April 14 2009
Cuts at Kutztown
The latest victims of gender equity appear to be men's soccer and swimming at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. The school announced at the end of March that it would be cutting both sports effective at the end of this season. Like many other schools who have announced cuts recently, Kutztown claimed that the cuts were merely a cost-cutting measure that would save the university up to $150,000 annually. Funny then that the coaches weren't notified of the cuts until the day they were announced -- giving them no chance to attempt to raise funds to save the programs. If it all came down to cost, attempting private fundraising would be a reasonable place to start. And, as our friends over at Texas Swimming point out, the school hasn't been very forthcoming with information on the cost savings.
More likely, other factors were at play. Readers of this blog will know that Title IX is chief among those factors. The "gender equity" law guides school's program decisions through its rigid proportionality requirements (aka gender quotas). For background on Title IX's demands, read this as a starting point. And, low and behold, after students, parents, and coaches started asking questions about Title IX, the school admitted that many factors, including Title IX were taken into consideration.
Fortunately, the athletic community at Kutztown is rallying behind the cut teams. Led by members of the women's swim team, a rally is in the works to protest the cuts on April 21st. If you're in the Kutztown area and want to show your support for these athletes, the rally is scheduled at 5pm outside of Keystone Hall.