When Girls Train against the Guys, Is There a Loser? ; the NCAA Is Looking into Whether It's Unfair or Unsafe to Have Men Practice against Women's Basketball Teams, as Many of the Top Teams Do

By Clayton Collins writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, March 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

When Girls Train against the Guys, Is There a Loser? ; the NCAA Is Looking into Whether It's Unfair or Unsafe to Have Men Practice against Women's Basketball Teams, as Many of the Top Teams Do


Clayton Collins writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Kathrin Ress grabs a pass, swings left, and lays the ball in the basket. The whoops of her teammates echo in the gym.

That the 6-foot, 4-inch sophomore just beat her defender in a practice drill is unremarkable - the Boston College forward scored 25 points on Villanova back in January.

And that the opponent Ms. Ress outhustled was male - B.C. junior and former Los Angeles high school standout Terence Balagia - might by now be unsurprising, too.

Such top women's programs as B.C., Connecticut, Tennessee, and Louisiana State have tapped nonscholarship male undergraduate athletes as practice partnersfor a decade or so. The men's bulk, speed, and agility create a kind of medicine-ball effect many coaches say they value during the season-long drive toward the NCAA Division 1 tournament, which tips off this weekend.

But having a male practice squad to play against female teams, as is also done in other sports, may be in peril. NCAA officials have vowed to investigate whether it poses safety and liability issues - or lessens opportunities for women trying to sustain more than 30 years of progress since the passage of Title IX.

"Is it appropriate for a female athlete to be standing on the sidelines watching a male practice player compete?" asks Darlene Bailey, chair of the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics. "Does that diminish their enthusiasm for staying on the team, if they might be a walk-on athlete? And does it diminish their opportunity to improve if they're not playing against the best?"

Ms. Bailey says no single event or complaint triggered the new scrutiny. But she maintains that while some coaches find male practice players to be useful, others may feel that as long as such players are permitted, they must use them just to keep up.

Sometimes men serve as stopgaps. At top-seeded LSU, male practice players were dismissed for the season back in November, according to Brian Miller, a spokesman for the athletic department. Reason: a deeper than usual roster of female scholarship athletes.

Some observers call the new NCAA attention an inevitable result of the growing national profile of all aspects of the women's game - and of the media's love of a good yarn. One perennial angle: Meet the guys who play with the girls.

"We get five requests a year on that story," says Randy Press, assistant director of athletic communications at the University of Connecticut.

But for at least some women players, the arrangement has long since become more integral than odd.

"I've been practicing with guys all four years," says B.C. senior Jessalyn Deveny, an All-Big East shooting guard who was the team's high scorer this season until being sidelined last month with an injury. "They're such an asset, with their quickness and physical stature.... They help get us ready for any opponent."

Experts on women's collegiate athletics appear wary of any new restrictions, or a ban.

"Somebody has to show why there is a need [for a ban], and nothing I've heard so far has sounded compelling to me," says Donna Lopiano, executive director of the Women's Sports Foundation in East Meadow, N.Y. She notes that from what she has seen in different sports, women's teams benefit from practicing with men. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

When Girls Train against the Guys, Is There a Loser? ; the NCAA Is Looking into Whether It's Unfair or Unsafe to Have Men Practice against Women's Basketball Teams, as Many of the Top Teams Do
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.