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Posted originally at my other blog: Common Sense Need Not Apply
I recently stumbled across a study by the College Sports Council regarding the Title IX compliance regarding Prong One (Proportionality) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
USA Today broached the issue, as did the Chronicle of Higher Education, but there was one quote from Jocelyn Samuels, Vice President at the National Women's Law Center, that struck me as one of those "are you kidding?" type of things.
"The fact that so many in this universe of colleges are not meeting the proportionality standard is a red flag not of potential problems for men," says Jocelyn Samuels, a vice president of the National Women's Law Center, "but of the fact that women continue to be denied the benefits of athletic participation in the numbers you would expect."
With all due respect, Samuels comment doesn't speak with a common sense view. So a school with 65 percent female enrollment should have 65 percent of the athletic opportunities, right? That, in a nutshell, is what proportionality basically has been boiled down to in its truest and unjust form. The fact there are more women attending college makes things more difficult for athletic departments, especially at HBCUs, where enrollment for men continues to dwindle.
HBCUs athletic traditions center around football, halftime band displays and the core mission surrounding those programs. Adding sports to inflate numbers have occurred and sports have been placed where there was no local interest, in terms of high school teams participating, just to push up numbers.
How many high school bowling teams are in Virginia? Well, there's more women's college bowling teams in Virginia than there are high school bowling teams. Hampton University and Norfolk State have Division I women's bowling teams in a state that doesn't sponsor the sport on the high school level.
You're telling me that's interest?
Women have more sports to choose from, have more scholarships in nearly every sport where there is a male equivalent (except lacrosse) and have larger rosters than men's programs. Football, obviously being the only men's only sport with gigantic roster, throws things at HBCU's out of proportion, but there's a deeper problem.
Opportunities are dwindling for men, and we're seeing men's enrollments dropping. If you're over 6-feet-tall and over 200 pounds, you have opportunities, but the rest of the dynamic of college sports is being trimmed, and you're seeing this predominantly in Olympic Sports.
Another thing to consider: Women competing on men's wrestling rosters in college are counted as men -- like Olympic silver medalist Patricia Miranda was at Stanford.
Another telling correlation can be recognized in the drop of male teachers in our schools at the elementary, middle/jr. high, and high school levels, as evidenced here from MSN.
So we're losing men's programs, college male enrollement is down, and now our next generation of mentors and coaches aren't teaching at the rates they used to.
Title IX compliance, in the eyes of some people, continues to be more about reparations from past discrimination than it is about fairness. People want to play. Students shouldn't be treated as numbers, they should be treated like human beings.
Some groups simply don't care.