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Title Ix

By Eraser21 Apr 06, 2005 1055 Words
In 1972 a policy known as Title IX was written and mandated into Federal policy. Title IX states "no person.....shall, on the basis of sex….be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance" (Glenn Sacks, "Title IX Lawsuits are Endangering Men's College Sports," p. 3). Many high schools and colleges have not been able to comply with the Title IX standards mostly because of money. After more than 30 years since the beginning of Title IX, there is still no gender equality among men and women in sports.

Passed in 1972 by United States President Richard Nixon, Title IX was supposed to open the door for women, but feminists have interpretated Title IX in a way to help strengthen women's athletics (Sacks 1). During the Carter and Clinton administrations Title IX was converted into a weapon to enforce gender quotas, therefore abolishing as many men's college athletic teams as possible (Phyllis Schlafly, "Supreme Court wrestles with Title IX," p. 2). Over the years the words of Title IX author, former U.S. Republican Edith Green, must have been forgotten when he stated that the law is "exceedingly explicit so that the establishment of quotas would be prohibited (Schlafly 2)". It has become obvious that quotas are the standard in 2005. Scholarships, spending and funding must somehow equal the ratio of 57% women - 43% men enrolled in college. Schools have been offered two options to meet Title IX – create new women's teams or cut men's teams (Sacks 2).

Has the question really been answered yet? Has Title IX changed anything? YES. Between 1972 and 1997, 3.6 male athletes were dropped from their programs. During the same period, female athletes increased by 5,800 while 20,000 male athletes were cut (Sacks 2). Women's basketball programs are now allotted 15 scholarships, men's 13.5; women tennis is allotted 8 scholarships, men's 4.5. By April of 2002, over 350 NCAA men's programs had been terminated since 1991, over 100 wrestling programs had been eliminated overall, and only 26 colleges still had male gymnastic programs (J.P. Hoornstra, "Title IX sends teams to grave," p. 2). It seems to me that Title IX was created with all the good intentions, but it seems that nobody really ever thought it through.

On the flip side, coaches for an average college women's team earns, on average, about $33,000 per season, while the coaches of men's teams earn about $67,000. Athletic programs for men spend an average of $1.6 million while women receive half that amount. It is obvious that the quotas are not being followed. At this time though I do not see this as a problem.

So what is the root of the problem when it comes to equality among men and women in collegiate sports? Football. Yes, football is the root of the problem. Football is a money-making giant that happens to demand money be poured into its program. At the University of Southern California men's teams – largely football – are responsible for over 99% of the near $20 million total revenue of the athletic department (Sacks 2). It is a fact that 70% of Division I-A programs turn a profit. Due to the fact that schools need football's revenue yet must also meet gender quotas, they are forced to cut non-revenue men's sports. Colleges cannot spend as much on women's sports as they can on men's sports because there is no women's equivalent for football (Sacks 3). Seems to me that football should be eliminated from the equation. If feminists turned a cheek to football and the money dedicated to its program every year, then maybe there would be more equality across the board.

No one will ever say that women do not deserve the same rights as men, but some feminists are fighting a cause that just does not make sense. Women's sports just cannot match the revenue power of the men's sports. This is not the Universities fault and it is definitely not the fault of men. Yes, women should be able to have organized teams and scholarships to field those teams, but forcing men's sports to operate on the same budget as women's sports is ludicrous. Imagine if the NBA had to operate on the same budget as the WNBA. The WNBA has a league salary of 12 million dollars….yes, a LEAGUE salary. While players in the NBA have individual salaries larger than 12 million dollars. The problem with Title IX is that somebody along the way decided to translate what was a great policy to insure the rights of women when it came to education, into a policy about quotas and equality in competition. There is no reason why women's sports cannot thrive on the collegiate level while male sports maintain the greatness they have had. Gone are the superior men's gymnastic and swimming teams from UCLA along with storied football programs from Northridge and Boston University. Men are being stripped of their opportunities to compete. Not so that women's sports can be created…those teams could exist also, but these teams are being lost because feminists push for ridiculous quotas to be strictly followed. The day will soon come when men's collegiate sports like volleyball, wrestling and swimming no longer exist. Despite the idea that Title IX would help women athletes, the numbers have actually caused the elimination of traditional women's teams such as gymnastics in favor of large-squad sports (Schlafly 2). Was this really what Edith Green desired when she penned Title IX 30 years ago? I believe Title IX was penned as an instrument to help fight sex discrimination and is now a policy mandating it (Sacks 3). "In ridiculing the senselessness of gender quotas, the University of Kansas college newspaper published this ironic comment. "College sports for women should be compulsory. Granted, many women may insist they do not want to play sports, but after generations of patriarchal oppression, it is not realistic to think women really know what they want. The goal of perfectly equal gender ratios is more important than what anybody ‘wants" (Schlafly 2).

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