RE: Title IX softball case

Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 10:49:08 EDT


You wrote: "I'd certainly be very glad if this step were taken to clarify
the law." In hundreds of school districts and dozens of universities I
have studied, I have very few examples of serious attempts to meet the
compliance demands of the term "equality." I suspect your clarification
would do more damage than you anticipate.

Some of the quick fixes attempt to present an appearance of moving toward
compliance by padding the numbers of males allegedly involved in sports so
the imposition of a limit will look like movement. The fact in many of
these cases is that the university has never had the numbers of males in
the program they propose as an outside limit. The result is more history
and continued practice of discrimination.

In other environments a failing program for male participants is cut and
compliance gets the blame. By "failing" I refer to programs where either
few participants are being produced by the supply system, as in where high
schools are dropping the program, or programs which fail to attract any
crowds at all. In one case in Arizona, a baseball program that was
established in defiance of Title IX's demand for equal participation and
which really placed the University even further from compliance was dropped
and Title IX was blamed.

In some programs an attempt to create an appearance of effort at compliance
even leads to "the magical disappearing team." In this sleight-of-hand the
institution simply "forgets" to list the members of a team for
over-represented participants. A men's golf team that is in the yearbook
isn't listed on the monitoring report. Another shell game at the
university level funds a sport where there is no supply system in any high
school. In this sham the sport, say rowing, is created at the university
level even though no school district funds any program and no state high
school association sanctions such an event. The university then attacks the
lack of interest on the part of the women athletes because they have a
program that isn't filled with participants. I am sure this list could go
on but what I have found is probably even more telling. I have found but
scant few situations where women are the over-represented gender/class.

What I am looking for is the women to be overrepresented and then the men
to be overrepresented in a cyclical pattern as efforts by recruiters truly
represent effort at compliance. Until then I doubt I will even have time
for work to bring locker rooms up to compliance or fields and competitive
venues to equality, etc.

Somewhere between "gut" and "clarify" I am sure we will find the balance.
I, however, do agree with Evans when he says, "I recommend against an
institution's reliance on downsizing unless it achieves through such
downsizing proportionality meeting the requirements of the first prong of
the Policy Interpretation." I think that means, "If you are going to cut,
cut deep." I would prefer to see honest effort at achieving equality by
improving participation for women at all levels.

Herb Dempsey

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