Friday, May 06, 2011

One week later

Many, many responses to last week's NYT piece by Katie Thomas on the fudging of Title IX numbers by colleges and universities.

Here are some:

In the NYT itself, the letters to the editor the article inspired. Range of thoughts from a variety of people. Nothing too outstanding. The usual pro Title IX and the opportunities it provides as well as some of the "casualties" of the law rhetoric and the not-so-helpful or equitable solution: stop counting football. There was a good one by the captain of the fencing team at Lafayette College who reports that the formation of a co-ed fencing team has created an overall positive sporting and educational experience regardless of the success of the team from year to year.

Cornell's own student newspaper covered the fencing team's response to the NYT piece which called into question the male club players who practice with the women's varsity team and thus are counted as team members. Anyone who practices with and receives coaching via a women's team must be counted on that roster--and this includes men. Cornell was not being deceitful, as some believe the NYT implied, they were following the rules. And, we should note, they do include the fact that there are male practice players when they report their data to the Department of Education. The EADA has a special caveat section. Most schools do not avail themselves of this section to explain things like male practice players. Cornell does. Whatever one's stance on male practice players, they are not hiding the use of them.

Also in the NYT is George Vecsey's take on the effects--on Title IX and beyond--of "King Football." A good examination of intercollegiate football culture, especially in light of recent justice department questions over the lack of a playoff system in the BCS.

Thomas herself in not quite a follow up wrote about the Delaware situation and the practice of schools cutting men's team in an attempt to bring about gender equity. The Women's Sports Foundation responded to that piece in its own press release. WSF noted that overall opportunities are up--for everyone and that the dropping and adding of sports is nothing new and ongoing in the ever-changing sport landscape. They also provided a compelling metaphor (comparing cash-strapped athletic departments to families) about blame and sharing resources.

There have been many other articles, most of which we probably have not seen. And we imagine there will be more to come. It's been a busy week here in Title IX land, we might be taking the weekend off. Discussions of gender equity in education will resume Monday.