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Ironically, or perhaps not, since the opposition pointed out it was going to happen, the enforcement of Title IX on college campuses has NOT increased the participation of women in collegiate sports.

Title IX requires that the following three rules be enforced in regards to college athletics:

  1. The percentage of female athletes at a college must be the same as the percentage of total females enrolled at the college.
  2. There must be a history of continuous increase of opportunity for all females to participate in sports.
  3. Existing female interest and abilities existing at the school must be accomodated.
Despite the fact that all three rules must be adhered to, the Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights seem content with enforcing only the first rule. One might come to the conclusion that colleges would simply add female sports to even out the percentages. They would be wrong.

Men's football and basketball have proven to be the only money-generating programs at most colleges (with the occasional exception of hockey, baseball, and more recently, women's basketball). This means that all other sports, male and female, drain money from the university. Because of the way Title IX is enforced, they have one of two choices: add women's sports, or cut men's sports. The decision has overwhelmingly been for the latter.

Since the beginning of Title IX enforcement, and at the time of this writeup, 364 men's programs have been dropped in America:

So, while there has been an increase in women's sports participation (which has little to do with Title IX and more to do with youth athletic programs), total participation is sports is down.

This isn't always the case. For example, URI added women's soccer and elevated crew from a club sport to intercollegiate status. But this is a school with a total of only 22 sports programs. Other schools have toyed with the idea of combining teams for men and women. In this case, both sexes would try out for the same team, and only the best would be chosen. To date, no one has gone forward with this plan, because the general consensus is that the percentage of men chosen for teams (especially the "big four": football, baseball, basketball, and hockey) would be far greater than the percentage of total students, which still puts them in violation of rule one.

To top all of this off, 70% of scholarship money still goes to male athletes and more than 80% of America's athletic department budgets still goes to men's programs. So, while colleges have been cutting men's sports, for the most part they've continued to ignore women's sports. Title IX at its best, huh?

The solution to the problem is rather simple. Stop enforcing rule one. It's been proven to decrease male participation in sports. Continue enforcing rules two and three, which are proven to increase female participation. Title IX is a good thing. And so is equality. It's just the enforcement of it that sucks.

Schools only have to meet ONE out of the three rules to be declared compliant with Title IX. Having the same ratio of male to female students as male to female athletes is the easiest to set up and the easiest to prove, and therefore the most often used rule to follow.

Title IX is one more example of the mind set that you can force someone to change a core belief. It's also an example that people can believe anything they want to. The rise of women's sports can be attributed to more advertising for women's sports, and therefore making it into a more colleges want to profit while the profiting is good.

Title IX has proven that it can kill men's sports that actually have decent players and replace it with "filler" woman's sports, such as when UCLA dropped a men's gymnastic program that contained an Olympic contender and opened at the same time a new women's gymnastics team and a women's soccer. UCLA cited financial reasons, which leads someone to wonder how exactly a women's team without an Olympic contender could be more of a money maker than a men's team with.

But really, this entire post is because the dude above me got one of the basic laws about title IX wrong. Schools have to follow 1 guideline, not 3.

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