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Title IX Killing Wrestling
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/1997/03/03-28-97tdc/03-28-97d03-017.htm ^ | Friday, March 28, 1997 | KRISTA HAWLEY

Posted on 07/09/2003 2:02:21 PM PDT by Brookhaven

Wrestling programs threatened by Title IX

Editor's Note: This is the final installment of a three-part series looking at Title IX in its 25th year. This story examines the negative effects of Title IX on wrestling.

By KRISTA HAWLEY
Collegian Sports Writer

It's a tough position to argue.

There isn't really a way to make statements against Title IX without accusations of being sexist or trying to detract from the progress made by women's athletics in the last 25 years. A disagreement about the way Title IX is being implemented is often misunderstood as a criticism of the law and its spirit.

But it's an even tougher position to watch the sport that you've loved all your life die before your eyes. A sport you played in high school and college, a sport that shaped a large part of who you are. The competition, the triumphs, the dedication, the friendships -- athletes gain so much from sports that they carry with them throughout their lives. It isn't fair to ask them to turn their backs on the sports they love.

But many involved in wrestling and other so-called minor men's sports feel they now face the difficult choice of remaining silent or losing their sports to budget cuts and Title IX compliance.

The number of college wrestling programs has fallen from more than 400 in the 1970s to 257 last year. Wrestling is dropped by more athletic departments than any other sport, including 12 from 1992-95.

"In order to accomplish what is supposedly gender equity, it's very easy to cut men's sports," Michigan State wrestling coach Tom Minkel said. "Administrators are taking the easy way. It's a good law that's being applied poorly."

Surprisingly, college wrestling seems to be most threatened at a time when high school wrestling is quickly growing and American wrestlers are experiencing great international success.

"We've just made so much advancement in the last five years, and we're losing support for the sport," said Kerry McCoy, a Penn State wrestler and NCAA heavyweight champion. "If we had the support of a Division I football team, think how much greater this country could become in wrestling."

But because many schools are under pressure to comply with Title IX, wrestling is a prime target of athletic administrators. That is mostly because there is no comparable women's sport to balance the ratio of female/male athletes.

"A lot of people that are pro-Title IX really support men's sports, too. A lot of people would look at it and say equal is better," McCoy said. "It's just tough to make up a 200-year gap in 10 years."

It is the methods being used to enforce Title IX, rather than the law itself, that frustrates many players and coaches. Few of them will argue against providing opportunities for females athletes, but they say the focus on reaching compliance based on the ratio of male/female athletes is unfair.

"Title IX doesn't specifically say -- and that's the problem -- don't take away from men's opportunities," Syracuse wrestler Mario Mercado said. "It's not the athletes' fault. It's the administrators' fault for not implementing Title IX in a responsible way."

Mercado recently experienced the negative side of Title IX when Syracuse decided to drop its wrestling program. In an unusual move, the decision was announced during wrestling season, leaving the wrestlers a few months rather than a year to plan the rest of their college careers.

"No one really knows what to do. (The wrestlers) like it here. They've made friends here," Mercado said. "It's like starting college all over again. To me, that decision-making process is a year in the making. They should have informed the coaches and the wrestlers."

With the announcement that a women's lacrosse team will be added in 1998 and softball in 2000, Mercado said Syracuse's decision to drop wrestling was clearly made because of Title IX rather than budgetary constraints.

"To cut any sport and then add another sport, regardless of gender, is ridiculous," Mercado said. "Title IX was meant to be a good thing, but it's been distorted. It's been used as a scapegoat to take away from men's opportunities."

Few proponents of Title IX and women's athletics support cutting men's programs to achieve equity. Penn State reached compliance with Title IX by adding women's soccer rather than cutting the popular victims of wrestling, men's swimming, gymnastics and lacrosse.

"The issue and the challenge becomes: How are you assuring that people have access to programs?" said Ellen Perry, Penn State associate athletic director. "It was never the intent to deny opportunities to men. How do we do this and be fair?"

One solution proposed by many athletes and coaches is to remove football from all discussion of Title IX. They argue since there is no comparable women's sport to football, an unfair burden is placed on smaller men's sports to ensure equity is achieved.

Since football teams can have more than 100 members, they make it very difficult to achieve an equal ratio of male/female athletes. And since football teams can support both men's and women's programs with the revenue they bring in, it is argued football should be in its own category in college athletics.

"Football teams do so much for a university. It's really unfair to unduly penalize them," McCoy said. "But there are a lot of men athletes who are getting hurt because football teams are so sheltered."

But with a large percentage of some athletic budgets coming from one or two big sports, such as football, administrators are reluctant to risk losing future revenue by cutting those budgets. And as long as a fraction of a football team's revenue can support an entire wrestling budget, some coaches are happy to leave football alone.

"I think it's easy to forget that money for these programs comes entirely from football and basketball," Minkel said. "It's easy to always go to them."

But many in the wrestling community feel something must be done to save the sport at the collegiate level. Increased high school participation, Olympic medals and record ticket sales at the 1997 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships may not be enough to stop the decline in wrestling programs across the country.

"I would like to say in the next five years, we're safe," McCoy said. "But I'm sure they thought that 10 years ago."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: highereducation; ncaa; titleix; wresling
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This is an older article, but everything it says is still occuring, only to a greater extent. Colleges contiune to eliminaet male sports (with wrestling being the hardest hit) to acheive gender equity.

Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in the world. There are participants in every country in the world. It is a shame to see it being slowly eliminated in the United States.

1 posted on 07/09/2003 2:02:22 PM PDT by Brookhaven
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2 posted on 07/09/2003 2:03:43 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Brookhaven
Holy sweaty trunks!!!!

Does it mean that we are going to be stuck with Jimmy Snuka Superfly for the rest of this century??? No chance to train a replacement for the Macho Man?
3 posted on 07/09/2003 2:09:55 PM PDT by A Vast RightWing Conspirator
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To: Brookhaven
60 minutes had a news story on this. They are giving away non-merit, non-need scholarships for women's rowing. The lawyer they had was a wacko from one of the tow NEW law schools in Florida. She basically said "tough".

The feminists are elated at this outcome. It also kills off many young men's simple ability to GOTO college.

Title IX is a quota game PERIOD.
4 posted on 07/09/2003 2:12:02 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: Brookhaven
"In order to accomplish what is supposedly gender equity, it's very easy to cut men's sports," Michigan State wrestling coach Tom Minkel said. "Administrators are taking the easy way. It's a good law that's being applied poorly."

What an idiot. He’s watching the law destroy the sport he’s made a career out of, but he’s still so mamby-pamby and indoctrinated, he feels compelled to mutter “It’s a good law.”

It’s a very shitty law, Tom. Grow some balls.

5 posted on 07/09/2003 2:14:40 PM PDT by dead
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
Does it mean that we are going to be stuck with Jimmy Snuka Superfly for the rest of this century??? No chance to train a replacement for the Macho Man?

Maybe they can get wrestling put under the political science department instead of the althletic department?


6 posted on 07/09/2003 2:18:46 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Paranoia is when you realize that tin foil hats just focus the mind control beams.)
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To: dead
Title IX is a stinking pile of crap. Should be reversed. No way do women care about sports as much as men. It goes against human nature except in the minds of lesbos and feminazis.
7 posted on 07/09/2003 2:20:30 PM PDT by dennisw (G-d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
But because many schools are under pressure to comply with Title IX, wrestling is a prime target of athletic administrators. That is mostly because there is no comparable women's sport to balance the ratio of female/male athletes.

No comparable women's sport?
How about Jell-O wrestling?? Huh??

8 posted on 07/09/2003 2:21:55 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
No, it means that we won't be replacing a Dan Gable or a Cale Sanderson ---- if you even know who they are.
9 posted on 07/09/2003 2:23:04 PM PDT by fishtank
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
No chance to train a replacement for the Macho Man?

Pro-wraslers couldn't wrestle themselves out of a paper bag. Most would be totaly lost in a real match.

Amateur wrestling is a lot different. It is a real sport with real athletes. I played football, basketball, some soccer, and wrestled. Wrestling was, by far, the most physically demanding of any of those sports.

10 posted on 07/09/2003 2:25:44 PM PDT by Brookhaven
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To: Brookhaven
State supported colleges and universities have no bussines in supporting sports programs period.

If an athlete wants to compete in collegiate sports, go to a private college.

NO SPORTS ON MY DIME!
11 posted on 07/09/2003 2:26:15 PM PDT by Weimdog
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To: Brookhaven
Good riddence
12 posted on 07/09/2003 2:35:04 PM PDT by jwalburg (Line dry only)
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To: dennisw
No way do women care about sports as much as men.

That's why a number of schools have designated cheerleading as a competetive sport.

Next time you watch a college game, remember that several of the cheerleaders are probably there on full athletic scholarships.

13 posted on 07/09/2003 2:35:36 PM PDT by Brookhaven
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To: Brookhaven
Next time you watch a college game, remember that several of the cheerleaders are probably there on full athletic scholarships.
As are maybe a couple dozen guys sitting on the bench who never once get in the game.
14 posted on 07/09/2003 2:38:30 PM PDT by drjimmy
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To: dubyaismypresident; hobbes1
I'll never understand why collegiate female wrestling isn't promoted into an event that pays for every athletic endeavor on campus. Hell, let me start up a program, select the team, select their uniforms (there wouldn't be much) and do the choreography, and I'd have a program that would pretty much pay all the bills.

Dubya, you and Hobbes can run the camera.

15 posted on 07/09/2003 2:38:51 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine
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To: Constitution Day
You are included below in my camera crew.
16 posted on 07/09/2003 2:40:15 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine
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To: Constitution Day
And come to think of it, as to my method of doing the job female wrestling coordinator, just think of Tim Curry in "Scary Movie 2". Heheh.
17 posted on 07/09/2003 2:42:39 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine
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To: Brookhaven
Pro-wraslers couldn't wrestle themselves out of a paper bag. Most would be totaly lost in a real match.

Too true. Although, when I was a younger man, and watched that trash, I did see Tony Garrea execute a sit-out/turn-in while on all fours in an old WWF match back in the '70's. It was very sloppy and he failed to reverse his opponent, but the move was unmistakable.

Another big beef I have is that no matter who covers the Olympics, televised coverage of the best athletes in the world is comprised of approximately 15 minutes of one or two matches spread over 2 weeks of sport. I mean, if it wasn't for wrestling...there would be no Olympics!

18 posted on 07/09/2003 2:50:34 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ()
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To: Brookhaven
Title IX

Brought to you by Richard Nixon.

ML/NJ

19 posted on 07/09/2003 2:56:40 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Brookhaven
Maybe it time to end separate male and female sports ... lets end male only or female only sports program and let the bests play...
20 posted on 07/09/2003 3:03:31 PM PDT by tophat9000
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