The New York Times had a feature article this week on the rise of women’s wrestling. The sport was added as an Olympic sport in 2004 and is flourishing on the high school level. Now, some smaller colleges and universities are adding programs, but the NCAA still won’t recognize the sport as “emerging.” Our friends over at Saving Sports point to some problems with the story, but the author, Katie Thomas, does deserve credit for pointing out that, in the case of women’s wrestling, Title IX has been a hindrance, rather than a help:
Counterintuitive as it may sound, one of the major impediments to the growth of women’s wrestling at larger universities, some argue, is Title IX. Colleges have struggled for decades to ensure that female athletic participation is proportional to women’s enrollment. But some critics say that the law hurts women’s wrestling because it tempts colleges to bypass sports with small rosters – wrestling typically fields about 20 to 30 women – in favor of sports like rowing, with teams of up to 60 members.