Title IX controversy rages on

By Taylor Lipps 2004

Title IX, the infamous law that supposedly brings equal opportunities to women athletes, is once again under debate. The Commission on Opportunity in Athletics is considering altering the 30-year-old law. The commission has examined the ways some students and athletes are counted to measure compliance with the law. That report has been sent to Education Secretary Rod Paige. The meeting of the commission has caused a stir among both women and men athletes.

I hope the commission will see Title IX for what it is, ridiculous. How can you compare women athletes to men athletes? It is a fact of life that men are more inclined to play sports. Those that say there should be an equal amount of women and men teams are not really seeing the whole picture. In high school, college or at the professional level, there are more male athletes. So people assume that women are being left out somehow? Truly, they just don’t want to play, but if they did, there are plenty of opportunities out there for both men and women to play sports.

However, men’s athletics may be getting the majority of the money for scholarships and other expenses within the program. But aren’t the men’s programs, mainly football and basketball, generating almost all of the money for the athletic department? College football is a multibillion dollar business. And even though football generates a lot of money, it is not all profit. A large sum of that money goes to covering the losses of women and other money-losing sports.

You may say to yourself, “Well, that is college football. What about the high school level?” Even here at Cedar Falls High School we see evidence of this. Last year football grossed over $48,000, while the next highest was wrestling with just over $9,000. All women’s sports combined made $17,162 last year. These numbers can be translated into the collegiate level, but at a much larger scale.

It seems only natural that men’s sports would be given the majority of budget money. Women’s programs continue to lose money each year. Title IX activists want more opportunities that are out there right now can’t even survive on their own. The only answer to adding more women’s programs is to cut men’s, which is reverse discrimination. Right or not, some universites have even sunk to putting 100 girls on a rowing team, and these schools are not necessarily near any major bodies of water. They are complying with regulation, though. Would it not make more sense to put the money for the girls rowing team into existing sports?

I see no problem with women playing sports, but women athletes need to realize who is keeping their sports afloat before they start cutting programs. Women’s programs could not exist without men’s programs, particularly football and men’s basketball. So as activists push to keep the stricter guidelines for Title IX, they don’t realize that they are just cutting their own budgets.

People are just not willing to accept that more men want to play sports than women. If this were not true, we would not need Title IX at all. First, all these women would be going out for sports and creating teams and forcing universities to acknowledge the need for more women’s teams, and it would not take an act of congress to make it happen. This isn’t the case though. Also, with the case of money, if there were an equal amount of women and men athletes, wouldn’t revenue be similar as well, because half of the population would be women athletes and that is a large fan base?

The answer has to be in women funding their won sports. They want want equality, right? They want to be like the men, right? They want to be on the same level, walking side by side together. Let’s be equal then. Earn your own money. Fund your own programs. That is what the men do. The enforcing of Title IX just endorses the perception that women are dependent on men and only further proves how much the men are really needed.

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