Stop blaming student-athletes

There is a large problem on campus outside the athletics community.

As a student-athlete at the University, I was appalled by the Oct. 10 guest column, “An account of wrestlers’ privileged immaturity.” The writing was coarse, and at times devoid of reason. Although the author did mention that harassment is a large problem on campus outside of student-athletes, she seemed to mean that men’s athletics are the main culprits. I will not pretend that there have never been such occurrences. It is impossible that a male athlete has never harassed a female.

These actions are inexcusable and need to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis rather than in two articles condemning male athletes for their insensitivities concerning women. With student-athletes making up such a small percentage of the overall University, it is absurd to think that the majority of harassment cases would be committed by such a small number. The only viable reason for such an outcry is the visibility of the student-athletes. It is part of what comes with competing at a major college, and the actions are not to be tolerated. But, for a guest columnist to be lazy and avoid critical thinking solely to complete an article for a deadline and occupy space in the paper is unacceptable. This form of base writing is done simply to stir up controversy and as a side effect, hopefully unintentionally, destroy the reputations of many individual student-athletes.

Athletics must be viewed as a weapon against sexual harassment. The athletics department also includes women’s athletics, which was neglected in the article until the issue of Title IX was brought up. Women’s athletics have given an opportunity for women to become more confident in themselves and hopefully make themselves less likely for a situation involving sexual harassment.

Also, inferring that J Robinson’s opposition to Title IX may be a cause for lessened respect for women does not stand up. He is opposed to the proportionality test of the Title IX, which has led to the elimination of many wrestling, men’s gymnastics and baseball teams throughout the nation. Many of these teams use a minimal amount of scholarships, with the athletes paying their own way. This is in stark contrast to sports such as rowing, water polo and even bowling that have become NCAA championship sports for women within the past years as a way for schools to meet the proportionality prong of Title IX.

To say that anyone who is against Title IX does not contribute to “an environment that respects women” is ridiculous. This would be the same as calling someone who is against affirmative action a racist.

Collegiate women’s athletics are thriving, but recently it has come at the expense of men’s teams, which was not the original intent of the law. Also, athletics, both collegiate and high school, is the only prominent arena in which Title IX has been applied.

Thank you, Daily opinion staff and guest columnist for your Monday morning instructions. If it were not for your wisdom and knowledge, I would have gone straight to the liquor store, bought a bottle of Jack Daniels and a case of Blatz and drank it all. I would have then proceeded to run down the street, molesting any girl within eyesight, punching any guy – but none of my football or wrestling buddies, naturally, because they would be running alongside of me – and indiscriminately throwing any 1-pound girls that we would happen to see. Actually, I’d be inclusive and hurl anyone who happened to be under 5 pounds for that matter, because I’ve heard – from the Johnny Holmes wrestlers – that is the optimum weight for long-distance micro-human throwing. After this experience I would realize that drinking, humping and punching people in the face are not how to go through life and I would repent. Fortunately you have saved me from this long, arduous and hangover-inducing process. Thanks again.

Pat McCarthy is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]