The Bryant Blog: Life, Wrestling, Pop Culture

Find my wrestling podcasts at MatTalkOnline.com

Posts Tagged ‘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 WrestlingStats.com 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 ESPN.com 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 wrestlingstats.com 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.

UPDATE

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

Quinnipiac gets women’s volleyball back, two lost men’s teams irrelevant

Over the weekend, the news broke that a federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction in the Title IX case brought on by the ACLU-CT on behalf of the women’s volleyball team at tiny Quinnipiac University, a Division I program in Connecticut.

Here’s the AP Story link here.

This is the part of the story I want to know more about, though.

Underhill also agreed that the students would be harmed, saying they have a limited amount of time to compete in college athletics and specifically chose Quinnipiac to play volleyball.

The interruption in competition and the need to break into new programs with new coaches and established rosters will necessarily stunt the plaintiffs’ development as volleyball players at the highest level of amateur competition,” Underhill wrote.

These statements CAN NOT be used to save a men’s team and the same defense is used. The response from the university in the case of men’s track and golf (which was also cut by Quinnipiac) was this: “Uh, What?”

So the thousands of men’s opportunities killed by gender quotas aren’t worth saving. But wait, they were cut because of finances. Sorry men, you can’t win.

And guess what, at this rate, they won’t. Soon men will have two sports, women will have 14. Reparations are a real b*tch sometimes, aren’t they?

Written by Jason Bryant

May 25, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Posted in Title IX

Tagged with

How did I miss this? “Sand” Volleyball to be an NCAA emerging sport for women.

After returning from the Kentucky Derby, I was rifling through some of my Google Alerts when I opened one on Title IX. I posted last week about the Title IX blog I read, but somehow this one slipped past me.

The NCAA, I kid you not, has approved “Sand Volleyball” as an “emerging sport,” meaning schools can grant scholarships, create teams and of course, use this to counteract Title IX’s quote-based proportionality prong.

Here’s the best part for colleges with existing women’s volleyball programs, you get to count your athlete TWICE! That’s right, it’s all about numbers and “opportunity,” right? One of the holes in the participation numbers and roster spots within NCAA sports ant Title IX compliance is “opportunity” isn’t an available roster spot, it’s a filled roster spot.

“Sand Volleyball” is a popular Olympic sport and spectator sport for obvious reasons, most of it involves women in sand and bikini’s playing volleyball. Hey, I’m not objectifying you, I’m just stating an observational fact.

Now, other than the name, which to be P.C. (thank you NCAA) isn’t called Beach Volleyball so as to not offend the new teams in places like Kansas, this strikes another blow for common sense around the world. It makes sense to add a sport to give people more opportunities to play, but is this going to create more opportunities or are existing volleyball programs going to get the benefit of using “sand” volleyball scholarship money to their indoor players who play both? It’s going to make Jenny Middle Hitter count as TWO women instead of one.

All the while, women’s wrestling can’t do anything to become an emerging sport. Two Olympic cycles, now heading towards a third, the NAIA is making gains by adding women’s wrestling programs, but the NCAA sadly lags behind. Don’t add sports that are growing, make up new sports out of existing ones.

I’m sure schools looking for a quick fix to proportionality’s prong will put up a net and some bleachers in a place known for Beach Volleyball … like Montana.

I can’t believe I missed this two weeks ago, I mean, Deadspin picked it up right away. I guess I’ve been on the road too much to read it all.

Written by Jason Bryant

May 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Blogging, Title IX

Tagged with