Last Thursday, the College Sports Council released a study detailing the incredible opportunity gap that exists in Division I soccer between male and female athletes. And last night here at Opposing Views, Neena Chaudhry, Senior Counsel for the National Women’s Law Center, posted a rebuttal to the study.
There was one minor detail that Ms. Chaudhry neglected to include in her rebuttal. And that one detail was a simple link to the CSC study. Now, I would never deny anyone the right to rebuttal, but there's something dishonest about an online exchange that doesn't acknowledge both sides of the argument, especially when the side of the argument you're rebutting has a home online that everyone can visit. That this happened at a Web site called "Opposing Views," has to be considered more than a bit laughable.
I wish this was an isolated incident, but when it comes to supporters of gender quotas in college athletics, it's simply the way business gets done. Even the mighty Title IX Blog, which linked to a news report about the CSC study, didn't have the guts to link to the actual study either. And for a blog that touts itself as "an interdisciplinary resource for news, legal developments, commentary, and scholarship about Title IX," there's a decided lack of discussion of the issue thanks to the fact that you can't leave comments.
That should tell you all you need to know about the supporters of gender quotas. As far as they're concerned, there's only one way to think about Title IX -- their way.
With that in mind, I'd like to share with the readers here at Opposing Views our basic thesis and the graphs and charts that back them up. In the mid-1990s, men and women had reached rough parity in Division I soccer in terms of number of teams and total number of soccer athletes. However, in 1996, the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights created a safe harbor for proportionality to prove Title IX compliance. Ever since then, women's soccer in Division I has continued to grow while the men's game has essentially been frozen in time.
To clarify, our argument is not that the growth of women's soccer has stifled the men's game. Our argument is that the use of proportionality to prove Title IX compliance has stifled the men's game, creating the incredible disparities that exist in Division I soccer today.
Click here for the graph showing the disparity in the number of teams.
Click here for the graph showing the percentage of schools carrying Division I soccer programs.
And finally, click here for the graph showing the growing disparity in the number of soccer athletes.
Take a look at the numbers, which came straight from the NCAA. No matter how much gender quota advocates want to ignore them, they can't explain them away. I'd say I'm looking forward to more public debate in the future, but it ought to be clear by now that the opposition isn't interested. I'm sure they'd prefer that we just go away, but unfortunately, more mothers and fathers are beginning to realize that their sons are being shortchanged by college athletics. I don't think they're going away either.