Is Title IX Hurting Mens Sports

Two for one day here at BigBlueRules. People have posted good looking girls, good looking mules and even Burt Reynolds in the forums but this is fairly new for us. We are putting up pictures of good looking girls on the front page to try and keep up with sex appeal of other blogs and we are giving you something to think about at the same time. This is a family site outside of a semi nude Burt Reynolds in the forums and I hope your following where I’m leading you.

Although Title IX was originally intended to help with education its become very important to something it wasn’t intended for womens sports. Here is some information to ponder while considering if Title IX is hurting mens sports or benefiting the country in general.

According to the latest data available from the NCAA there are 492 more women’s programs than men’s in Division I. There are scholarships available for women (32,656) and (20,206) for men.

The findings of a first-of-a-kind study of NCAA participation and scholarship data conducted by the College Sports Council (CSC) shows that in NCAA Division I “gender symmetric sports” (teams where both male and female athletes participate), female students are accorded far more opportunities than male students to compete and earn scholarships. As a result, the CSC is calling on the NCAA to equalize scholarship limits.

Findings of the study, the first of its kind to compare scholarship opportunities for men and women in NCAA Division I using the organization’s own data, include.

At the NCAA Division I level, there are far more women’s teams (2,653) than men’s teams (2,097). The study found the greatest gender disparities in favor of women in the sports of Volleyball (313 to 21) and Soccer (300 to 195).

Overall in “gender symmetric” sports, there are far more scholarships available for women (32,656) than for men (20,206). But those numbers don’t consider football in their data and instead compare sports that are available to both men and women.

Leaving football out provides a slanted view of scholarship opportunities. Football takes 85 men’s scholarships for each FBS team and 63 scholarships for each FCS team. That’s 10,200 scholarships available for 120 FBS schools and 7,749 scholarships available for 123 FCS schools (including five schools that were provisional in 2008).

Even in one of the only sports where there are more men’s teams, golf (285 to 228), there are still more athletic scholarships available for women (1,368 to 1,282.5).

In every “gender symmetric” sport with the exception of gymnastics, men face longer odds against getting a scholarship than women. By far, the most difficult athletic scholarship to obtain at the Division I level is in men’s volleyball, where there are 489 high school athletes for every full NCAA scholarship. Similar long odds exist for men competing in Track and Field/Cross-Country (221 to 1), Soccer and Water Polo (196 to 1) and Tennis (136 to 1).

Over the past twenty years, men have lost about a team each year while women have gained 3 each year. That pace has accelerated in recent years with men losing about a team and a half each year while women gain six annually.

Before Title IX. Things were different. The primary physical activities for girls were cheerleading and square-dancing. Only 1 in 27 girls played high school sports. There were virtually no college scholarships for female athletes. And female college athletes received only two percent of overall athletic budgets.

Since Title IX. There’s been real growth in the number of women who participate in sports, receive scholarships, and benefit from increased budgets. There are more opportunities to compete at elite levels through competitions like the Olympics, World Championships and professional leagues. Even more importantly, we know that playing sports makes women healthier. They’re less likely to smoke, drink, use drugs and experience unwanted pregnancies. Studies also link sports participation to reduced incidences of breast cancer and osteoporosis later in life. These health benefits for women and society alone should be reason to keep Title IX strong.

Why Title IX is still critical. The general perception is that girls now have equal opportunities in all areas of athletics. But that’s just not true.

In 2006 -2007 there were 3 million girls participating in high school athletics. They made up 41% of high school athletes, even though they represent more than 49% of the high school student population.

In 2005-2006 there were 171,000 women participating in college athletics. Women represent only 42% of college athletes, even thogh they represent over 50% of the college student population nationwide.

Each year male athletes receive over $136 million more than female athletes in college athletic scholarships at NCAA member institutions.

Women in Division I colleges are over 50% of the student body, but receive only 32% of athletic recruiting dollars and 37% of the total money spent on athletics.

In 2008, only 43% of coaches of women’s teams were women. In 1972, the number was over 90 percent.

They practice hard, and they have coaches – but is cheerleading a sport?
It probably depends on whose definition you’re using.

No doubt, most cheerleaders would tell you it’s a sport – just like gymnastics. But according to federal law, an activity can’t be considered a sport unless competition is its main goal.

And while many cheerleading squads participate in competitions, some say their primary function is supporting other athletic teams.

So here’s the interesting twist: It’s the law – specifically Title IX – that’s causing some colleges to call cheerleading a sport. Why? It’s a less expensive way of complying.

Take a look at Quinnipiac University. The Connecticut school decided to cut its women’s volleyball team this spring in an effort to save money. But controversy erupted when it proposed replacing the team by elevating cheerleading to a varsity sport.

Hard to blame the school, from a dollars and cents point of view:

Last season, Quinnipiac’s volleyball team had a budget of more than $70,000 for 11 players – that works out to $6,300 per team member.

The cheerleading squad’s budget was around $50,000 for 40 participants – about $1,250 per person.

So it still comes back to the question: Is cheerleading a sport? Or maybe, as in the case of Quinnipiac University, are schools willing to call it a sport just so they can get rid of costlier women’s teams?

From Catlanta in the forums on Title IX.

For starts, Title IX is settled federal law and for seconds, way too much of a political hot potato for Congress to change. I was not a fan of Title IX and felt that many male athletes were treated unfairly in the first few years of its implementation.

However, and this is a big however, since the advent of Title IX, medal counts for women from U.S. universities have skyrocketed in Olympic competitions. If the SEC had been a country, they would have placed something like fifth in total medals, and many of them were earned by women athletes. One SEC school, Auburn University, had 18 medals (7 of which were earned by women swimmers) and would have tied for 14th in the world, with Canada and Spain.

Title IX is making a giant positive impact on Team USA and, therefore, probably won’t be going away anytime soon, so might as well make the best of it.

So is Title IX hurting mens sports or benefiting the nation?

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