COME AT THE COST
OF MEN’S PARTICIPATION
Critics of Title IX argue that some men’s sports are cut to satisfy its requirements of more equal participation opportunities for women. This belief is based on an assumed “zero sum budgeting” and a bit of arithmetic. First, cutting a men’s sport frees money to spend on women’s sports. Second, for the same number of women’s sports, a decrease in the number of men’s sports makes access look more equal. Under this belief, the executioner’s ax is ready to swing on men’s wrestling, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, and track.
The examples cited include the following. The University of Kansas athletic department cut men’s swimming and tennis to stay in the black, saving about $600,000 per year and reducing participation by fifty male athletes (Lee, 2001). Among the reasons cited for the cuts were increasing scholarship costs, a 115 percent increase in team travel costs for the other sports, and increases in coaches’ and administrators’ salaries. The Kansas athletic department also noted that the cuts were made in order to meet gender equity requirements. The same logic was pronounced over the elimination of baseball at Northern Illinois (Watson, 2009). Most recently, the University of Delaware announced that it was cutting men’s track because it feared that it would not be able to meet the requirements of Title IX in the future, even though it was about to add women’s golf (Thomas, 2011a). Irony of ironies, some of the threatened men’s track team members filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (which oversees Title IX), claiming discrimination. According to the author: