Monday, June 20, 2005

Title IX and Class Warfare

I have taken some flak in my personal life over my opposition to Title IX so I have decided to run some posts which examine the issues a little more seriously than I have done in the past. In this post I will examine a parallel between the Title IX supporters and class warfare. Very often taxes on the "rich" are sold to the public as not really taxes at all because you wont pay them and the "rich" can "afford" it. Similarly, the National Women's Law Center suggests that the way to be Title IX compliant is through modest cuts in football's "bloated" budget. In a press release (pdf) the NWLC says
The male athletes whose sports have been cut should turn their attention to the athletic directors who subsidize bloated football and men’s basketball budgets, and stop blaming female athletes, who account for a little more than one third of total athletic operating budgets. If men’s sports are being cut, it is because ... athletic dollars continues to be spent on ... football and men’s basketball and are not being spent to add new teams for women or to support existing men’s “minor” sport teams.
This argument is dishonest because it only considers athletic budgets. If a school is found in violation of Title IX, then fedral education dollars are withheld from the school, making this an issue not just about athletic budgets. In the same press release
Second, ... cost-cutting can be accomplished without hurting the competitiveness or revenue production of these programs.
• Universities could stop funding hotel rooms for football players on nights before home games, order new uniforms less frequently, reduce the distance traveled for non-conference competition by selecting opponents closer to home, among other possibilities too numerous to list.
• Athletic conferences also could ... limit travel squad size, and add sports for the underrepresented gender at the same time to ensure geographic proximity of opponents.
• The NCAA could .. impose across-the-board cost reductions, such as capping the ridiculously high dollars spent to recruit new athletes or reducing the 85 football scholarships to a more reasonable number.
None of these measures would hurt the competitiveness of these programs or restrict their ability to generate revenue.(my emphasis)
Everyone has a different opinion about how much the government should meddle in people's lives, but legislating how often football teams get new uniforms is IMO too much. Notice the debate is framed around getting something for nothing. The cuts in football aren't really cuts because they can "afford" it.

I don't want to make this post too long so I will save more arguments for the future, but one final point specifically about football. There is no female counterpart and this is really comparing apples to oranges. College football is an American cultural phenomena that draws more attendence than all professional women's sports in the enitre world put together. The budget discrepancy is the natural consequence. Furthermore, if college football has any relationship to the systematic discrimination against females, then the relationship is oblique at best. I don't want to sound like I'm just complaining, so here is one of my proposed changes to Title IX: exempt football.


Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

Roy, wanna go out to Triton and compare the men's and women's sports programs?

Title IX gets enforced at some schools, but it doesn't get enforced at some schools too.

How can you distinguish between program cut b/c of Title IX compliance and programs that would have been cut otherwise?

Don't you think it's more useful to come up with some sort of non-zero sum way of increasing budgets?

Blogger littleboxes said...

C'mon, does anyone really like football? Isn't that, like, so five years ago? Viva Lacrosse!

Blogger Roy said...

Title IX defenders are dishonest in the following way:

When women teams aren't getting support they make the issue black and white, i.e. it must be discrimination. However, when a men's team is cut it is due to the intricate nuances of budgeting and many factors play a roll blah blah blah.

Quotas are explicitly a zero sum game. In a perfect world I would get rid of them.

Blogger Carl Nyberg said...


Triton's non-compliance with Title IX is more clear-cut than why programs get axed.

But the clarity/ambiguity argument is one that can be turned around on the side making the argument.

You're a wrestler. Wrestling is vulnerable to getting screwed under Title IX, but most men's sports aren't. Women's hoops isn't threatening to men's hoops.

So wrestlers have trouble building alliances with other men's sports because Title IX isn't much of a threat to the others.

Do you want to come up with a solution that protects wrestling programs or do you want to be pissed-off at feminists, Title IX and women jocks?

Wrestlers and pissed-off guys aren't a big enough coalition to overturn Title IX. So why not look for a solution that protects wrestling without directly attacking Title IX?

Blogger Roy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Roy said...

The propsed solution is exempting football, which I mentioned in the post. There will be more propsed solutions in the near future. This one, I think, is the best. There is no natural counter-part that females can participate in (unlike wrestling, which actually has a female division).

Forgive my tone, I didn't mean to sound pissed. I was trying to point out the dishonesty of Title IX defenders, e.g. resentment of football masquerading as civil rights.


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