Defending Title IX against hypocrisy

Save the profiteering for themoney-hawking professional owners.

I am writing in response to Christopher Boreen’s April 24 guest column “Title IX needs change.” Boreen’s column lacks a logical argument and knowledge of his subject matter.

First, Boreen claims Title IX is impractical because “universities need to be concerned about the economics of athletics by focusing mainly on those sports that are the most profitable for the University.” Later in his piece, Boreen goes on to explain how Title IX has harmed many smaller men’s sports such as crew.

The hypocrisy in this is laughable. There is absolutely zero chance that a varsity men’s crew program would become one of the “most profitable” sports at the University. In fact, using Boreen’s line of thought, the University ought only to be investing in men’s hockey, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s football. Most men’s programs – including wrestling, golf and many others – do not turn a profit.

In addition to his flawed logic, Boreen simply didn’t take the time to gather the facts before writing his column. He claims “Most of those in attendance (for women’s hockey games) are family or friends that know the athletes on a personal level.” A simple Google search found that in 2002-2003, women’s hockey averaged 1,943 people attending per Western Collegiate Hockey Association game, according to gophersports.com. With 24 players on a roster, that means every player would have to have more than 80 “family and friends” in attendance each game for his claim to be even remotely true.

If anything, women’s hockey is the perfect example of Title IX’s effectiveness. Prior to women’s hockey becoming a Division I sport, it was an abnormal thing to see a young girl skating at one of the neighborhood rinks. Since women’s hockey’s inception as an NCAA sport in 2001, you cannot go to a hockey rink without seeing a young girl playing. In addition, girls’ hockey leagues are sprouting up across Minnesota and the country. Simply put, Title IX has led women to have more opportunity than they ever could have imagined even 10 years ago. It should be the goal of the NCAA to provide greater opportunity to a greater number of students. Save the profiteering for the money-hawking professional owners.

Matthew Johnson is a University staff member and alumnus. Please send comments to [email protected]