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35 Years Of Title IX, And We're Still Bickering Over It

AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
edited June 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, we've now had 35 years of Title IX - the law that states that our educational system cannot discriminate based on gender. Mostly, people agree that it's been a good law, and that it makes sure that the doors to education are open for all. But then, we get to athletics. And it all goes up in flames.

Seriously, this is one of those issues that makes me scream "A pox on ALL your houses, damnit!"

I would say that there are three groups:
  1. First, we have the defenders of Title IX, who see that the only problem is that Title IX isn't enforced tightly enough.
  2. Second, we have the opponents,who would like nothing more than to see Title IX gotten rid of, no matter what the effects are.
  3. And last, we have the reformers, who honestly question if the policies used to enforce Title IX are truly fair, while believing in the law itself. This is where I stand.

Recently, the Women's Sports Foundation released a report detailing how schools are meeting the requirements of Title IX in athletics. They state that 20% of the schools were failing - meaning that there was a 22+ percentage point gap between the female student body percentage and the female student-athlete percentage at that school. What bothers me, though, is how they immediately have leapt upon the problem being that the schools don't support women's sports enough. To me, the problem is that our society discourages the participation of women in sports in a general sense (though they are encouraged in specific senses), and without fixing that underlying issue, pushing for proportionality is just a band-aid.

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Posts

  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I tend to dislike anything involving percentage goals and quotas, especially given that no one gives a shit about girl's/women's sports.

    I'm hyperbolizing, yes, but I think you touched on an important thing, and it's that regardless of whether schools do a good job supporting girl's sports, if they don't want to play them, and no one wants to watch them (both being social issues, and not the school's fault), it's hard to blame the school.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I tend to dislike anything involving percentage goals and quotas, especially given that no one gives a shit about girl's/women's sports.

    I'm hyperbolizing, yes, but I think you touched on an important thing, and it's that regardless of whether schools do a good job supporting girl's sports, if they don't want to play them, and no one wants to watch them (both being social issues, and not the school's fault), it's hard to blame the school.
    As I've said, the problem is that it's a lot easier to accuse football than to actually look at the issue of attracting women to play. Of course, it's also true that football at the Division 1-A level eats up a lot of resources but doesn't need to (85 scholarships is silly, especially when you consider that teams can only suit 40 players.)

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Wait, I'm confused. If girls don't want to play football, it's the school's fault for discriminating?

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Wait, I'm confused. If girls don't want to play football, it's the school's fault for discriminating?
    No. The main test used for showing compliance is called proportionality - the male/female student-athlete ratio, within a few percentage points, should match the school's male/female student ratio. The thing is that at the Division 1-A tier, football is so massive, it eats a LOT of slots (100+ players is not uncommon) on the men's side of the equation.

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  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The silliness of title ix is that college sports discriminates against both male and female regular students in favor of ringers who have no connection to the college other than to help the college's sports team win.

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  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2007
    I'm all for more females in athletics, but Title IX had the the asstastic side effect of killing a lot of the less popular men's sports. For example, wrestling is almost entirely a club sport now. Their quota system is idiotic.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Why does the debate about Title IX always jump to sports? That's only one tiny facet of what it addresses.

    And frankly, the complaints about underfunded women's sports are entirely valid. Every time this comes up on a blog I read, the article is flooded with reports from current and ex- US students who experienced blatant discrimination in the amount of gear and facilities provided, the ability to travel to away games, quality of coaching, and even what's offered.

    The problem isn't the law itself. The problem is the backwards asshole administrators in the individual schools deciding how to spend their money based on antiquated ideas about how women should be. THe other problem is the drawcard of HS and college-level sports being a huge recruiting ground for professional level athletes, and the money this attracts. And male sportsmen get vastly more money and attention in almost every sport. Majority-women sports are devalued and regarded as not as serious.

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  • MrIamMeMrIamMe Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Being Australian, I can't comment on title IX, but I can see the point of focusing on the sports that bring in the money.

    If mens football is bringing in sponsors and getting the school recognition and a good reputation, then under a capitalist society it makes financial sense to support that more than say, womens synchronised swimming.

    Unless you live in a socialist country, then you do what the state wants you to.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Why does the debate about Title IX always jump to sports? That's only one tiny facet of what it addresses.
    Because, to be honest, that's really the only sticking point - I don't have any complaints about it being applied in other areas, because it's applied differently. I do find it funny, however, that one of the best examples of Title IX used in the classroom environment resulted in a feminist professor being dismissed.
    The Cat wrote: »
    And frankly, the complaints about underfunded women's sports are entirely valid. Every time this comes up on a blog I read, the article is flooded with reports from current and ex- US students who experienced blatant discrimination in the amount of gear and facilities provided, the ability to travel to away games, quality of coaching, and even what's offered.
    Again, these are legitimate complaints, and this is not where reformers focus on.
    The Cat wrote: »
    The problem isn't the law itself. The problem is the backwards asshole administrators in the individual schools deciding how to spend their money based on antiquated ideas about how women should be. THe other problem is the drawcard of HS and college-level sports being a huge recruiting ground for professional level athletes, and the money this attracts. And male sportsmen get vastly more money and attention in almost every sport. Majority-women sports are devalued and regarded as not as serious.
    I'll admit that the ADs are a huge problem. But at the same time, the NCAA is a big contributor to the mess too, when you look at their scholarship caps, yet you see little pressure brought against them. The issue of attention is part of that larger issue - the lack of emphasis on the athleticism of women - and proportionality is very much a band-aid.

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  • ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Why does the debate about Title IX always jump to sports? That's only one tiny facet of what it addresses.

    And frankly, the complaints about underfunded women's sports are entirely valid. Every time this comes up on a blog I read, the article is flooded with reports from current and ex- US students who experienced blatant discrimination in the amount of gear and facilities provided, the ability to travel to away games, quality of coaching, and even what's offered.

    The problem isn't the law itself. The problem is the backwards asshole administrators in the individual schools deciding how to spend their money based on antiquated ideas about how women should be. THe other problem is the drawcard of HS and college-level sports being a huge recruiting ground for professional level athletes, and the money this attracts. And male sportsmen get vastly more money and attention in almost every sport. Majority-women sports are devalued and regarded as not as serious.

    Wouldn't you say this has more to do with the level of popularity(among spectators) of men's sports vs women's sports than discrimination on the part of the school?

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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Football also really throws off the ratios. Most of the female sports at my high school (especially the basketball team, which was much much better than our male team) were made up of small teams. Then you have football coming in with so many damn players it's not even funny, and in high school you can get on the team just for being able to run.

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  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Why does the debate about Title IX always jump to sports? That's only one tiny facet of what it addresses.
    I don't see anything else to complain about.

    The Cat wrote: »
    And frankly, the complaints about underfunded women's sports are entirely valid. Every time this comes up on a blog I read, the article is flooded with reports from current and ex- US students who experienced blatant discrimination in the amount of gear and facilities provided, the ability to travel to away games, quality of coaching, and even what's offered.

    The problem isn't the law itself. The problem is the backwards asshole administrators in the individual schools deciding how to spend their money based on antiquated ideas about how women should be. THe other problem is the drawcard of HS and college-level sports being a huge recruiting ground for professional level athletes, and the money this attracts. And male sportsmen get vastly more money and attention in almost every sport. Majority-women sports are devalued and regarded as not as serious.

    I don't see how it could not screw the less popular men's sports without football becoming less popular. And I don't see football becoming less popular.

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  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Can women not play American football in the US?

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Can women not play American football in the US?

    I don't see why women should have to be playing the same sports as men before their desire to participate in sports can be taken seriously. please explain?

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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I think we was refering to the fact that people keep stating that american football teams suck up a ton of players. If they sucked up a ton of players at an even male female ratio, it wouldn't be an issue. But they tend to suck up mostly men.

    And to answer your questiin Aethelred, yes women can play on American football teams. It's very rare, and if they do play they are usually on the special team as a field goal kicker. The reason is pretty simple. Football takes alot of linebackers, the majority of the team are linebackers. An ideal linebacker is the biggest, heaviest, meanest, hardest to move person you can find. More highschool males fit this profile then highschool females. To be the ideal good looking highschool female you can not be the ideal linebacker, guys have it much easier in this regard.

    Also, football is about slamming into people as hard as you can with no remorse. I don't know many guys that would want to do that to a girl.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Elkamil wrote: »
    I don't see how it could not screw the less popular men's sports without football becoming less popular. And I don't see football becoming less popular.
    We don't need football to be less popular - we just need some sanity in handling it. Currently, a Division 1-A school that is not under sanction by the NCAA is allowed to issue up to 85 full ride scholarships. And because of the hypercompetitive nature of the beast, "is allowed" becomes "must use". And the scholarships can be split, so 85 full rides can mean 100+ actual players under some level of scholarship. But what makes this utterly ridiculous is that the NCAA has a game suit up limit (the number of players that can actually be ready to play on game day) of 40 players. The NCAA could cut the scholarship cap in half, and it would have little impact on teams being effective.

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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Kind of tangental but, my school didn't even have a single sports team. For anything. It kinda sucked. If anything schools should of lots of sports teams, but for more obscure stuff. I would've loved to be on a fencing team or archery team. But, I guess it's hard to find the students and the funds for such smaller teams.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Far as I'm aware, college level sports here is largely funded by the student guild fees, which used to be compulsory but now aren't. Possibly some additional funding by government, I'm not really sure. There's an active sporty culture here, but it doesn't seem to have nearly the amount of hype surrounding it that american sports, particularly team sports, has. I'd argue that its also more diverse in the types of activities on offer, especially proportionate to the lower funding. The most visible sporting activity on my campus appears to be the rock climbing club :P there's certainly footy and tennis and a bunch of other stuff competing with other uni's, but you don't see the worship that follows the football/baseball/lacrosse teams in the US. As for highschool, there's almost nothing beyond standard PE. You join junior league sports teams off campus, on your own time. As it should be, being a recreational pursuit rather than an educational one. What I think I'm saying here is that you guys are weird about sport, and that's the problem - not Title IX itself.

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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Yeah, people here in the US are really quite sport crazy. I've seen an insane amount of emphasis put on highschool football, by parents, players, coaches and whatnot. Personally, I don't really get it but I'm not really a competitive guy.

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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Can women not play American football in the US?

    I don't see why women should have to be playing the same sports as men before their desire to participate in sports can be taken seriously. please explain?
    Mens sports have a much better chance of making money than women's sports, which almost universally cost the schools money. If women's sports had any sort of fan base willing to pay to see the women play, schools would be much more willing to invest in them. It just so happens that Men's sports are more exciting, in general, than women's sports. Sure there are some exceptions (soccer), but yeah, in general baseball and lacrosse are more exciting to watch than softball and field hockey. And without fans, there is no money in the sport for the schools.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    but you don't see the worship that follows the football/baseball/lacrosse teams in the US.

    I think it depends on the region. My school is known for basketball, but 80% of the student body openly mocks school sports. NYU has like a crew team and a fencing team. The northeast in general isn't big on college sports.

    College sports are much bigger in areas like the south that don't have traditional professional teams.

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  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    its kinda sad that womens college basketball is alot more fun to watch than womens professional basketball

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Can women not play American football in the US?

    I don't see why women should have to be playing the same sports as men before their desire to participate in sports can be taken seriously. please explain?
    Mens sports have a much better chance of making money than women's sports, which almost universally cost the schools money. If women's sports had any sort of fan base willing to pay to see the women play, schools would be much more willing to invest in them. It just so happens that Men's sports are more exciting, in general, than women's sports. Sure there are some exceptions (soccer), but yeah, in general baseball and lacrosse are more exciting to watch than softball and field hockey. And without fans, there is no money in the sport for the schools.
    So now you're acting like women never play the same sports as men. Women's rugby and cricket here would beg to differ. Or is it just 'not as exciting' because there's women playing it and they're not cute? Always strikes me as interesting how equitable the funding for volleyball is compared to some of these other sports.

    There's a very obvious feedback loop between women's underfunding in sports and cultural views about women's place in public. Its still seen as icky for women to be 'too' physical, beyond what's required to get them lookin' sexy. Witness the constant reassurance of women in the fitness thread that they won't get all big and bulky if they join a gym. They know they'll be regarded as less attractive and possibly assumed homosexual if they don't conform to how most people think women should look. Women watch sports less than men, although they're hardly absent from the audiences, and sports marketers generally have ignored their demographic rather than working to develop and expand it - there's no rational reason to do this, since more money is better for them. When there's no drawcard for women to get really into sports and even likely drawbacks, of course participation is going to be lower. Just saying 'oh, women playing sports is boring' is facile and simplistic.

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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    So now you're acting like women never play the same sports as men. Women's rugby and cricket here would beg to differ. Or is it just 'not as exciting' because there's women playing it and they're not cute? Always strikes me as interesting how equitable the funding for volleyball is compared to some of these other sports.
    Well, if you noticed, I pointed out that women's soccer is as exciting as, if not more exciting than men's soccer.

    The only other sport that I pay any attention to that both genders play is basketball, and men's basketball is a hell of a lot more fun to watch than women's, because it is a much faster game, and far less formulaic.

    Oh, also, curling! Man I love curling.

    It isn't that "women playing sports is boring." Rather it is that, in general, men's sports are more exciting, probably because men are on average bigger, stronger, and faster. That makes for more exciting sports.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I agree, Cat, that the underlying problem is that the athleticism of women is discouraged. But what I question is the use of proportionality to fix it. I've literally seen commentators say that "if 56% of the school population is female, then they get 56% of the athletics budget" without any concern for whether or not there's enough demand for that level of support. It's the "if you build it, they will come" model - they argue that if you just supply the slots, then women will fill them - but the fact that they then turn and fight to prevent empty slots on women's teams counted towards proportionality somewhat belies that argument.

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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I never understood why certain sports were split by gender. Some I can understand, but other's just leave me gawking.

    Like billiards. Why is billiards split by gender?

    If memory serves so is bowling. Why?

    It's nice to see some women breaking into the NASCAR scene. Not that I give a rat's ass about NASCAR, but it's good to see women getting into a traditionally male dominated sport.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    So now you're acting like women never play the same sports as men. Women's rugby and cricket here would beg to differ. Or is it just 'not as exciting' because there's women playing it and they're not cute? Always strikes me as interesting how equitable the funding for volleyball is compared to some of these other sports.
    Well, if you noticed, I pointed out that women's soccer is as exciting as, if not more exciting than men's soccer.

    The only other sport that I pay any attention to that both genders play is basketball, and men's basketball is a hell of a lot more fun to watch than women's, because it is a much faster game, and far less formulaic.

    Oh, also, curling! Man I love curling.

    It isn't that "women playing sports is boring." Rather it is that, in general, men's sports are more exciting, probably because men are on average bigger, stronger, and faster. That makes for more exciting sports.

    Fair enough. I think I can point the finger at relative audience size having too much influence over college/school sports, then. With the way its structured here, you don't really need to think so much about the likelihood of getting on TV as it impacts on funding, or whatever. People get into a sport because they like it and its fun, and I think they self-organise rather more that way - seems to be a lot more 'grassroots', although I'm definitely an outsider speaking. The money and audience conserns only appear once you turn pro, really.

    I think the emergence of billion-channel cable has done a lot for the more obscure sports, though.

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  • PusciferPuscifer Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Æthelred wrote: »
    Can women not play American football in the US?

    I don't see why women should have to be playing the same sports as men before their desire to participate in sports can be taken seriously. please explain?
    Mens sports have a much better chance of making money than women's sports, which almost universally cost the schools money. If women's sports had any sort of fan base willing to pay to see the women play, schools would be much more willing to invest in them. It just so happens that Men's sports are more exciting, in general, than women's sports. Sure there are some exceptions (soccer), but yeah, in general baseball and lacrosse are more exciting to watch than softball and field hockey. And without fans, there is no money in the sport for the schools.
    So now you're acting like women never play the same sports as men. Women's rugby and cricket here would beg to differ. Or is it just 'not as exciting' because there's women playing it and they're not cute? Always strikes me as interesting how equitable the funding for volleyball is compared to some of these other sports.

    No. He's saying that the the women hockey teams, basketball teams, etc do not draw the same attention and audience that male hockey, basketball teams, etc, do.

    Edit: Nevermind. He started to mention softball, etc. I stand corrected.

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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »

    I think the emergence of billion-channel cable has done a lot for the more obscure sports, though.

    Definately. You can catch all sorts of sports you've never seen before on TV these days. Great way to find out what's avaliable. Sadly, some sports when watched seem like very little fun, when they are actually quite fun to play. A good example of this would be paintball. Painfully boring to watch (except for highlight reels), great fun to play.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Puscifer wrote: »
    No. He's saying that the the women hockey teams, basketball teams, etc do not draw the same attention and audience that male hockey, basketball teams, etc, do.

    And I'm trying to point out why that is, ie cultural bullshit. Gender roles are hardly set in stone. Title IX may still suffer from less female participation in sports, but female participation has jumped hugely since it was introduced. There were almost literally zero opportunities for women to play sports in college before its advent - even the girly gymnastics and whatnot. Now, there's craploads of women playing, even if its still less than men. Its an ongoing shift in culture that Title IX is actually doing a good job of supporting, despite the retrograde actions of many in charge of administrating it.

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  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Big time college sports (football, basketball) is a giant revenue stream where the college is really selling its brand. The price of this revenue stream is a lot of money going towards womens athletics that would not exist otherwise. Men (the ones who attend to college to get an education) on the other hand are screwed by this system since all the sports money goes to the big revenue generating sports that regular students are pretty much locked out of (although there are some great walk on stories).

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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    Like billiards. Why is billiards split by gender?

    If memory serves so is bowling. Why?

    It's nice to see some women breaking into the NASCAR scene. Not that I give a rat's ass about NASCAR, but it's good to see women getting into a traditionally male dominated sport.
    Sports are split because if they weren't, men would dominate due to their larger size and greater strength. Men average a higher score in bowling than women at a high level. I mean, I'm not great at bowling, so women beat me at bowling fairly often. But the best men are on average better than the best women. If there was no split, there would be fewer women playing, because few can reach the same elite level that the best men can reach. So the split is better because it allows more women to play.


    I do not know if the same is true of billiards, though.


    As for racing, yeah, it's great. The equipment levels the playing field between the sexes. I don't like how Dannica Patrick gets all the attention just because she is pretty. There were like three women in the last indycar race, I think, but no one got a mention besides Patrick.

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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    One sport that is currently male dominated that I think women could do much better at men at is MotoGP, motorcycle racing. I remember there was this huge snafu where one rider was something like twenty pounds lighter than everyone else. It let them tweak his motorcycle some to give himself some nice performance games. Women on average are lighter then men, so it would only make logical sense that they would do pretty well.

    For the bowling, I guess I didn't realize there was such a split between professional male amd female bowlers in terms of performance. Then again, I kind of view bowling as a silly recreational game and am very ignroant of the ins and outs of professional bowling.

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  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Cat, you're pretty right. However, would I be wrong be wanting to watch men's hockey, american football, and golf more, because these are sports where strength is at a premium, and I'd rather watch women's gymnastics, figure skating, and basketball, because grace and agility are more valued?

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  • AcidSerraAcidSerra Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    One sport that is currently male dominated that I think women could do much better at men at is MotoGP, motorcycle racing. I remember there was this huge snafu where one rider was something like twenty pounds lighter than everyone else. It let them tweak his motorcycle some to give himself some nice performance games. Women on average are lighter then men, so it would only make logical sense that they would do pretty well.

    For the bowling, I guess I didn't realize there was such a split between professional male amd female bowlers in terms of performance. Then again, I kind of view bowling as a silly recreational game and am very ignroant of the ins and outs of professional bowling.

    Same basically applies to being a horse Jockey, small and light gets better performance. The problem with thsoe sports though is that a typical average school can't really fund a department around them since they require you to put down several thousand a player for the basic instrument, motorcycle/horse. Then again, a full ride scholarship is a few thousand easy so it could be possible...

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  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2007
    AngelHedgie made a good point; I was thinking about it on my way back from the park, but he made it before me, because he's a goddamn thief.

    I'd be fine with the quota for men and women, if accompanied with it was a maximum percentage that you could spend on one sport. I don't think something like that could or will happen, though.

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  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    Cat, you're pretty right. However, would I be wrong be wanting to watch men's hockey, american football, and golf more, because these are sports where strength is at a premium, and I'd rather watch women's gymnastics, figure skating, and basketball, because grace and agility are more valued?

    But shouldn't college athletics be about the athletes?

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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    Cat, you're pretty right. However, would I be wrong be wanting to watch men's hockey, american football, and golf more, because these are sports where strength is at a premium, and I'd rather watch women's gymnastics, figure skating, and basketball, because grace and agility are more valued?

    But shouldn't college athletics be about the athletes?

    Funniest thing I've ever heard. College athletics (at least in the US) is all about money.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    Cat, you're pretty right. However, would I be wrong be wanting to watch men's hockey, american football, and golf more, because these are sports where strength is at a premium, and I'd rather watch women's gymnastics, figure skating, and basketball, because grace and agility are more valued?

    But shouldn't college athletics be about the athletes?
    I'm trying VERY hard not to laugh. The marquee sports are billion dollar cash cows. That's made the colleges and the NCAA into very reverent economic Hindus.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2007
    Those rules forbidding athletes from making any money are not about the athletes? You lie!

    Elki on
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