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Title IX Shows NCAA Needs Simpler Rules
jrh286@cornell.edu
| April 28, 2011
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The Cornell Athletics Department made news earlier this week as part of a New York Times article on Title IX. In order to comply with the measure, which mandates that the proportion of female athletes at colleges and universities be in proportion to the number of female students at the school, many schools are looking to loopholes and complicated procedures. Cornell, it was reported, has 15 male fencers that are considered part of the female fencing team. Cornell also counts female coxswains on the men's lightweight crew team as female athletes. The Cornell Athletics Department made news earlier this week as part of a New York Times article on Title IX. In order to comply with the measure, which mandates that the proportion of female athletes at colleges and universities be in proportion to the number of female students at the school, many schools are looking to loopholes and complicated procedures. Cornell, it was reported, has 15 male fencers that are considered part of the female fencing team. Cornell also counts female coxswains on the men’s lightweight crew team as female athletes. Title IX was a noble initiative, but it is running up against the same problem we are constantly reminded of when we hear about NCAA violations regarding a big-time football or basketball program. Schools have an educational mission that athletics have to be in line with, but athletics can make so much money that schools rely upon. One reason it’s gotten harder to comply with Title IX is that the number of players on college football teams has expanded from 95 players 30 years ago to 111 today. Football teams have expanded because they bring in boatloads of money, often singlehandedly supporting every other athletic team at a school. Football can bring in money that goes to education and other worthy causes, but it sometimes requires unsavory practices in order to make this money. Nobody has a good way to solve this problem. It’s hard to weigh the immorality of certain practices against the amount of good they can enable. One thing we can agree on, though, is that the rules ought to be simpler. Doing so would avoid unnecessary complications and loopholes detriment to the spirit of the law, whether it be in regards to football recruiting or Title IX.
Originally Aired: Thursday, April 28, 2011. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
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