Margaret Spellings, secretary-designate of Education, is suspected of blocking reform of gender quotas in college sports; federal enforcement of Title IX has forced the elimination of men’s wrestling, gymnastics, crew and other second-tier sports. Eric Pearson of the College Sports Council, writing in National Review, is pressuring Spellings to approve a report on Title IX reform, which was shelved, apparently for political reasons.
Over 100 NCAA men’s teams were eliminated last year alone. The termination of more programs is a certainty: School officials reason that only by making their athletic departments exactly “proportional” to their entire undergraduate student body can they protect themselves from government investigation and trial lawyers.
. . . One vague provision already a part of the law says that schools can comply by providing teams based on the level of interest. So shouldn’t we find some clear ways for schools to measure how they can reasonably meet the interest of men and women who want to participate in athletics?
As female enrollment climbs well past 50 percent, colleges are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit enough female athletes. Typically, football and basketball survive, but other men’s sports must be cut.