The Bryant Blog: Life, Wrestling, Pop Culture

Find my wrestling podcasts at

Archive for the ‘Title IX’ Category

Normally, I’m pretty proud of my alma mater

But with all my interest in Title IX reform and legitimizing opportunities and sports in college athletics, looking at the front splash page of made me sick in my stomach.

Let’s just outright admit you’re looking for athletes. This is extremely common (getting athletes to fill roster spots, rather than recruiting those who WANT to compete) … although I’ve never seen a school so blatant about trying to get more people to come out.

You don’t see this type of ad for men’s sports, which typically cut a ton of walk-ons for gender quotas.

Written by Jason Bryant

January 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

Posted in Blogging, Title IX

Title IX news on Quinninpiac Volleyball case

As expected, those defending the Quinnipiac women’s volleyball team have called in Donna Lopiano, the former head honcho of the Women’s Sports Foundation, as a Title IX expert.

More here:

FOR THE RECORD: I disagree with Quinnipiac dropping these sports, retaliating in cutting more sports and the alleged “cooking of the books.” Title IX’s gender quota forces schools to institute roster caps on men’s sports to make sure too many men don’t get to play, because women’s rosters aren’t as full. Quinnipiac should be dealt with accordingly if they’re truly shifting things around — but also, there is no accurate way to gauge interest in athletics between men and women, because some groups feel ASKING men and women what they want isn’t the best way to know what they want to do … onward.

Now, there’s one statement in there that makes me raise an eyebrow, not to mention how a perceived advocate of women’s sports is trashing one of the activities that many young girls and women compete in. Ask a cheerleader — is cheerleading a sport. Now as a “women’s” sports quota monger — is cheerleading a sport.

The “women’s” group doesn’t see the case of their skirt-clad competitors. It doesn’t help the angry WSF agenda to admit that girls like cheerleading.

Said Lopiano: “The more sports there are the better it is for women,” she said. “The NCAA does not classify competitive cheerleading as an emerging sport. It’s clear the NCAA does not support it. It doesn’t fulfill the criteria set forth by the Office of Civil Rights. I do not believe any school can count it as a sport. It hasn’t evolved enough. In the future it could, but not as it exists today. It’s not a sport. It’s not even close.

So under those criteria, how many “sports” aren’t actually sports? Women’s wrestling, an Olympic sport for the past two cycles, apparently isn’t a sport because the NCAA doesn’t support it, right? I wonder how many other Olympic sports that could be available for women aren’t sports because the NCAA doesn’t classify it as “emerging.”

Sorry girls, the “Women’s” Sports Foundation doesn’t represent your best interest in athletics, only their own.

And I’d expect Ms. Lopiano isn’t a fan of Debbie Yow, an innovative AD who isn’t skirting Title IX when she added competitive cheer, she was a trailblazer for women and girls around the nation who love their sport.

I was a wrestler, my sister a cheerleader. That’s what she wanted to do. That was her sport. That was her choice. No social construct, but a short, athletic girl wanted to be on the competitive/competition cheer squad.

I dare Ms. Lopiano to go to a cheerleading competition and tell those GIRLS and MOTHERS that cheerleading isn’t a sport.

Written by Jason Bryant

June 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

Posted in Title IX

Pot, meet kettle. College Sports Council releases study, quota advocates quick to insert foot in mouth

Read this interesting story from The Associated Press on a report on Title IX and scholarships offered by the College Sports Council.

Of course, it brings a study to to normal people. The CSC has been trying to tell people there’s some disparity between the cuts in opportunities for men and women, but the revenge groups like the Women’s Sports Foundation and National Women’s Law Center (this is what they’ve become) again FAIL to look at common sense and spit out the same rhetoric time and time again.

Like this.

“Typically what (the CSC) tries to do is be selective in the facts and how they interpret them, and it’s embarrassing,” said Lopiano, the president of Sports Management Resources. “Equality doesn’t mean the same sports for men and women. The CSC just chooses to disregard what the law is.”

I spit out my Cheerios … POT, meet KETTLE. The WSF (where Lopiano was formerly the CEO) and NWLC have disregarded the intent of the law and perverted it to what it is today. I’m going to have my kids hit the books to get academic scholarship, because my daughter’s going to have more of a chance to play sports than my son will in college.

Not everyone will be a 6-foot, 200-pound meathead set on playing football. Which upon further review could be considered “too small” to play football.

The spectrum of sports for women is amazing. They can do pretty much what they want, where they want. Meanwhile, the athletes who are under 160 pounds (like wrestling, where half of the weights are below 160) are left to wither and die.

Lopiano misses the intent of the study … to show that in EQUITABLE sports, there is a huge disparity. Ignoring that is comical. Good day, Kettle, nice to see you back on your perch.

Written by Jason Bryant

July 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm

More from the land of dropped programs: Division II

I spent Tuesday night milling over the things I was looking at on and trying to look at some new angles in what’s been happening to our wrestling programs.

Time was taken off to hang out with a buddy of mine from Virginia, who is living in nearby White Bear Lake for a bit. I actually covered him in high school as a wrestler. NERD ALERT: We, along with thousands and thousands (and millions nationwide) was the premiere of the new Harry Potter movie. (No spoilers. No, I haven’t read the books, and yes, I like the movies).

Yeah, uh … midnight movie showing on 10 of the 20 screens and a parking lot which stood idle for about half an hour after the movie let out. I didn’t get home until 3:30 in the morning.

Then I went back to looking at some things, schools to be exact.

The opening paragraph of Graham Watson’s story for says the following:

When the NCAA’s annual Sports Participation Report is released in the fall, the association expects to report that more than 100 teams were dropped in the past year, bringing the two-year total of dropped teams since the economic crisis began in the winter of 2007 to more than 227 teams.

Wow. A hundred teams were dropped — including eight wrestling programs (although Norwich looks to be spared and Carson-Newman is also building funds to save its Division II program). I’m really interested to see how many of those 227 were men’s programs — and how many more were Olympic and non-revenue sports.

Now, let’s get back to wrestling for a second. Assuming the worst for the purpose of this breakdown, here are some things to consider with programs who have had success on the mat — to me, this means putting wrestlers on the podium.

Historically, the NCAA championships did not start placing Top 8 until 1979 (30 seasons ago), so the numbers from the 1970’s and before reflect Top 6 (or less going further back).

In the 1980’s, 67 different colleges had Division II All-Americans. As of 2009, 42 of those programs are gone.

In the 1990’s, 53 different colleges had Division II All-Americans. Of the ones that remained from the 1980’s, 18  are gone.

NOTE: The two breakdowns above to not reflect exactly WHEN the programs were cut by decade, but rather the fact they had an All-American in that decade and no longer have a team.

So if you were an All-American in the 1980’s in Division II, there’s a 62.6 percent chance your alma mater’s wrestling program does NOT exist.

One thing that might be flawing any statistical data (because this is an observational report, not scientific), was the addition of schools to Division II from existing colleges from the NAIA. Teams who moved up to Division I (NDSU, SDSU, Northern Colorado, Buffalo, Binghamton, UC Davis, etc.) aren’t counted as “lost” programs. Neither are teams who moved down to Division III (Springfield — Jeff Blatnick’s alma mater).

Notable Division II programs who moved over from the NAIA, bolstering the number of Division II programs are schools like Findlay, Central Oklahoma, Western State, Chadron State, Colorado School of Mines, West Liberty, etc.

Since 2000, the tide of cuts in Division II on the wrestling side have waned, but Carson-Newman (still fighting), Longwood and Central Washington lost programs in the last decade. Again, these are schools with All-Americans, not schools which cut the sport overall.

The reason I looked at Division II, is because the power structure doesn’t center around big time BCS football and the schools are typically (but not always) smaller state schools where taxpayers fit a lot of the bill. They have limited scholarships, but are scholarship nevertheless.

If you’re a wrestler, the NCAA mantra of “I chose Division II,” didn’t seem to make sense back in the 80’s and 90’s. It could have been “I chose Division II, but Prong One zapped me.”

Another point lost in all this Title IX debate isn’t just the fact men aren’t attending college as much as women are, but the correlation between the loss in men’s enrollment and the decrease in athletic programs for men.

With 99 colleges having Division II All-Americans since 1980 and 46 of those teams are gone, where is the enticement for many men to attend college? We’re losing the next generation of coaches, teachers and mentors who come from wrestling.

I’d love to see what the swimming, track, baseball and gymnastics communities have seen as a result. How many winning programs were cut in those sports? If we’re cutting programs for men, we’re losing men who go to college, further skewing the proportionality prong of Title IX. You can’t count what isn’t there.

You can’t ignore Title IX, you have to educate yourself on it. Ignorance on a topic is no reason to avoid discussing and confronting it. If you can’t see there’s a correlation between the diminished programs and dwindling male enrollment, open your eyes.

Written by Jason Bryant

July 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Ten and 20 years ago in wrestling – Where are the programs?

I’ve written countless position papers, articles and columns debating Title IX. I’ve researched stats, comparative numbers and tried to back up the claims that many Olympic sports have been shown the door.

I realize more than just Title IX goes into athletic cuts, especially now that our economy is such an easy thing to blame. ESPN wrote stories about the economy and cuts and pointing to where Title IX enters the fray.

Troy Dannen, who is in his first year as the A.D. at Northern Iowa, noted when the school cut baseball, it was way out of compliance and said a women’s sport couldn’t even be considered getting cut.

Donna Lopiano, the dean of gender quotas, even noted schools were afraid to cut women’s teams because they fear they would get sued.

Gotta love it. (TIC)

But let’s look at our sport of wrestling, which according to the National Federation of High School State Associations, has the highest number of participants at the high school level since 1980-81. Here are a few telling things about what simple stats I’m about to break down.

It’s more tragic than it is thought provoking, but regardless, I fail to see how groups like the Women’s Sports Foundation can call wrestling “a dying sport” on more than one occasion. Wrestling is one of five NCAA championships that make the organization money on the Division I level (it was four, but men’s lacrosse has shown numbers in the black according to numbers found on the NCAA site).

Attendance at the Division I championships is amazing, while the competition at the Division II and Division III championships is also quite intense and deserving of our support and coverage. I can’t speak about the NAIA, since I’ve never attended their championships.

Ten years ago, I was set to enter my third year of college. Twenty years ago, I was set to turn 10 and was entering the fourth grade. Where was wrestling then? Actually, where were our wrestling programs?

I spent some time on Jay Hammond’s site looking through brackets from both 1999 and 1989.

Here’s some interesting figures to look back on.

First, let’s go to 1999.
Stephen Abas won the first of this three NCAA Championships for now-defunct Fresno State.
Cael Sanderson won the first of his four NCAA Championships.
Casey Cunningham won the first NCAA title by a Central Michigan wrestler.
Stephen Neal, now of the New England Patriots, beat Brock Lensar, now of the UFC, for the NCAA Division I heavyweight championship.
Ultimate Fighter Alum Matt Hamill, a deaf wrestler, won a Division III championship for RIT.
Wrestlers from Montclair State and Lebanon Valley met in a Division III final.

Back in 1999, the following schools had All-Americans. These same schools no longer sanction wrestling.

Division I
Fresno State, BYU, Slippery Rock
Division II
Carson-Newman*, Southwest Missouri, Central Washington
Division III
Capital, Norwich*, Montclair State, Lebanon Valley, Concordia (Ill.).
*- denotes program was cut this past year, but fighting to stay alive.

11 schools where wrestlers earned All-American status from 1999 don’t have teams anymore.

In 1989, it’s much bigger.

Division I
Clemson, Notre Dame, New Mexico, Syracuse, Fresno State, Eastern Illinois, and Oregon.
Division II
Portland State, Lake Superior State, Grand Valley State, California (Pa.), Cal State-Chico, Winston-Salem State, Norfolk State, Humboldt State, Ferris State, North Dakota, Mansfield, Virginia State and Cheyney State.
Division III
Kean, Montclair State, St. Lawrence, St. Thomas, SUNY-Albany, Gallaudet (a deaf college) , Norwich and Millikin.

We see 29 schools with All-American wrestlers no longer on the mats.

I looked into Division II. Twenty-nine schools represented the 80 All-Americans that year. Of the schools who still have wrestling, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Buffalo, and UC Davis are Division I, Springfield is Division III. Of those 29 schools, 14 don’t have programs. That leaves 15 schools with All-Americans 20 years ago still in existance. Five of them are in other divisions, leaving just 10 schools still in Division II with All-American legacies dating back at least 20 years.

Let’s look at the racial makeup as well, since I’ve posted much about Delaware State’s abandonment of the African-American wrestling community by becoming the final HBCU to cut wrestling. In Division II in 1989, four HBCU’s had All-Americans — Norfolk State, Winston-Salem State, Virginia State and Cheyney.

How many wrestlers from those schools (all, not just the HBCU’s) have kids who wrestle? That’s 29 schools where legacies can’t be established and a sense of pride is lost.

There are a lot of things to blame, but factor in the economy and gender quotas and it makes it much more apparent the money from our tight-sphinctered sport needs to be flowing to save our programs, too.

By the way, I’m going to revive my “Dropped Program Project” in the coming weeks.


I turn 30 in August, so I figured I’d go ahead and look at what programs we had with All-Americans, but don’t now, in 1979, the year I was born.

Syracuse, LSU, Kentucky, Slippery Rock, BYU, Portland State, Toledo, Eastern Illinois, Grand Valley State, Miami (Ohio), Oregon, UCLA, California (Pa.), Oakland (Mich.), Morgan State, Northern Michigan, Southern Connecticut State, C.W. Post, Cal State-Sacramento, Lake Superior State, Central Connecticut State, Central Florida, Youngstown State, Southwest Missouri, Southeast Missouri, South Dakota, Salisbury, Humboldt State, Minnesota-Morris, St. Lawrence, Kalamazoo, Mansfield, Cal State-Sanislaus, Allegheny, Juniata, SUNY-Postdam.

Written by Jason Bryant

July 14, 2009 at 7:03 pm