How Title IX Hurts U.S. Men’s Volleyball

Please read this Chicago Tribune article by Bill Shaikin, U.S. Volleyball: Shrinking College Pool Bodes Ill for Men’s Team. He interviewed Reid Priddy who was a senior playing on Loyola Maramount’s men’s volleyball team when it was cut. Here’s an excerpt:

“Every Pac-12 school offers women’s volleyball, but only three — USC, UCLA and Stanford — offer men’s volleyball. According to the NCAA website, 321 schools competed in Division I women’s volleyball last season, with 30 competing in Division I men’s volleyball.”

The consequences of Title IX regulations (the quota system) are not limited to volleyball, but affect all men’s collegiate athletic programs. Take men’s gymnastics. In 1969, there were over 230 collegiate programs in the United States. Today, just 17 men’s varsity programs remain and only two schools exist west of the Rockies — Stanford and UC Berkeley.

UCLA abandoned their men’s gymnastics team 10 years after it had produced half of the United States team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. They also cut their men’s swimming and diving teams in 1994 after producing 16 Olympic Gold Medalists, 41 individual national titles, and a team title in 1982.

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Title IX and Its Effect on the U.S. Olympic Team

I love watching the Olympic Games and I’m anxious for them to begin, but there are thousands of people like me who will feel a twinge of both sadness and bitterness when watching it. In the world of men’s athletics, there’s a compelling story beneath the surface. Kathy DeBoer, Executive Director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, said it best in this video:

During the Olympic Games, the athletes will be revered in the coverage as will the rise in athletic opportunities for women. Here’s an excerpt from a published article I wrote in 2007:

“In the 2000 Summer Olympics, the U.S. sent 338 men and 264 women to compete. In 2004, nearly equal numbers of men and women – an estimated 282 men and 263 women – represented the United States in 2004. Consider a Washington Post Olympic preview entitled “Female Athletes Continue to Gain Ground” written in April 2004. The article celebrated the equality in these numbers as evidence of progress for women, but the number of women competing was essentially unchanged. The so-called victory for women was the elimination of more than 50 male athletes from the U.S. roster.”

Our 2012 U.S. Olympic Team consists of 269 women and 261 men. In 12 years, the women’s roster added five female athletes (a 2% gain) compared to a loss of 77 men (a decrease of nearly 23%). In this NBC news story (July 11, 2012), USOC CEO Scott Blackmun credits this year’s gender ratio as being a “true testament to the impact of Title IX.”

Last year I was asked to write a brief op-ed for the Congressional Quarterly Researcher which summarizes the issue and provides insight into the problem. USA Wrestling posted it on their website.

I’ll be watching the Summer Games in awe and cheering the athletes along, but until all of America stands up and takes note of what’s taking place in collegiate (and now high school) athletics, one day Americans will be wondering why there are so few men representing our U.S. Olympic Team. What Does Title IX Mean to You?

Take ‘The Journey’ with Mizuno® Volleyball

We want to support volleyball, which has been sorely affected by Title IX regulations (the quota system), and encourage you to participate in “The Journey” by Mizuno. Mizuno USA contacted us and is asking young volleyball players across the country to showcase their personal journeys in the sport. Here’s how…

HOW TO: As we approach the London Olympic Summer Games, Mizuno would like you to elaborate on how competitive volleyball has affected your life and made you a better, stronger individual. Submit video diaries, photographs and essays.

JUDGING:  Video submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges, and winners will be selected on a monthly basis to win prizes.

PRIZES: Prizes include Mizuno volleyball footwear, apparel and accessories. The grand prize winner – and the winner’s team – of ‘The Journey’ will receive a volleyball clinic given in their hometown, conducted by a USA Volleyball team member. For details, go to: http://mizunovolleynews.com

Mizuno Volleyball

Happy Mother’s Day from MOMSS!

Happy Mother’s Day from MOMSS — Moms On a Mission to Save Sports! On this day as we reflect on and are hailed for our roles as mothers, we dream about what the future holds for our children. We want them to have the opportunity to participate in high school and collegiate athletics and have the same chance to grow, endeavor and prosper as our daughters. But because they’re our sons, they may not.

In 2003, the Pacific Coast Classic men’s gymnastics competition set out on a journey to draw attention to the plight of men’s collegiate gymnastics… and then men’s collegiate athletics as a whole. Title IX was at the core of this mission.

This federal law was enacted to prohibit gender discrimination in sports, but due to the regulations (a quota system) set forth by the Office of Civil Rights, Title IX is being used to cultivate athleticism in women and has strayed from its original intent at the expense of our sons. There is now a wave of activism to enforce quota systems at the high school level.

Please join other MOMSS in support of America’s children here. Happy Mother’s Day!

All the best,
Karen Owoc

Has Title IX Led to Unfair Treatment of Men’s Sports? Yes!

Karen Owoc spoke out on Title IX. The column appeared in the March 2011 issue of the Congressional Quarterly Researcher. USA Wrestling posted a copy of Karen’s commentary here.

Department of Education Rolls Back Use of Model Surveys

The news is official, the Department of Education is going to reverse the 2005 guidance.

In March 2005, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U. S. Department of Education issued the Additional Clarification of the Intercollegiate Athletics Policy. The “Clarification” allows colleges to use student interest web-based surveys that follow specific technical guidelines outlined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to assess students’ athletic interests as a means to demonstrate Title IX compliance with Prong 3 (meeting athletic interests and abilities).  According to the OCR, there is no fairer way to measure interest than to ask directly. To provide technical assistance in implementing a viable interest evaluation that is acceptable, the NCES prepared the “Model Survey” and User’s Guide to Developing Student Interest Surveys.

Schools using the surveys incorporate them into college registration forms.  The surveys are not “spam emails” sent out to female students as have been characterized.

For more details, go to the College Sports Council blog.

MOMSS Elite Members Get Discounts at Pacific Coast Classic

Pacific Coast Classic

Pacific Coast Classic promotes MOMSS

MOMSS Elite Members can save up to 33% on select admission passes to the 2010 Pacific Coast Classic, USA’s premier men’s gymnastics competition at the Oakland Convention Center in Oakland, CA (February 19-21). This  event is in its seventh year and was created to draw awareness to the plight of men’s collegiate gymnastics and is a national platform for supporting collegiate athletic programs in the United States.

In order to continue to encourage and promote college sports and the Fairness in Sports Foundation objectives, USA Sports Management, the host of the Pacific Coast Classic, is offering a special sale for MOMSS with current Elite Memberships.  This sale is for a limited time only and ends January 18, 2010.  Annual MOMSS Elite Memberships start at $10 and are tax-deductible. Click here to join the MOMSS alliance.  (Photo by Heather Maynez)