May 15 2009
An educational expert at the Independent Women's Forum says an unprecedented amount of athletic cuts have taken place around the country due to Title IX.
Over the last three decades, college sports have grown steadily thanks to Title IX, instituted in 1972 to provide equal opportunity in men's and women's sports. But in recent years, American colleges both large and small have been slashing programs from their sports budgets -- Stanford (men's and women's fencing), University of Massachusetts (men's and women's skiing), MIT (wrestling, men's and women's gymnastics), and University of Cincinnati (men's track, cross-country, and swimming), to name a few.
The objective behind those decisions? Reducing or eliminating huge budget deficits in the overall athletic program. According to Alison Kasic with the Independent Women's Forum, some of the cuts are due to the current economic situation. But she adds that more men's teams are being cut than women's.
Allison Kasic IWF"And that's not some sort of, you know, bizarre coincidence that's directly due to the structure that Title IX has set up for schools," she contends. "It's basically created the incentive for them to cut men's teams."
Title IX essentially requires equal access to sports and creates a quota system for sports teams based on the percentage of female and male students on campus. And by cutting men's teams, Kasic says schools get a two-for-one punch.
"Number one, they get cost savings; and number two, they get one step closer to the magical proportionality threshold that Title IX requires in schools," says Kasic. "[T]hey get gender-equity compliance from the government standpoint and cost savings from their standpoint. And it's male athletes who are basically sacrificed as a result -- and they get all the negative results."
Kasic contends there is a general lack of knowledge concerning Title IX and that although some good has come from the law, the harmful aspects need to be discussed as well.