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.
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?
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 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.
We received a comment from Lisa Lewis of Barnard College who writes for the Columbia Spectator. Here’s a link to her article, “Memo to the NCAA: Title IX is Obsolete.” To this senior in economics, quotas don’t make sense and clearly don’t have a place in intercollegiate athletics. Take a minute to read her insightful post. Thanks Lisa!
2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Joins Board
The Fairness in Sports Foundation is pleased to announce that Brian Goodell, 1976 two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (USA Swimming) and UCLA Hall of Fame member, has joined its Board of Trustees. Brian joins other Olympic champions on the Board who have joined together in an impassioned effort to save men’s collegiate athletics. They include: Peter Vidmar (2x Gold & Silver: 1984 Gymnastics), Tim Daggett (Gold & Bronze: 1984 Gymnastics), Karch Kiraly (Gold: 1984 Indoor Volleyball; Gold: 1988 Indoor Volleyball; Gold: 1996 Beach Volleyball), and Wayne Collett (Silver: 1972 Track and Field). “I think what the organization has done so far is outstanding and I hope I can help expand its reach and influence to accomplish the Foundation’s goals,” said Goodell.
As a member of the UCLA men’s swim team, Goodell has been trying to bring men’s swimming back to UCLA since it was dropped in 1994 – the same year the university eliminated its men’s and women’s gymnastics programs. The school restored women’s gymnastics a few months later; however, it would not reinstate the men’s programs despite the number of Olympic and NCAA champions they produced. The Foundation is very fortunate to have such a devoted group of advocates to lead the coalition of coaches, parents, and former athletes in restoring fairness to Title IX.
To restore the original intent of Title IX, it’s important that we examine its history to truly understand why the author of this bill rallied so hard to enact it. Unfortunately, the intent behind this law has since been distorted due to precedent-setting judicial interpretations and decisions of the federal courts.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is now officially known as the Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in honor of its principal author. This federal law was renamed by President George W. Bush on October 29, 2002. Continue reading