Tuesday, August 24, 2004
On this day:

Engineering the Vision of the Annointed

"Equality" at any cost. Weekly Standard: Grappling with Title IX -- Gender politics and the Olympics. by Dan Gable
For men, collegiate teams have been cut across the board, decreasing the talent pool in sports like swimming, wrestling, track and field, and gymnastics. On the women's side, meanwhile, nearly every accomplishment is chalked up to Title IX, even though the law played no role in many of those sterling athletic careers. A recent presidential commission heard testimony detailing the damage done to college sports by Title IX regulations. UCLA's men's swimming team, whose members have won scores of Olympic medals, is gone. The University of Miami's diving program, which produced Greg Louganis, has also been axed. Kent State Hockey? It is no more. UMass gymnastics has had to hang 'em up. Consider what happened to wrestler Kevin Bracken, a member of the 2000 Olympic team. His senior year, Illinois State University, rather than add a women's program, dropped its wrestling team. [...] The heart of the issue is the difference between fair opportunity and equal outcome. The coaches believe that there should be opportunities for all male and female athletes, no matter how many or how few show up to play. The gender activist groups are demanding we impose an athlete quota based on college enrollment, even if you have to eliminate male athletes just to make those numbers balance. Nowhere else in our civic life would Americans tolerate a quota like the one imposed on college athletics. It is not done in collegiate dance, or engineering, or nursing, or even college enrollment, where the gender breakdown is 56 percent women to 44 percent men. Why no calls for proportionality in college enrollment? Not only our current college programs, but our future Olympic teams will suffer, too, as the pools from which the United States recruits and develops its athletes and coaches are inexorably drained. The three sports that bring home the most Olympic medals for the United States--swimming, track, and wrestling--have been hit the hardest. Americans cannot expect continued dominance by their athletes abroad if they allow continued elimination of college teams at home.