Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A New Post Letter to the Editor

Title IX, finances not reasons for cuts

Administration officials are misleading students regarding the recent sports cuts. The university has cited Title IX and financial reasons for cutting the sports. Hocutt has continually said that due to inequality in the Athletic Department, the NCAA would not recertify the university next year unless the school added another women’s sport. He goes on to say that this is not feasible because of the financial crisis facing the Athletic Department. Seem odd? Well it does to me, especially since former Athletic Director Boeh said in a March 2005 interview with The Athens News that Ohio University was one of the top schools in the country for Title IX compliance. So how did we all of a sudden fall out of compliance with Title IX?

After consulting with Title IX experts,I have come up with what seems to be the actual reasoning for our sports cuts. Kirby Hocutt wanted to reinvest in revenue sports; however, he did not have the money to do so. Therefore, women’s lacrosse was cut due to their large athletic budget caused by the fact that there are no other schools in the MAC sponsoring lacrosse. This then causes an actual Title IX problem; the Athletic Department realizes that unless they cut men’s programs, they are open to a Title IX lawsuit by any one of the cut lacrosse athletes. This is why men’s swimming and diving along with men’s track were put on the chopping block. Then the question of discrimination arises. With the men’s teams’ budgets so low and fund-raising very feasible, financial obligations obviously were not a factor. That leaves three male teams cut due only in part because they were male athletes. Title IX was created to enhance women’s opportunities and not an excuse to blatantly discriminate against male athletes.

I overheard a student yesterday say, “OU used to be such a cool place; what happened?” I would like to ask the administration that exact question. What happened?

Branden Burns is a freshman political science and recreation management major.

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