Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Equal' Treatment Isn't Fair to Providence Program

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Equal' Treatment Isn't Fair to Providence Program

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE -- This isn't what the framers of Title IX had in mind a quarter-century ago. It couldn't have been. There's no possible way they could have looked into the sad eyes of Providence third baseman Angelo Ciminiello and had the heart to tell him his team and his dream would be disbanded for the sake of equality.

How did such a good idea go so bad? How did a law that was supposed to generate opportunities actually start reducing them?

Sadly, after yesterday's 7-5 loss to Jacksonville University in the first round of the NCAA Regional, the Providence College baseball team is but one defeat from extinction. One and done -- forever.

The school's administration decided in October to jettison the 80-year-old baseball program so the athletic department could meet gender equity demands. Shamefully, this is the latest trend among financially strapped colleges -- equality by eraser. Wasn't Title IX supposed to be a genesis, not a genocide?

"I don't blame gender equity because I think females should have equal rights," said Ciminiello after yesterday's loss. "I blame our administration for not pursuing every avenue in order to comply with gender equity. The administration could have saved our program if they had wanted to, but it was much easier and cleaner for them to just cut us."

Said Providence coach Charlie Hickey: "You cannot, in good conscience, tell me any woman is benefiting from the fact these kids won't play baseball again."

This is the dark side of Title IX -- the federal law that was rightfully created 26 years ago to provide equitable athletic opportunities for females. What is happening to these Providence ballplayers is certainly not fair or right, but, then again, think back to 30 years ago.

Was it fair and right when college football programs put as many as 200 young men on scholarship while no grant-in-aids were made available for athletically gifted women? …

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