Liz asked an interesting question and Gae just expanded it.
I want to spin it again.
When I studied equity in intercollegiate athletics in both
the arid wheat country in one state and the freezing and
ice-laden Spring-Winter-Fall season in another I
encountered a bizarre phenomenon: Rowing Teams for women.
Then I looked at the interest patterns in interscholastic
athletics in these areas where the "interests and
abilities" of the female athletes would have been
cultivated. In both areas (arid and freezing), every
little high school at any wide spot in the highway supports
a softball team. In neither of the relevant
intercollegiate environments did I find softball teams.
Conclusion: somebody (I suspect Athletic Directors)
established sports for women that would not and could not
be successful because the athletes who would join the team
are always either the rankest of beginning oarsfolks or
imported rowers. Anyone trying to blame Title IX may be
well served to wonder what Title IX says and ask how
interest and ability is evaluated. I might suggest "the
interest and ability" belongs to those who would guarantee
the failure of Title IX and, since OCR has no standard for
measuring (unmet) interests and abilities and no way of
demanding colleges use any real measure (formal interest
survey) of background, the environment is still purely
political. Title IX rather than risk management will be
blamed for colleges who want to escape both dwindling fan
support and the broken necks and rising insurance costs of
Now, as Sharon just said, "Blaze away."
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