue of fields does not appear to the prominent one, or at least as prominent in most of the other cases about softball. Wasilla High School's field underwent renovations this past summer. There is some dispute over whether softball has access to an on-campus practice field like the baseball team does.
It seems that funding is the major issue here with the complainants saying that boys' teams receive greater funding than girls' teams. This is not an automatic violation, of course, but it goes on to say that softball has to pay for its own equipment and supplies. If boys' teams are provided these things by the school there is the potential for some trouble. But my guess after reading about economic woes and booster clubs stepping up, is that boys' team may also have to find their own equipment and supplies but that they have booster clubs that raise the money for them. But as we know by now, successful boys' booster clubs do not negate a school's Title IX responsibilities.