Title IX and Men’s Olympic sports
By Jake Sueflohn, NewsNetNebraska
Equality is an idea that Americans agree with, and the main reason behind creating Title IX in 1972. But for Dustin Williams, a red shirt freshman on the wrestling team, that equality will never be reached.
While things are not completely equal, huge progress has been made in the last forty years. There are six times as many women in college sports than there was when this law was first created. There is still a 60,000 athlete gap between men and women, that athletic departments will look to continue to close.
According to Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post, 4,641 women’s teams have been added since Title IX was created, along with 3,727 men’s teams. She also states that 2,748 men’s teams have been dropped too. Most of the teams that are dropped are non-revenue Olympic sports.
Two of the hardest hit sports have been wrestling and gymnastics. Liz Clark of the Washington Post said that men’s wrestling has lost 50 percent of the division 1 programs in the last thirty years, down from 146 to 73. Men’s gymnastics has been hit even harder. Thirty years ago there was 59 Division 1 programs, now there are only 16 left.
The reason most men’s sports are dropped are due to financial reasons. Athletic departments find it easier to drop a men’s team rather than add a women’s team. Therefore, the first ones to go are the non-revenue ones.
Williams says there has to be a better system set in place, one that doesn’t see Olympic sports dropped so frequently. Williams says for the short term these sports need to find ways to increase funding. Williams is quick to point out what happened at University of Nebraska-Omaha and how they dropped their wrestling team despite it being close to self-supported.
“College sports are a stepping stone for the Olympics, but when you take away those sports in college, what happens to the Olympic hopefuls?” said Williams.
For more information on this check out this article by the Washington Post