A Commentary: The real Gender Issue in College “secondary sports” – gymnastics, track and field facing cuts amid pandemic under the guise of Title IX Compliance – A commentary by Author & Political Consultant Chris Edwards

The right wing fringe is raising alarms questioning the Gender Equity bill that just passed the house and is on the way to the Senate. To our friends on the extreme right fringe, watch this report from 60 Minutes linked. Watch, pay closest attention to the last 8 minutes on how programs are sacrificed to keep Football alive using Title IX as a shield.

Congressman Mike Thompson of my California District and Congresswoman Rep. Yvette Herrell of my New Mexico district of which I am deeply imbedded in each, why don’t you find areas of compromise and address this issue, the real gender Title IX issue.

Instead of questioning the Gender Equity bill to my friends on the extreme Right Fringe, watch this report and watch, pay closest attention to the last 8 minutes on how programs are sacrificed to keep Football alive using Title IX as a shield. Congressman Mike Thompson, Congresswoman Rep. Yvette Herrell why don’t you find areas of compromise and address this issue, a real gender issue.

The long term impact of our present course is, colleges will continue with Football but we will no longer as a nation be competitive the Olympics. Where is the national pride all sports are equal and all genders men and women should have equal access?

The #1 minority participation sport for men and women is track and field and Cross Country per the NCAA. The graduation rate of those diverse athletes with higher rates of POC than other sports are higher (over 80% track, cross country over 90%) for those sports than Football (graduation rates 52%). However those programs such as Clemson are cut under the guise of funding and Title IX compliance.

The education problem and football:

In Minnesota the programs cut saved the university $1.2 Million however the Football coaches salary is $4 Million. Is the football coach of value greater than the 5 cut sports in a university environment, a institution of higher learning? Hmmm.

The University of New Mexico cut the men’s soccer a few years ago, though Albuquerque hosts a professional team. UNM used title IX as the shield in debate to protect football which in NM is a money looser but a center of pride. The priority of secondary education and the partnership of sports is education, isn’t it? Isn’t the product of the institution supposed to be a well rounded student that graduates?

As congress people, Yvette and Mike, craft a bi-partisan committee for review and seek solutions to this issue. Do you have the commitment to bipartisan leadership?

The long term impact is colleges will continue with Football but we will no longer as a nation be competitive the Olympics. Where is the national pride all sports are equal? 

The #1 minority participation sport for men and women is track and field and Cross Country. The graduation rate of those diverse athletes with higher rates of POC than other sports are higher (over 82%  track, cross country over 90%) for those sports. For Football (graduation rates are as low as 38% at some colleges). However track and field programs are cut such as the recent cut at Clemson under the guise of funding and Title IX compliance.  

“The global pandemic has further exposed disparities in our world that have existed for years,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, shared with me. “That includes the unfortunate gap in academic achievement and sustainability among our student-athletes. … Student-athletes must succeed as STUDENTS, not just as athletes. Since less than 2% of these gifted young people will ever make it to the professional ranks, we must prepare them for success both on and off the field. The message needs to be sent to our collegiate leadership letting them know that Black EDUCATION Matters.” Article by Richard Lapchick ESPN, Dec 23, 2020

Minority graduation rates of athletes are dropping and as the opportunities in a variety of sports are cut. The graduation rates in football run as low as 38% in some colleges to an average 72% of recent. However in the more diverse sports of Track and Field and Cross Country the graduation rates run in the 90% range on average. Athletics departments pad the overall graduation rate with those athletes rather than admit the issues with football graduation rates.

The university systems in the post Covid-19 world are going to be under even greater financial pressure. As leaders let’s cut the misinformation on gender issues and get to the real facts and review the real issues around Title IX and its abuses.

As congress people Yvette and Mike, craft a bi-partisan committee for review and seek solutions to this issue. Do you have the commitment to bipartisan leadership?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/college-sports-cuts-gymnastics-swimming-pandemic-60-minutes-2020-12-06/

Author & Political Consultant Chris Edwards is the Author of Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Series. A three book series on the history of interscholastic sports, Title IX and the impact of sports from New Mexico and beyond. Available on Amazon and better independent book stores in the US:

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