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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, January 29, 2003
1:30 PM

Here's USA Today on Title IX, though it may be disorienting because they're using some strange avant-garde technique called balance.

They have this:

Donna Lopiano, Women's Sports Foundation executive director, said at a news conference she is concerned that changes would erode gains made by women.

"To suggest that it's OK for a federal law to allow women to be treated in a manner that is inferior to men is unfathomable in this day and age," she said

Commissioner Julie Foudy, a member of the U.S. national women's soccer team, said she feels the majority of her fellow commissioners want to tinker with the Title IX rule that says a school's male-female athlete ratio should be "substantially proportionate" to the male-female enrollment.

Foudy is especially concerned about a proposal by fellow commissioner Debbie Yow, athletics director of the University of Maryland. The proposal would allow schools to have a 50-50 split of male and female athletes, regardless of the makeup of the student body, with a leeway of 5 to 7 percentage points. "That scares me," Foudy said in a telephone interview. "The reality is that the universities are going to go down the path of least resistance, which would be 43%."

And then they have this:

But Yow said it was insulting to allege that colleges would manipulate the rules that way.

"It's attacking your integrity," Yow said. She said the leeway in her proposal could only be used for "non-discriminatory" reasons, such as midseason transfers and injuries. "Fifty-fifty is the American way. How is that negative?" ...

It's clear that proportionality just doesn't work," said Eric Pearson of the College Sports Council, which represents the coaches. "It's created a quota system that was never intended when Title IX was originally created."

Charlotte Hays of the Independent Women's Forum said the current standards don't work because "women consistently express lower levels of interest in playing college sports than men." She cited statistics showing that men's participation in college intramural sports was 78%, compared with 22% for women.


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