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New Programs, New Look at Title IX: Cosmic Convergence… or Collision Course

June 29th, 2009 by Tom

by Jim Brown

I had too much time on my hands last week and spent way too much time surfing the 'net for wrestling-related stories and posts. It just got "curiouser and curiouser" as Alice said.

First, from the Iowa Preps wrestling message board: This post was titled, "Wrestling Scholarship Available in Macon, GA."

"Dear Wrestler,

My name is Kevin Andres, and I coach the wrestling program at Mercer University. I would like to introduce you to our program and let you know about an exciting opportunity for you to continue your wrestling careers in college. Mercer's team just finished 9th in the Nation @ the National Dual Championships and tied for 23rd at the traditional National Championship Tournament.

My program is part of the National Collegiate Wrestling Association, which includes over 130 colleges of all sizes. The NCWA is entering its twelfth season and has grown in size and competition every year.

I would be happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to call (478-301-2404) or email ([email protected]).

Thank you,

PS: Mercer University offers many academic scholarships and is also offering wrestling scholarships in various amounts to select wrestlers who qualify. To be accepted you need a minimum 3.0 GPA, 550m/550r on the SAT/ 25 ACT

http://www.gomercer.com
http://www.mercerwrestling.com/rec

HIGH NEED FOR 125lbs, 285lbs wrestlers

Kevin Andres Wrestling Coach Mercer University, Macon, GA 31207478-301-2404"

Then I read a press release that the NAIA-affiliated Mid-South Conference is adding wrestling as a conference sport. Five of the conference's 17 members already compete in wrestling and this will certainly add incentive for the other 12 to consider adding a team.

After reading the release I searched for more information on the Mid-South Conference and came across this discussion on the Georgia National Wrestling Alliance wrestling forum about which college in Georgia to target next for the addition of another wrestling program. As you read the discussion you'll see that Coach Andres from the "Wrestling Scholarship"¦" post is a participant in the discussion. It appears that there is a very active group of supporters who are working hard for the growth of intercollegiate wrestling in Georgia.

This is all good news. Participation in high school wrestling is still growing. While the trend among NCAA member institutions to eliminate wrestling programs is continuing, NAIA and NCWA schools are stepping in to give young student-athletes the opportunity to wrestle as a part of their college educations. The NAIA member, Grand View University added wrestling this past season and Baker University will begin varsity competition in 2009/2010.

I couldn't let go of the string "I had to keep searching. It was all so positive. I then found this blog from NAIA expert, Jason Dannelly. More good news.

Continue Reading at The view from section GG

NCAA Asks Schools Not to Blame Title IX

December 29th, 2008 by Tom

As a number of athletic departments prepare to cut some men's teams to trim budgets, NCAA president Myles Brand has put out a call for schools to leave Title IX out of it. He has pre-emptively asked schools with shrinking athletic programs to blame the economic downturn for their problems"and not the federal law that bans sex discrimination at schools and requires institutions to maintain a commitment to women's sports, USA Today reports.

"My expectation is that over the next year or two we are going to see more "cuts of men's teams, Brand said this week in a telephone interview, "and so I am trying, frankly, to pre-empt the argument against Title IX, an unfair argument, I believe, and dissuade universities from going public with this approach."

Brand mentioned James Madison and Rutgers , schools that cut teams in 2006-07, and Delaware , where cuts have been discussed, as examples.

"I think they need to be honest about it. Any cuts at this point in sports are certainly going to be tied to financial pressures, "said Brand, who urged schools not to drop any teams, men's or women's.

"I would suggest that athletics directors need to spend more smartly, "he said, suggesting cutting costs in travel, facilities, and "expenditures in the highly visible sports."

Wall Street Journal cites Title IX as impediment to US Olympic Future

September 8th, 2008 by Tom

Cutbacks in College Sports
Risk U.S. Olympic Future
By CHRISTOPHER RHOADS

BEIJING -- The U.S. won more medals here than it has in any nonboycotted Olympics, but even with that haul, its days of dominance may be numbered.

That is in part because U.S. colleges, the primary breeding ground for the country's Olympians, have eliminated hundreds of teams in Olympic sports in recent years.

"We used to have a lot of kids going for the Olympic dream, "says Scott Barclay, coach of the men's gymnastics team at Arizona State University. "Without the carrot of a college scholarship, a lot of kids give up, or their parents won't support them as much, "he says. Mr. Barclay took out a personal loan several years ago to build a private gym as a way to keep his team alive as a club sport after ASU cut the varsity program.

Rutgers University in New Jersey last year eliminated six teams in Olympic sports, including fencing and rowing, programs that over the years generated more than a score of Olympians. In 2006, James Madison University in Virginia eliminated 10 teams at once in a handful of Olympic sports, including swimming, gymnastics and wrestling.

The retreat stems from everything from the dominance of college football, according to some, to the implementation of a 1972 gender-equity law known as Title IX, according to others. All agree that budgets are tighter.

Some of the decline has been offset by the increase in women participating in Olympic sports, and winning medals, in recent decades. The genders split the U.S. medals won here, each with 53. Four were in mixed sports.

The U.S. Olympic Committee "is going to have to be smarter and better funded "to help subsidize prospective Olympians directly, says its chairman, Peter Ueberroth.

China leapfrogged the U.S. in gold medals, winning the most of any country here with 51, compared with the U.S.'s 36. The U.K., host of the 2012 Summer Games, poured resources into its Olympic program and jumped to fourth in gold medals this year, with 19. More countries are also getting onto the podium, with a record 86 countries having won medals in Beijing.

In the overall medal count, the U.S. finished ahead of China, 110 to 100. Russia was third with 72, the U.K. fourth with 47.

While the budgets of sports-governing bodies in the U.S. have increased in recent years because of more sponsorship money, opportunities to pursue sports that are less visible in non-Olympic years are declining.

Losing college-scholarship programs in these sports narrows the pool of athletes. To help fill the void, private clubs have emerged.

But while Chinese athletes rely on state sports schools, Mr. Barclay's gymnasts who train at his gym about 10 miles from ASU depend on their own fund-raising. "We were never going to let money stand in the way of doing the right thing, "says Mr. Barclay, 51 years old.

Even so, he acknowledges that promising gymnasts in many cases opt for higher-visibility sports with scholarships, such as baseball and basketball.

In May, on the day Mr. Barclay and team supporters mailed a proposal to the ASU athletic director on reinstating the team, the university eliminated men's swimming, wrestling and tennis. Those teams were in or near the top 20 in the nation for years, producing a host of Olympians.

"It comes down to what the market wants, "said Linda Love, the ASU athletic director, in her office, fronted by large windows overlooking ASU's football stadium, which seats 75,000.

The department cut the three teams because of unexpected increases in the past year in the costs of travel, including airfare, gasoline and hotels, she says.

The department chose those three Olympic sports because, unlike the football program, they don't generate much revenue. The department's $41 million budget depends on ticket sales, team souvenirs, event parking and other game-related revenue, about half of which comes from football.

The university saved $1 million a year by cutting the three sports.

But not only ASU football was off the table from the budget ax. All women's sports were as well, says Ms. Love, the ASU athletic director.

The reason is Title IX, a law that came to be used to make athletic opportunities at schools and colleges more equal between the sexes.

Title IX's success over the years in increasing female participation in sports is undeniable. The number of girls playing high-school sports has grown by nearly ninefold since the 1970s. The problem, according to critics, is how the law has been implemented in more recent years. Colleges now have to meet largely one criterion or be clearly heading toward it: The ratio of female-to-male athletes should reflect the ratio of female-to-male undergraduates.

But female student enrollment on average at Division I NCAA institutions now exceeds male enrollment, while female athletes at these institutions on average are still a smaller percentage of the total than male athletes. That means colleges still have a ways to go under the law.

And that inevitably makes men's teams more vulnerable when budgets tighten.

The Women's Sports Foundation, a lobbying group, rejects the notion. "The number, competitive level and quality of sports programs are individual institutional decisions, just as are academic programs, "the foundation said in a statement.

The ASU men's swimming and wrestling teams were reinstated later in May, after wealthy donors emerged. Mr. Barclay doesn't count on any similar rescue for the men's gymnastics team.

Title IX Tied Our Hands At the Olympics

September 7th, 2008 by Tom

Title IX Tied Our Hands At the Olympics
Phyllis Schlafly

The Olympics demonstrated again what competition, hard work and determination can produce, as numerous world records were shattered. American swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Nastia Liukin gave us much to cheer.

But U.S. athletes won in spite of Title IX regulations, which impose gender quotas on sports for institutions that receive any federal money. Title IX has crippled our national competitiveness.

Title IX regulations have forced educational institutions to eliminate men's teams until the number of men and women on sports teams is the same ratio as the number of men and women enrolled in academic classes. In the numerous colleges that are now 60 percent female in academic enrollment, Title IX requires that men's teams be eliminated until only 40 percent of the athletes are men.

Title IX quotas have caused the elimination of all but 19 men's college gymnastics teams. This deprives boys of the scholarship incentive to take up gymnastics as a sport in high school and takes away the competition needed to improve their skills in college.

The effect of this injustice hit us hard in Beijing. The Chinese (who are not restricted by feminist nonsense) destroyed our men's gymnastics team and won seven out of eight gold medals, while our men's gymnastics team failed to win a single gold medal in eight events.

Then there is men's freestyle wrestling, a sport that the United States had repeatedly dominated at the Olympics. Over the years, we had won a very high percentage of medals in wrestling.

But Title IX's gender quotas have forced the elimination of 467 wrestling teams from our colleges. This has nothing to do with lack of funding, since wrestling is one of the most inexpensive of sports, it's due to feminist ideology that demands eliminating macho sports in order to meet the foolish Title IX quotas.

The devastating outcome in the 2008 Olympics was predictable. America won only one medal, which was in men's freestyle wrestling's lightest-weight class, and that was won by the son of illegal aliens who did not wrestle in college.

The Americans who won in Beijing typically did so in spite of Title IX. Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals (about one-fourth of all U.S. gold medals), trained privately and didn't compete on a college team.

Many men's swimming teams have been eliminated due to Title IX quotas, and future American winners will likely avoid college. Why bother attending college if you can't play the sport you love?

Historically, the United States dominated diving competitions just like swimming, but because diving has a small team size, many of these programs have been eliminated in favor of large-squad-size sports such as rowing. American men and women divers were repeatedly eliminated from contention for medals.

Title IX's gender quotas end up hurting women as much as men because they distort the availability of women's teams in college. Small-squad sports like women's gymnastics and fencing have been eliminated in favor of large-squad sports that lack the same intense dedication and interest.

Nastia Liukin, our star gymnast who won five medals, was born in Russia and trained at her family's private gymnastics club. She attended Southern Methodist University in 2007, and SMU is bragging on its Website about her Olympic achievements.

But SMU dropped its small women's gymnastics team and instead has a large women's rowing team, and so had nothing to offer Liukin. SMU is 55 percent women and has publicly announced that it wants to be 55 percent in women's athletes.

A glance through other U.S. medal winners reveals a high percentage of athletes who did not benefit from any school athletic program. Several Americans, for example, won medals in shooting even though virtually all schools have banned rifle or shooting teams to appease the liberals.

Kristin Armstrong won a gold medal for America in cycling, but she went to high school in Japan, where her military family was living. Now 35 years old, she is another self-made female athlete who apparently did not benefit from Title IX.

The cost of quotas is more than our defeat by the Chinese at the Olympics and a loss in U.S. competitiveness. Prior to Title IX quotas, both our male and female athletes went on to become community leaders and model citizens who inspired and motivated the next generation.

It wasn't helpful when our last female Olympic swimming star, Amanda Beard, posed nude for Playboy and then bombed this time. Today's aspiring athletes lack the great role models of the past, and Title IX is not working.

The George W. Bush administration kept in force the ridiculous quotas originated by the radical feminists in the Jimmy Carter administration. We wonder whether the next administration will learn the lesson of the 2008 Olympics or remain intimidated by the anti-male feminists.