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hiwarejGT

19 April 2005
Professor Richard Barke
Political Science 1101
Title IX: Equality at What Price?

Since its birth in 1974, the Title IX statute has had major effects on the way gender equity, especially in college and high school athletics, is treated. It has facilitated many major positive strides in womenís athletics and provided a solid foundation on which young female athletes can learn and thrive in competition and athletics. On the contrary, Title IX does pose many detrimental aspects that could be eased if its requirements and terms were lessened or scaled back slightly. Title IX has had an overall beneficial effect on high school and college athletics, but it sometimes comes at the needless expense of male sports and should be scaled back to allow menís sports to participate at the varsity level when they otherwise would not be able to. This is exemplified through various cases around the country of male sports being, quite needlessly, tabled and terminated because of a lack of female interest in the sport. This point can be represented by the menís soccer and hockey teams at Georgia Tech.

Both of the club teams established here at Georgia Tech for soccer and hockey have strong potential to complete at the NCAA Division 1 level. These two teams dominate opponents on a regular basis in the club circuit. The club soccer team regularly qualifies for and attends nationals. In the 2004 fall season, the club soccer team finished with a division leading record of 12-2-4 and, in the post-season, they lasted through three rounds in the national tournament. Thus far, in the spring season, the team has a division leading record of 5-1-1. Georgia Techís hockey team consistently dominates its division and competes in the national club tournament with a strong showing. Since 1999, the club hockey team has finished each season with a winning record. The team finished their 2000-2001 season with a record of 25-6. In the 2001-2002 season, they finished with a record of 27-2. From 1999-2003, the club hockey team finished each season with a ranking no lower than third in the nation.

However, these two teams are not allowed to become part of the varsity athletics program because of a lack of female interest to balance out the other side of the metaphorical ďTitle IX equation.Ē Not enough girls at Georgia Tech are interested in or willing to tryout and form a varsity team for either of these sports. Even though girlís soccer already has a Georgia Tech sponsored club organization, they have failed to form a team in the past two years. Moreover, there are no teams with the potential to be formed to justify the varsity athleticsí requirements of Title IX. Because of this, the menís teams are denied varsity status forced to remain club organizations.

This occurrence is a result of the governmentís intentions being good, but its course of action being misguided. The entire premise of Title IX is to promote gender equity on multiple levels, ranging far beyond the scope of athletics. In fact, the athletics aspect of Title IX wasnít added until over a year after its original inception. The goal was to keep male athletics programs from overwhelming female programs, giving them the opportunity to participate in varsity sports. They did this by ruling that for every male sport that existed or was added to an athletic program, a female sport had to exist or be added at the same time to balance it out. This led to the scaling back of many male sports, such as: lacrosse, wrestling, hockey, soccer, etc. On the positive side, womenís sports gained a lot of headway in the establishment of sports equivalent to their male counterparts. This policy was regulated by the appropriation of funding giving to the educational establishment that supported these sports. If a school or university did not comply with Title IX regulations, the government could simply cut off that schoolís athletic funding.

The problem we have come to today is such that a form of equilibrium has been reached as far as female athletics is concerned. In the 1970s, when Title IX was originally passed, there was a legitimate concern for the fair treatment in womenís athletics and women had to fight for the right to play varsity sports. However, today this concern has been amply dealt with and the demand for female athletics has been met. There still remains the matter, though, that teams like our own club soccer and hockey teams want to compete on the varsity level, but canít simply because of misguided Title IX regulations. If Title IX regulations were scaled back to allow teams such as these to reach the varsity level without the threat of any penalty, more good would be done than harm.

In addition to restrictions from varsity status, club teams receive very little, if any, funding. For example, the members of Georgia Techís club hockey team buy all of their own equipment and fund the majority of the organization. They are forced to do this because the funding they are given by Georgia Tech is barely enough to cover the cost of officials and playing home games at the Marietta Ice Center and Philips Arena during the regular season. As a result, even though they qualified this past season, the club hockey team was unable to afford its annual trip to nationals and was forced to forgo it. A Georgia Tech team that maintains a regular tradition of domination is unable to showcase its skills because of restrictions that are a direct effect of Title IX restrictions. If these restrictions were lessened to allow teams, such as the Georgia Tech club hockey team, to achieve varsity status, they would receive the much needed funding they deserve. They would gain the ability to compete at the national varsity level and, furthermore, show how well they can do.

A major reason that Title IX was established was provide opportunities to women for success in sports and life that they wouldnít otherwise have. The NCAA president, Myles Brand, refers to the stories of Robin Roberts and Dot Richardson to reiterate this point. These women were afforded opportunities in college because of their prowess in sports that they would not have gotten without the implementation of Title IX. In these instances, Title IX allowed women to excel beyond their prior, limited, potential and pioneer womenís advancements in athletics and sports. These examples provide a concrete foundation for the establishment and continuation of Title IX. However, if this mindset is applied to the present situation, the facts paint a different picture. The teams that have the potential to contend and dominate on the varsity level are relegated to second tier status because various womenís programs simply lack the needed interest or numbers to form more varsity teams. In this aspect, arenít the athletes that canít have a varsity team being denied those same right and opportunities that were fought for so valiantly to protect in the first place?

Sources

Link 1:
Gender Equity/Title IX. Important Facts,
http://www1.ncaa.org/membership/ed_outreach/gender_equity/index.html

Link 2:
Brand, Myles. Title IX Seminar Keynote Address, April 28, 2003.
http://www1.ncaa.org/membership/ed_outreach/gender_equity/index.html

Link 3:
Georgia Tech Club Hockey Official Website
http://cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/ice_hockey/main.html

Link 4:
Georgia Tech Club Soccer Official Website
http://cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/main/organizations/organizations_showPage.php?OrgID=73



Since its birth in 1974, the Title IX statute has had a major effect on the way gender equity, especially in athletics, is treated. It has facilitated many major strides in womenís athletics and provided a solid foundation for which young female athletes can learn and thrive in competition and axemplifies through various cases around the country of male sports being, needlessly, tabled and terminated because of a lack of female interest in the sport. This instance is particularly represented at Georgia Tech with the menís soccer and hockey teams.
Both of the club teams established here at Georgia Tech for soccer and hockey have strong potential to complete at the NCAA Division 1 level. These two teams dominate opponents on a regular basis in the club circuit. The club soccer regularly goes to nationals and the hockey team consistently finishes each season with a winning record. However, these two teams are not allowed to become part of the varsity athletics program because of a lack of female interest. Not enough girls at Georgia Tech are interested in or willing to tryout and form a varsity team for either of these sports. Because of this, the menís teams are forced to remain club organizations.
This occurrence is a result of the governmentís intentions being good, but its course of action being less than good. The entire premise of Title IX is to promote gender equity on multiple levels. In fact, the athletics aspect of Title IX wasnít added until over a year later. The goal was to keep male athletics from overwhelming female athletics and not give them the opportunity to participate in varsity sports. They did this by ruling that for every male sport that existed or was added, a female sport had to exist or be added at the same time to balance it out. This led to the scaling back of many male sports, such as: lacrosse, wrestling, hockey, soccer, etc. On the positive side, womenís sports gained a lot of headway in the establishment of sports equivalent to their male counterparts. This policy was regulated by the appropriation of funding giving to the educational establishment that supported these sports. If a school or university did not comply with Title IX regulations, the government could simply cut off that schoolís athletic funding.
The problem we have come to today is that a form of equilibrium has been reached as far as female athletics is concerned. In the 1970s, when Title IX was originally passed, there was a legitimate concern for the fair treatment in womenís athletics and women had to fight for the right to play varsity sports. However, today this concern has been amply dealt with and the demand for female athletics has been met. There still remains the matter, though, that teams like our own club soccer and hockey teams want to compete on the varsity level, but canít simply because of Title IX regulations. If Title IX regulations were scaled back to allow teams like these to reach the varsity level without the threat of any penalty, more good would be done than harm.
Another reason that Title IX was established was provide opportunities to women for success in sports and life that they wouldnít otherwise have. The NCAA president, Myles Brand, refers to the stories of Robin Roberts and Dot Richardson to reiterate this point. But if this mindset is applied to the present situation, arenít the athletes that canít have a varsity team being denied those same right and opportunities that were fought for so valiantly to protect in the first place?


hiwarejGT, being a female I am quite interested in your position on Title IX; and I completely see what you are trying to say. I like how you use an effective example of GT sprots to hit the message home. The only critique I can give is to read through your paper a just correct any minor, missed mistakes with words aggreeing and what-not. I like how you ended with a question. It leave the reader pondering on the topic. So long as you give the reader enough information in the body to form his or her own opinion after asking the question, then you have a great and understandable paper! Good luck with your final draft!
babygirl13

hiwarejGT, your essay is very strong, and brings up some very solid points. There are only a few minor critiques I have to offer, the first being some minor proofreading and corrections. Also, you speak of "scaling back" the regulations of Title IX, but to what extent? This phrase without any boundaries could scare supporters of Title IX from seeing your more valid points. As babygirl13 mentioned, the use of GT sports is well placed, but also try to broaden the scope of examples beyond this campus. And finally, a stronger conclusion would fit the essay well, because it is obvious you feel strongly about this issue. The current conclusion seems to end the essay too abruptly. The use of the question at the end is nice, but a stronger lead into it would really help. The essay itself is very well written, and I'd like to see what becomes of the final copy. Good luck.
soccer431319

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