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Title 9: Necessity or a Waste?

December 6, 2010

Whenever most people think of college sports, they often associate most sports with a single gender, with a few exceptions of course.  Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Baseball and Basketball are often considered male dominated sports, although women’s basketball also has a very large following.  Gymnastics, Volleyball, Softball, and Field Hockey are considered female dominated.  If you look at Title 9 and how it’s being implemented in many colleges around the country, the results and feelings cover the entire spectrum.  Many times when a college team, take the U of M Lacrosse team for example, wants to move from the club level to the Division 1 level with the other sports of the university, a problem arises.  The only way they can do this is if both the male and female teams make the switch together, even if one of the teams would be grossly outmatched by moving to the higher level of competition.  The Men’s Lacrosse team has won ten straight CCLA (Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association) Championships, three straight MCLA (Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association) National Championships, and went 18-1 last year.  The Women’s Lacrosse team has won four WCLL (Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League) Championships in the past eight years, but only one of them was in the past five years.   They also had a record of 10-9 last season.  If the Men’s Team moves up to Division I, as expected, the Women’s team may be overmatched and the quality of the program could suffer.

On top of causing some of the women’s programs to suffer by making both teams play at a higher level. Title 9 also doesn’t account for the difference in money distribution between male and female athletes.  Due to the higher demand for male collegiate level athletes, there are more males, on average, per teams than there are women on similar teams.  This causes many college coaches to split up scholarship money so that more students, who have earned their sport on the team, can be financially supported.  On average, women collegiate athletes receive much more than their male counterparts.  Also, since most of the women’s sports that receive scholarships don’t make nearly enough money to cover their cost to the school, the other programs and the university are forced to carry the weight of those prices by increase ticket prices and tuition.  Yes, Title 9 does provide the ability for more women to receive financial aid for athletics.  But, to say that the need for just a many scholarships for both sexes at a university outweighs the economical and political repercussions is just not true.

 

8 Comments
  1. jacobjam permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:53 AM

    It was interesting reading your post because I am actually on the Women’s Club Lacrosse team. After finding out that we would be moving to the Division 1 level with the men’s club team, I was a little shocked I must admit, but I must disagree with your comment on “suffering.” I don’t believe that moving to Division 1 means that we will be suffering, only that we will facing tougher competition. As a side note, the women’s team will not be moving to the division when the men do, the women’s team will most likely be going division one a couple of years after the men’s team due to fundraising and such. I believe this leaves more time for rebuilding. You have brought up an interesting point about economical and political repercussions, and I plan to look more in depth on these topics.

  2. Sam Russ permalink
    December 6, 2010 12:17 PM

    I am on the women’s rugby football club and while we are Division I, we are not Varsity. The men’s team is not Division because they can’t compete at that level, I’m not entirely sure on the details but I think they got bumped up when we did a couple of years ago but performed poorly and got knocked back down. I am not sure how we would ever get switched from club to Varsity (for example, Grand Valley is Varsity and we consistently beat them in competition) without a vast improvement on the men’s team, despite the fact that the women won the DI midwest championship, and are going to nationals. At any rate, the system has obvious flaws; I agree with many of the points you make about Title 9, and I think it deserves to be reevaluated. The politics involved with college sports is almost mindbogglingly intertwined.

  3. justinrostker permalink
    December 6, 2010 7:04 PM

    Title 9 while it does have its flaws is necessary. I feel without it many teams would be ignored and treated unfairly. Title 9 causes teams and universities to think of how to treat both male and female teams fairly and not just focus on one. It causes colleges to look at the sport as a whole, not just one team. Also, Title 9 talks about equality in many other areas not just sports.

  4. Zac Hiller permalink
    December 6, 2010 8:23 PM

    Interesting post however you may be off on a little. First, I disagree with the suffering of the team part. Instead, individuals may suffer. By moving the team up the individual players that cannot compete at that level will be removed from the team. And in turn, the team will start recruiting outside of the student body. Also just because the Mens Lax team may move up does not necessarily mean the Women’s lax team will too. Title IX does not account for every sport being equal on the competition level but the overall athletic program having equal number of representation from each sex. By the mens lax team moving up the women’s club quidditch team could instead of the women’s lax team in order to offset title IX. Besides that, I like your interest in sports.

  5. lrib12 permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:13 PM

    I feel Title 9 is quite necessary. Yes, the argument can be made that the women’s team or men’s team of a certain sport is not up to par with the other or the competition around them, but you will find this at any university. The goal of title 9 is to achieve equality in the sexes and it serves the purpose no matter how successful either team is

  6. Jeff Safenowitz permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:54 PM

    This is a very interesting post. Title IX is a great education amendment that provides equal opportunity to men and women within collegiate athletics. While you make a good point, I disagree with your statement that the program will “suffer” by making it play at a higher level. From a university standpoint, varsity level teams create a good amount of revenue whereas club teams do not. In addition, a varsity level team has the ability to bring in better recruits thus improving the program in the long run.

  7. blanchc permalink
    December 7, 2010 12:00 AM

    I believe that Title IX is necessary. Obviously, there were problems with equality, or else they wouldn’t have needed to pass legislation. Also, while people primarily talk about it in terms of sports, it also demands equality from an educational point of view.

  8. blanchc permalink
    December 7, 2010 1:08 AM

    In response to the whole women’s and men’s lacrosse issue, I don’t think that the university is making women’s lacrosse a varsity sport simply because of Title IX, but also because it’s the right thing to do. If you move one up, why not move the other up? It’s not like women’s lacrosse is bad. Sure, their last season wasn’t great, but 4 championships in the past 8 years isn’t something to scoff at. To say they will be outmatched and the quality of the program will suffer is an exaggeration. Actually, it will help the women’s program because they will be able to actively recruit better women’s lacrosse players from across the country once they are a varsity sport.

    When it comes to the point made about scholarships, I’d just like to point out that at the University of Michigan the athletic department is separately funded than the general university fund. So, tuition is definitely not increased due to anything athletic related.

    Also, your point about male athletic teams having more participants than female athletic teams of a similar nature due to a “higher demand” isn’t necessarily true. For example, at the U of M, yes, there are 15 guys on the basketball team compared to 12 on the female team, but in cross country there are 28 female athletes compared to 20 male athletes.

    In addition, you bring up a point about scholarship distribution, but you don’t have to worry about the way the scholarships are split up at universities because there is a different NCAA limit for each sport. For example, football is alloted 85 full ride scholarships compared to softball’s 12. It’s fairly proportional to the number of players in each sport. So, all in all, I don’t understand the negative political and economic repercussions you are seeing from the Title IX legislation.

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