Clarification eases Title IX requirements

A recently released clarification by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights makes it easier for college and universities to comply with Title IX regulations regarding athletics.

The March 17 clarification, signed by Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights James F. Manning, specifically deals with the “fully and effectively” test, the third of three prongs to determine if a school is in compliance with the 1972 regulation that bans discrimination on the basis of sex from institutions that receive federal funding. The clarification was published on the Office of Civil Right’s Web site.


Sports or Academic Freedom

March is the month sports fans refer to as “March Madness,” for good reason. The month is filled with conference basketball tournaments only to be followed by the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament, along with a scattering of other events along the way.

But the “main event,” so to speak, is the NCAA tournament. Sixty-four college basketball games over the course of three weeks are enough to wet any sports fan’s appetite.

The attention placed on those games is what makes college administrators giddy with excitement. To the college administrators of the 65 teams selected for the tournament, it means more visibility they hope will eventually turn into increased alumni contributions or a higher number of college applicants.

Yes, it’s fun to sit down on the couch with your favorite adult beverage in one hand, the remote control in the other and a bowl of chips in your lap and watch every game from the play-in game to the championship game. However, do we pay similar attention to the academic failings of today’s colleges and universities as we do college sports? Chances are few if any understand the true landscape of the American public university system and some of the problems that it currently faces.


Wrestling with Title IX

For more than 30 years, Title IX of the Education Amendments has been heralded as the reason for the increase in the number of women’s athletic programs across the country and providing opportunities for women like Mia Hamm to compete on the college level.

While Title IX has provided more opportunities in athletics for women, it has done the opposite for men. A federal guideline intended to prevent discrimination among the sexes in education has done just the opposite in college athletics. Title IX requirements have been used to cut athletic opportunities for men, while at the same time increasing opportunities for women.


Clemson, South Carolina made right decision

In Detroit Friday, the Indiana Pacers’ Ron Artest ran into the bleachers, punching several fans after he was hit with a cup of beer starting a riot between players and fans.

Less than 24 hours later, emotions in a heated rivalry game between Clemson and South Carolina ran high and resulted in a 10-minute, bench-clearing brawl in the fourth quarter.

It was a weekend where these two sporting events were more indicative of a professional wrestling pay-per-view event than a pro basketball or college football game. Both fights, regardless of the circumstances, were uncalled for and certainly raise questions about the lack of sportsmanship in sports today.


Clemson, South Carolina made right decision

In Detroit Friday, Indiana Pacers’ Ron Artest ran into the bleachers, punching and shoving several fans after he was hit with a cup of beer that further incited a riot between players and fans that had already reaching a boiling point.

Less than 24 hours later, emotions in a heated rivalry game between Clemson and South Carolina ran high and resulted in a 10-minute, bench-clearing brawl in the fourth quarter.




College sports makes for strange bedfellows

For many people, collegiate athletics contribute a huge portion of a college’s identity, even overshadowing the schools’ academic programs and research initiatives. College administrators see athletics as a way to reach out to possible donors, alumni, supporters, and prospective students. Little wonder that schools strive to field quality teams in order to win games, conference titles, bowl games, and national championships.


Winston-Salem State tries the Hail Mary pass

In football, the Hail-Mary pass is a last-second, desperation play that has a chance of winning or tying the game, but has a very low probability of success.
Colleges and universities try something like the Hail-Mary when they attempt to use success in athletics as a means of improving their academic reputations and finances. The idea is that winning at sports will transfer over to the institution as a whole, boosting applications and funding. Like the Hail-Mary pass, it’s unlikely to succeed, but college administrators keep trying.


Education Dept. ‘further clarifies’ Title IX enforcement

Several months have passed since a federal commission urged changes to how the government enforces Title IX of the Education of Amendments. Several years have passed since the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights last issued a Clarification of OCR’s policies to determine compliance with the measure. On July 11, in a “Dear Colleague” letter, OCR issued what Gerald Reynolds, assistant secretary for civil rights, termed a “Further Clarification of Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Guidance Regarding Title IX Compliance.”