The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Sunday, September 28, 2003
Title IX - how Stalinist can you get?
The US, at one level, is a puzzle set for the amusement of those of us doomed ever to suffer from a crick in the neck from gazing up to the City on a Hill.
Gunnar Myrdal's American Dilemma is but one of a myriad of conundrums  offered to the discerning foreigner. Why, for instance, is it rank socialism and unAmerican (or is that Unamerican?) to finance health care from general taxation, but the most American thing in the world to do the same for education?
I doubt that even the reddest of governments around in the continent of the Axis of Weasels believes these days in equality of outcomes: under the lash of competition from Uncle Sam, on the whole, a rather beneficial stimulant, equality of opportunity would tend to be the most on offer (and that in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence's life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)
But, if I understand it aright, that's what Title IX offers . Forget Michigan and its shilly-shallying points system nudge nudge, wink wink methods: in practice, Title IX provides  the very crudest of quotas: in Spencer Tracy's immortal line from Pat and Mike,
I can't pretend to have traced it all through: the best starting point I've got is this DOJ page which links into the various regulations that fill out the detail. But the meat seems to be in para (c) of .450 of the main regulations on Title IX : it says (in (c)(1)) that
A recipient that operates or sponsors...athletics shall provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexesand goes on to enumerate various factors to be taken into account.
And in (c)(2):
For purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, unequal aggregate expenditures for members of each sex or unequal expenditures for male and female teams if a recipient operates or sponsors separate teams will not constitute noncompliance with this section, but the designated agency official may consider the failure to provide necessary funds for teams for one sex in assessing equality of opportunity for members of each sex.
A USA Today piece from last year talks about a three-part test applied by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education  that addresses similar issues to the regulation, but in a different way.
The upshot is, however, that equality rules: although both the regulations and the three-part test ostensibly allow for flexibility, a Gresham's Law of risk aversion makes college authorities prefer the draconian but safe solution of strict equality. And, things being what they are, that means levelling men's sports down to the level of female.
And - what got me looking at Title IX just now - a WaPo piece (September 27) has the University of Maryland
promoted part of its cheerleading squad to varsity status this year to create more scholarships and playing opportunities for female athletes on campus.
Next, it'll be ballroom dancing and aerobics! Anything to make the Title IX quota without slashing the men's teams .
Surely a system more in tune with the values of Uncle Joe than Uncle Sam?
free website counter