A New Season: Using Title IX to Reform College Sports

A New Season: Using Title IX to Reform College Sports

A New Season: Using Title IX to Reform College Sports

A New Season: Using Title IX to Reform College Sports

Synopsis

This book demonstrates how colleges might retain threatened varsity programs and expand sports opportunities for women students if they replaced the current commercial model with one that emphasizes student participation. This would benefit the college students who play varsity sports, instead of benefiting the coaches, athletic directors, or over-generous boosters who dominate many programs.

Excerpt

Nothing invites a critique like hypocrisy in high places, and there is no institution in America today that is more hypocritical than “big-time” college sports. Article I of the Constitution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) states that the NCAA believes that college sports should be “an integral part of the educational program” at its member institutions. In reality, college sports are commercial and semiprofessional entertainment enterprises, largely because of the NCAA's efforts, and they have little to do with higher education. To make matters worse, colleges' attempts to earn revenue and to gain visibility through athletic success have financial, academic, and social consequences that do them more harm than good.

I have observed college sports closely for thirty years, as a participant, a professor, a lawyer, and an author. My observations began during my undergraduate years at the University of Rhode Island, a second-tier member of the NCAA's prestigious Division I, where I had an undistinguished career as a distance runner in the early 1970s. They continued during doctoral studies in political science from 1974 until 1979 at Miami University of Ohio, which also occupies the second tier of Division I. A teaching job at Macalester College in Minnesota introduced me to the NCAA's Division III, where athletic scholarships are prohibited, and member colleges do not view sports as a source of revenue. In 1984 my enrollment in law school at Indiana University at Bloomington enabled me to see college sports in their most commercial and professional form.

Today, I live in Vermont, where college sports are not important sources of entertainment, the flagship state university does not field a football team, and hiking is just as popular as tailgating is in the fall. The major college closest to my home is Dartmouth, which does not offer athletic scholarships.

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