Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Skirting the gender issue

An article by the New York Times about Title IX and the roster management policies that universities use to balance their compliance numbers – or circumvent the law – is an interesting read.

For example:

* At South Florida, more than half of the 71 women on the cross-country roster failed to run a race in 2009. When asked about it by The Times, a few laughed and said they did not know they were on the team. South Florida reported 71 women on its cross-country team, but race results show only 28 competed in at least one race.

* At Marshall, the women's tennis coach recently invited three freshmen onto the team even though he knew they were not good enough to practice against the scholarship players, let alone compete. In other words, they got free court time in return for counting on the roster. (On a side note, one of the scholarship players at Marshall is former Chartiers-Houston standout Karlyn Timko).

* Texas A&M women's basketball, which recently won the national championship, took advantage of a federal loophole that allows women's hoops teams to report male practice players as female participants. Texas A&M reported 32(!) women's basketball players in the 2009-10 academic year, although 14 were male students who practiced with the team.

These roster tricks are done to to mask the fact that schools have fewer female athletes.

As former Syracuse athletic director Jake Crouthamel said, “It’s easier to add more people on a roster than it is to start a new sport.

Read the story here.

After reading the story, I wondered how lower-level NCAA schools are trying to balance the male-female ratio numbers, and how Title IX has caused some sports, such as the wrestling program at NCAA Division II California University, to be dropped. One way, it appears, is to give scholarships to foreign-born players.

For example, California has nine women's sports with 41 athletes listed as being from outside the United States. None of the eight players on Cal's highly successful women's tennis team are from the United States (two each from France and Germany, one each from Brazil, Sweden, South Africa and Kazakhstan). Seven of the nine players on the Vulcans' women's golf team are outside the U.S.

In all, 18 countries are represented on Cal's women's sports rosters.

For the sake of argument, let's say that all 41 foreign-born women's athletes at Cal receive some sort of athletic scholarship. You think some of those scholarships could have been given to a player or two from the WPIAL without compromising the quality of play? Or that some of those scholarships could have been given to a wrestling team that could have been stocked entirely with Pennsylvania athletes?

I'm not picking on Cal, though it might seem that way. This practice goes on at many Division I and II schools. Cal just happens to be the one in our backyard.

It seems that Title IX is the best thing that could have happened to female athletes outside the United States. I'm guessing that when Title IX was instituted in 1972, nobody thought that would happen at the expense of American-born athletes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

W&J football schedule released

For a second-straight season, Washington & Jefferson College’s football team will play a pair of NCAA Division III playoff teams in the first month of the season. This year, both games will be played at Cameron Stadium.
W&J, last year’s ECAC Division III Southwest Bowl Champions, opens its season in central Pennsylvania on Sept. 3 at Juniata with a 1 pm kickoff.
The Presidents and Eagles have not met since the 1989 season opener, a 20-0 W&J victory. The two schools also met in the season openers in 1984 (a 28-24 W&J win) and 1988 (a 13-13 tie). Juniata leads the all-time series, 3-2-1.
The second and final installment of the “PAC-MAC Challenge Series” will be at Cameron Stadium on Sept. 10, when the Presidents host Delaware Valley in a 1:30 p.m. game. The Aggies blanked the Presidents, 27-0, last fall in Doylestown.
W&J travels to Bethany on Sept. 17 for the only night game on the schedule (7 p.m.). The last time W&J played only one night game was in the 2004 season.
Three-time defending PAC Champion Thomas More comes to Washington on Sept. 24 for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. The Saints have beaten the Presidents three consecutive years by a combined 21 points. Buffalo State is the last team to defeat W&J four consecutive seasons from 1996-99.
W&J plays PAC games at Westminster (1 p.m.) Oct.1 and Saint Vincent Oct. 8. The Presidents host Geneva for Homecoming Day on Oct. 22. The game against Geneva will be the first against the Golden Tornadoes as a member of the PAC. They had been on provisional status.
Grove City hosts the Presidents on Oct. 29 (1:30 p.m.) and W&J ends the season with home games against Thiel (1:30 p.m.) Nov. 5 and Waynesburg (1:30 p.m.) Nov. 12.
W&J ranks third among NCAA Division III football programs with 675 victories. The Presidents have 27 consecutive winning seasons, the fourth-longest active streak in NCAA Division III and eighth among all divisions. Head coach Mike Sirianni enters his ninth season with a 79-14 overall record (.849).

2011 Schedule
Date Opponent Time
Sept. 3 at Juniata 1 pm
Sept. 10 Delaware Valley 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Bethany* 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 Thomas More* 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Westminster* 1 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Saint Vincent* 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 Bye
Oct. 22 Geneva* 2 p.m.
Oct. 29 at Grove City* 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 5 Thiel* 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 12 Waynesburg* 1:30 p.m.
*PAC games

Thursday, April 14, 2011

W&J junior RHP Dave Trushel, a graduate of Bethel Park, threw a school-record 12 innings Thursday in the Presidents’ 4-1 victory in 13 innings over Saint Vincent in Latrobe. Trushel allowed just one fifth-inning run, allowed four hits and struck out seven in the 119-pitch performance.

The game was scheduled for 7 innings as the first game of a doubleheader.