Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One way or another?

A panel on gender equity and intercollegiate sports held at Vanderbilt University Law School yesterday brought out a Title IX founder, a realist, and a wrestling coach.
According to the AP coverage, the panel discussion focused on "whether the law requiring gender equity in college sports needs to be reformed or is simply being misinterpreted."
I choose C) None of the above. I am not sure why this paradigm is being perpetuated. [Note also that the AP writer is narrow in her description of the law which applies to all aspects of all educational institutions.]
Birch Bayh, former senator from Indiana, and the man who helped write the legislation and get it passed, still believed in the power and potential of Title IX and pointed out to the wrestling coach who cried reverse discrimination, that the greatest loss of wrestling programs occurred in the 1980s when the law was not being enforced and that the sport has seen recent growth in the intercollegiate ranks.
But it was Vanderbilt's Vice Chancellor David Williams who spoke the words no one wants to hear: the problem is football. A woman in the crowd suggested cutting down the number of scholarships football receives to 50. But Williams, noting the big business that is football (and men's basketball), said it would be very hard for any one school to make that decision in the current climate of TV deals and sponsorship packages.
It is clear that something needs to change, but it's much bigger than Title IX.