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PostWatch
 

Thursday, January 30, 2003
 
11:23 PM

I don't see anything in the Post tonight on Title IX (after 11 p.m., some next-day stories are posted). But the New York Times has this, Advisory Panel Backs Easing Rules for Title IX (registration required)--
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 — In a final meeting today marked by exasperation and confusion, a Bush administration commission recommended easing some standards for satisfying Title IX, the law that expanded opportunities for girls and women in sports.

The Commission on Opportunity in Athletics pulled back from several more explosive options under debate today. But it adopted a series of smaller recommendations that, taken together, could spell major changes in the way access to sports is divided between boys and girls at high schools and colleges across the country....

Today's outcome drew mixed reaction.

Michael Moyer, executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, whose lawsuit against the Department of Education over Title IX prompted creation of the panel eight months ago, called the recommendations "a great first step" that would "certainly stem further loss of programs."

Women's and civil rights groups opposed the process and outcome. "It's as bad as we thought it would be," said Lisa Maatz, director for public policy and government relations at the American Association of University Women.


I love the way the New York Times and the Post use the phrase "civil rights group." The mean liberal civil rights group, except they live so completely in the cocoon they don't realize that's what they mean.
The commission recommended calculating opportunities in sports by counting positions available on sports teams, rather than actual players

That's important. One of the more galling things that happens now is that it often doesn't matter if the school offers X. number of positions for women--if the women choose not to fill them, the school is blamed and men are thrown off teams to achieve the utopian balance. Seriously.

There are some other details I'll let you seek in the story as you wish. But this is strange, and I've seen it in the Mat.com account:
Thanks to the one member's scheduling conflict, the commission tied on a vote that would have changed the the way equal access to sports was gauged. The proposal, on a standard known as proportionality, would have changed the basis from the current requirement — that the percentage of women in athletics mirrors the enrollment, which at colleges nationally is 56 percent — to 50-50. Women currently make up 42 percent of college athletes.


What the....? Commission member Lisa Graham Keegan picked a heck of a time for a scheduling conflict. I don't know which way she would have voted. But the Mat.com story (link below) says that under the rules, this item is forwarded to Education Secretary Paige along with the rest, I gather with a note that says, "Well, we tied on this one." Incidentally, even this is a step back from Yow's earlier proposal, which keep the wolves away if there were no major female demand and women accounted for at least 43% of the opportunities, closer to what the typical interest levels are.

Update: Now I know how Keegan would have voted.
Keegan's office said she later told Yow that she would have supported the recommendation.

Damn New York Times is splitting its stories in two or three parts to dredge us through more ads. That was in part two.

Wish I coulda been there, it sounds like a helluva meeting.

Several commission members complained that they could not make informed votes because they had not received any independent or government analysis of the probable results of various suggestions to alter the proportionality standard. They also complained that they needed additional discussion and information as the co-leaders strained to keep the votes moving along. Frustration bubbled over on all sides.

"We've got to move forward," Ted Leland, the Stanford University athletic director, who is a co-leader of the commission, said in exasperation. "I'm about ready to hit my forehead on the table. I feel like this is the Central Committee of the Communist Party."



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