Title IX Slowly Killing Men’s Athletics
This past June marked the 40th anniversary of Title IX, a United States law stating that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Although the wide spectrum in which Title IX covers includes many educational issues, its application to NCAA athletics has especially been confounded, because, unlike most educational institutions, athletic programs are gender-segregated by sport. In terms of intercollegiate athletics, Title IX essentially states that that all academic institutes of higher education are required to accommodate students with equal access to athletic participation, regardless of gender. This means that the overall number of athletic teams, scholarships, athletes, quality and quantity of athletic facilities, access to academic resources, access to physical treatment, along with an abundance of additional goods, services and resources offered by school’s athletic departments must be equal between men’s and women’s athletics. After forty years of this law being instated, it is evident that Title IX has accomplished its goal of providing equal opportunity to female athletes in collegiate athletics. However, unintentional negative outcomes have stemmed from this law, and is thus no longer acting in a positive manner for NCAA and should therefore be amended.
Title IX has tremendously changed the world of women's collegiate sports. In fact, the current number of women competing in collegiate sports surpasses 190,000 athletes, where participation before Title IX went in to law was less than 30,000 women.(Anderson) This increase in participation means that more females than ever before are reaping the abundant benefits that are offered by an NCAA athletic department, such as tutoring, athletic related health care, career counseling, and many other great resources. Additionally, women’s teams receive 50% of the athletic department’s funding, which is a vast improvement upon the minuscule 2% which they received on average before Title IX was put in to law.(Langton 185) This means that women’s sports are offered the same opportunities in terms of traveling, financial aid, athletic equipment, etc., as their male counterparts. In terms of accomplishing what it set out to do, Title IX has more than fulfilled its goal of giving women equal opportunities in collegiate athletics. However, many people have reason to believe that this has been done at the cost of male athletes.
Since Title IX’s inauguration forty years ago, more than 2,200 total men’s teams have been cut by universities to satisfy the regulations of Title IX, namely the rule stating that the number of athletic teams offered by a university must be equal. Sure, a portion of those cuts have been due to lack of athletic funds, however, the majority of them have been simply because there is an absence of interest in athletic participation among women. Of the many programs eliminated, the majority of the cuts have been made to men’s teams participating in olympic sports, namely gymnastics and wrestling.
Sadly, 355 men’s wrestling teams have been cut since Title IX’s induction in 1972, resulting in the loss of more than 22,000 roster positions. Additionally, 212 men’s gymnastics teams have been cut in the last 40 years, accounting for approximately 2,544 roster positions lost.(Owoc 2) For the most part, these programs had sufficient funds prior to being cut, but they unfortunately had to be made in order to level out both the total number of male and female athletes, as well as the total number of teams at a school, per Title IX regulations. Because Title IX neglects to respect the fact that the level of interest of competing in collegiate athletics is top heavy on the men’s side, thousands and thousands of male...
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