Title IX hyporcritical, needs to be revamped, or forgotten

Sarah Mitchell

I am a woman. And I love sports.
So what I am about to say next might throw some for a loop.
I can’t stand Title IX, the long-standing regulation that, in part, requires equality in men’s and women’s athletics at a college or university.
Don’t misread that statement. I do support the development of women’s athletics. I was one of many Americans tuned into the U.S. Women’s World Cup victory this past July. I’ve been watching this year’s U.S. Open tennis, too.
But the law waving the green flag for gender equity in college sports is hypocritical. As more women can’t be forced to come out and play, male athletes are unfairly being thrown off the athletic stage. Rather than add more sports for women, many schools are going the low road and cutting out successful programs.
Students at Miami (Ohio) University have lost their men’s wrestling, soccer and even tennis teams, although roster spots on the women’s tennis team remain vacant. On June 30, this celebrated 26-year-old law forced the Miami athletics department to cut the sports, because the University claimed funds were no longer available.
For a school that’s so strapped for cash, they still managed to send the women’s precision skating team to Europe for competitions. How was that little escapade made possible? What the hell is women’s precision skating, anyway? Does anyone even know? All this because school officials felt the heat of Title IX.
This is only one of Title IX’s comedic effects.
Another example of the goofiness of Title IX comes from Arizona State. A desert surrounds the Sun Devils, but the university plans to add women’s crew to its list of varsity sports. In order to accommodate the rowers, Arizona State plans to flood a nearby two-mile-long dry gulch for the team to row on.
While Title IX provides a laugh, it is failing to do its job, which is to provide equal opportunities for both sexes. Until more women show interest in athletics, men’s sports just won’t develop. The law doesn’t provide for any common-sense development necessary for men’s sports.
More than 350 men’s teams — from baseball and gymnastics to wrestling — have been cut as athletic departments strive to comply. Sadly, successful programs are as much of a target.
UCLA swimmers felt the wrath of its willy-nilly athletic department. Despite producing more than 20 Olympic swimmers, the Bruins men’s team was lost at sea.
And what about the national pasttime?
Our friends to the east are a prime example. In 1991, a thin budget forced Wisconsin to cut its baseball program. Because of Title IX, the Badgers are in an embarrassing situation — they are the only Big Ten team without a baseball team.
Women’s lacrosse is the leading candidate to soak up some more of the school’s resources and take the place of the baseball team. I never heard of lacrosse until I moved to Minnesota, and I’m from the Badger State.
Gender equity is one thing, but it’s baseball. Come on.
Fortunately, male athletes are fighting back. California State-Bakersfield sparked an off-the-mat fight with its grapplers when it limited the wrestling roster in order to take a step closer to the equality requirement.
Thankfully, Title IX backfired (at least in this case). Team members successfully argued in court that no person “be excluded from participation” based on sex because gender-based cuts violate the law. The wrestlers were awarded a temporary injunction in February.
So maybe the tide is turning toward sanity’s favor. If all else fails, we can load Title IX onto the next shuttle mission and eject it with all the other spaced-out debris where it belongs.

Sarah Mitchell is a general assignment reporter and welcomes comments at [email protected]