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Friday, December 15, 2006

Clarion University Drops Track

...and, of course, blames Title IX. (Clarion is a D-II school in the Penn State system.)

The issue is usually complex when teams are cut, but in general it comes down to the fact that football gobbles up gobs of money and other sports die to feed it. Title IX is only involved in that women's sports, already generally ignored and underfunded, don't get the axe.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports columnist Sherry Anderson muddies the issues when she takes the AD's word at face value. At the very least, she reveals her near ignorance of both small-college sports and Title IX.

She lists the recent expansion of women's sports at Clarion, yet parrot's the AD's talking point that the school could fail to show "a history and continuing practice of expanding women's opportunities". Obviously, it can, and so any proportionality issues are a moot point. (Clarion's new release incorrectly states proportionality is a requirement; the law is well enough known that this can only be a deliberately false statement.)

Anderson also suggests that football be taken out of the Title IX equation. First of all, four separate attempts to do just that have been rejected by Congress. Secondly, she states that "Clarion operates below [the] NCAA [limit] of 90 players", but doesn't give us any perspective on the issue. Some digging shows that Clarion's football team actually did have 90 players last year, while the other five men's sports now remaining had 62 athletes between them.

But the icing on the cake is this: "Add a caveat, such as requiring that a school show that its football program is in the black and some of that revenue is used for women's programs." There are somewhere in the range of 60 or so schools in all of college football that actually make money, and none of them are cutting any sports. (Hint: if a profitable team isn't in the Pac-10, Big XII, Big Ten, ACC or SEC, it better be named Notre Dame.) If Clarion's football team were able to make a profit, they wouldn't have cut a thing.

Here's the point to Title IX, which people don't understand. Agencies which recieve federal monies are required to treat men and women equally for the simple reason that they are taxed at the same rate.

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