Letter to the Editor

Insufficient sports

San Luis ObispoMarch 7, 2013 

I am outraged that Cuesta College has dodged the bullet — or should I say, tennis ball. Three years after the school unilaterally abolished the women’s tennis team, the investigation found “insufficient evidence to support a conclusion of non-compliance” with Title IX, because Cuesta offers “proportionately similar opportunities” for male and female students (eight women’s sports and seven men’s sports).

Title IX of the US Education Act of 1972 requires academic institutions that receive federal funds to offer male and female students sports participation opportunities in “substantial proportion ” to the student enrollment of each sex. That means, you can have a few huge men’s teams (football) and a lot of smaller rosters for women’s sports (rowing, tennis, swimming) and still be in compliance if the ratio of male to female athletes is proportional to their ratio in student body enrollment. As far as I know, having a similar number of sports areas is “insufficient” by definition.

Since 1972, women’s participation in sports has increased more than 500 percent and has led to decreased drop-out rates, less mental illness and lower rates of obesity among women sports participants, to say nothing of increased self-esteem and confidence. So it’s a shame that the evidence was considered “insufficient.”

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