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Archive for Sunday, November 15, 2009

Title IX suit targets KU men’s athletics

Complaint focuses on level of competition for under-represented gender

The coed Kansas University swimming club practice Thursday at Robinson Gymnasium pool. Swim club president Dan Johnson, top center, listens to instructions along with other members. A complaint has been filed against KU, alleging that it fails to offer adequate competition for men, in violation of Title IX.

The coed Kansas University swimming club practice Thursday at Robinson Gymnasium pool. Swim club president Dan Johnson, top center, listens to instructions along with other members. A complaint has been filed against KU, alleging that it fails to offer adequate competition for men, in violation of Title IX.

November 15, 2009

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A former Kansas University swimmer and member of the 1980 Olympic team has filed a Title IX complaint against the university, alleging that the school does not offer adequate competition for men.

The federal education department’s Office of Civil Rights will investigate the claim filed by Ron Neugent, who is now a dentist in Wichita.

He said he filed the complaint on Sept. 25, alleging that KU fails the three-pronged test required for Title IX compliance.

Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletic director, said he wouldn’t address any of the specific allegations raised in the complaint, but said that the athletics corporation hires a Title IX consultant who has raised no issues relating to compliance.

“We are very, very comfortable with where we are with regards to Title IX and our opportunities that we give to our student-athletes,” Marchiony said.

He said that Kansas Athletics would be meeting with officials from the Office of Civil Rights in the coming weeks.

‘A lot of swimming interest’

The coed Kansas University swimming club practices Thursday at Robinson Gymnasium under the guidance of swim coach Molly Brammer. A complaint has been filed questioning the university’s Title IX compliance.

The coed Kansas University swimming club practices Thursday at Robinson Gymnasium under the guidance of swim coach Molly Brammer. A complaint has been filed questioning the university’s Title IX compliance.

The decision is being watched closely by participants in the KU Swimming Club, including men who have not had the opportunity to participate in varsity sports at KU after the program was cut in 2001.

Dan Johnson, president of the KU Swimming Club, said that he knows that men’s swimmers there would be interested in joining a varsity team if the opportunity were offered.

“I think that it would be awesome,” he said. “I think that there’s a lot of swimming interest in the state of Kansas.”

One student, Chacour Koop, transferred from KU to Eastern Illinois University, which has a varsity swimming program, after his freshman year.

Today, he swims on the Eastern Illinois team.

“Your times and your abilities aren’t going to improve much” when swimming and competing only on the club level, Koop said. “Plus, team spirit and school spirit are much more visible.”

Neugent found, after reading materials released from KU as part of an NCAA self-study, that women participating in sports at KU outnumbered men.

As of 2007-08, Neugent found that 51 fewer men than women participated in KU varsity sports — resulting in a situation at KU where men, rather than women, are an under-represented gender.

Title IX compliance

Erin Buzuvis, an associate professor of law at Western New England College, who studies Title IX issues and monitors cases nationwide for a blog on the topic, said she wasn’t aware of any complaint quite like the one that’s been filed at KU.

To comply with Title IX, a university must show it meets any one part of a three-part test, Buzuvis said, specifically:

• A university may demonstrate it is providing athletic opportunities for men and women at a rate substantially proportional to the enrollment rates of men and women.

• A school may show a continuing practice of program expansion for an under-represented gender.

• A school can demonstrate that the interest and abilities of the under-represented gender are being fully accommodated.

Neugent said that 4 percent more women than men participate in sports at KU, while enrollment figures remain essentially even.

No men’s programs have been added at KU since golf was added 73 years ago, he said, and a petition signed by about 30 students interested in a men’s swimming and diving team has been registered with the athletic department, he said.

Using that information, Neugent claimed KU was no longer in compliance with Title IX.

Buzuvis said he may have a case, as she is aware of disparities near 5 percent being called significant enough to merit noncompliance with the law, particularly at larger schools. She said that KU’s failure to comply with the second portion of the test may be harder to prove, as the school can demonstrate it has expanded opportunities for men without having to add more sports.

Neugent said that he’s pursuing the complaint in the hopes that KU would add sports in men’s tennis and swimming and diving to restore equality.

“If our state university is not compliant with that law, it’s not right,” Neugent said. “If this had been reversed, and females had been discriminated against at KU, I would feel the same way and taken just as strong a stance as I have here.”

Comments

kansastruthteller 5 years, 1 month ago

Glad someone is watching out for men too. Equal protection means equal for all.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

The Big XII conference has 3 swim programs for men. Mizzou, A&M, and Texas. The conference is a joke as far as mens swimming is concerned. Texas is a national power. The other two are not.

I think the fact that KU hasn't added an athletic program for men in 73 years is pretty sad. How many new academic programs and women athletic programs have been added in that time?

The culprit is football. Football requires many scholarships and lots of facilities. NCAA football has become a monstrosity and there is no turning back.

Dr. Neugent has a good idea, but it won't fly. All sports in the athletic department, both for men and women, are in competition with football. Football will win the PR campaign and there will be no change.

Local high school boys will do what my son did 5 years ago. They will go to the Big 10, which still has a conference mens swim competition.

Brent Garner 5 years, 1 month ago

Gotta love it when the gender PC Title IX bites back! Gotta love it!

ivalueamerica 5 years, 1 month ago

bkgarner,

only in your little mind would this be bite back..

This was the intention. Only to racist and bigots are equal protections only for certain populations.

Get with the 21st century and out of the 19th. You are embarassing yourself and our country.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 1 month ago

Who ever said that we spend too much time fixated on and whining about sports?

labmonkey 5 years, 1 month ago

The money being asked for swimming should be spent on academics. College is supposed to prepare you for a professional life, and where does swimming fall into that? At least with football and basketball, KU places a couple people into the NFL and NBA.

T_Time 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry, but before we start talking about adding swimming and tennis we should look into soccer. I never played the sport, but if you think it is the most played sport by kansas teenagers you are wrong.

slowplay 5 years, 1 month ago

labmonkey,

All right. Let's eliminate all sports except basketball and football. Track and field would be a good start. Volleyball for sure. I don't recall any KU women going pro in basketball, so that should go. Golf? Womens's softball, definitely. And of course all intramural sports. Close the Ambler fitness center and the Robinson gym as physical fitness is not necessary for a "professional" education.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 1 month ago

Let's face it, sports like Rowing only exist because of Title IX. You did notice the story about the LHS student signing a letter of intent to KSU. Her quotes are “I didn’t know much about rowing, but I already knew I loved the school, so I didn’t have to determine that.” and “I’ve been canoeing,” “We used to go every year when I was a kid. I don’t know if that will help or not, but I’m really excited for this new adventure.” (I don't blame her at all, just using it as an example)

In general, we have done such a good job getting women in college the last 20 years, we have left the men behind, just look at the national reports on the ratios enrolled in college.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 1 month ago

Bob Frederick is the reason those programs were eliminated. His inability to fund raise and manage and his lack of know how cost those programs. That's the long and short of it.

labmonkey 5 years, 1 month ago

Slowplay-

With the exception of closing the fitness centers, I actually agree with that. Those other sports are a drain on the budget and encourage donations which otherwise could go to academics. If a sport cannot pay for itself, it should be eliminated. I grow tired of education experts asking for tax increases, yet I see schools build stadiums and funnel money into athletics when their first priority should be education.

Hop2It 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes....IF KU was going to add any men's programs it would be soccer. Lower overhead and more representative of our state/national growth.

mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

that's why they have title IX, because women's sports usually do not pay for themselves and school would cut them. They don't get the tv coverage that guy's sports do. I asked a KU basketball fan why he didn't go to a women's game, since he loved basketball. ANd he replied that women don't dunk.

mwilliam 5 years, 1 month ago

I get it, because of ACORN, libs and minorities we had the banking crisis. It didn't have anything to do with the "get the government out of our lives" republicans who eliminated most of the banking regulations that kept banks under control. Oh no, it was the minorities getting all those loans they couldn't afford. I would like to know who gave them those loans, it certainly wasn't ACORN. Again, we are talking about greedy bankers who figured out ways to sucker people into getting loans they could not afford all in the interest of getting richer by convincing people (who wanted in most instances simply to share in the American dream of owning a home) to take loans that even the people knew they could not afford. But, I guarantee you it was not minorities getting those seven figure loans to purchase 3-5000 sq ft home they could not afford, which are now in foreclosure. I apologize to those who are on this blog wanting to talk about sports but have gotten suckered punched by onlyone into talking about politics. But that is what happens with disciples of Rush and others of his ilk.

Title IX is about fairness, initially implemented because women were getting the short end relative to sports dollars. It is still about fairness; I would think for a major university like KU it is ridiculous to have only six sports in which men can participate. Why shouldn't a university of the caliber of KU have wrestling, swimming, golf, tennis, etc. for men. We pride ourselves in having great sports teams as we pride ourselves in being a top rank academic institution; we are short changing the guys at this point. No one is asking that men get more, the quest is for some equality at this point, it just so happens that men are currently on the short end of this debate. Onlyone I think you need to get a life and listen to commentators other than Rush, O'Reilly, etc.--give me a break.

emptymind 5 years, 1 month ago

If our state university is not compliant with that law, it’s not right,” Neugent said. “If this had been reversed, and females had been discriminated against at KU, I would feel the same way and taken just as strong a stance as I have here.”

That is a good point

pace 5 years, 1 month ago

Only one way to be really fair, simply stop all sports at KU starting tonight. Free the campus from the stain of athletic unfairness. If that is not possible, they should stop tomorrow.

Vinny1 5 years, 1 month ago

30 students signing a petition is called significant interest? Seriously? That is 1/10th of 1% of the enrollment at KU.

I could find you 30 or more people at KU intested in playing hockey, soccer, lacrosse, etc.

Also, the disparity between men and women is only 4%. That equates to between 5 and 10 positions. They will just open a couple more walk-on spots on either the football of baseball team or cut a couple on some of the womens teams.

KU will not add mens swimming. You can bet your bottom dollar on that.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

JackRipper. you must be a very boring person...LOL

sampierron 5 years, 1 month ago

Please understand first that I am a football fan. That said, there is a relatively easy solution to the dominance of football scholarships.

The current FBS (TDFKA I-A) scholarship limit is 85. By way of contrast, the current FCS (TDFKA I-AA) scholarship limit is 63.

Here's the radical idea (borrowed from a friend): Drop the scholarship limit for FBS to 66. Why 66? That's 11, 3-deep, on both sides of the ball. I can hear the wailing now: "What about the kicker and punter?" On some level, can't your third-string left guard be your third-string right guard? Can't your third-string left tackle be your third string right tackle?

Do this, and you can bring back two mens' sports, and you will increase parity in college football. Where's the downside?

Vinny1 5 years, 1 month ago

sampierron ---

You also have redshirted players, which is far more common in football than any other sport. Don't forget about injuries. You have guys on scholarship that only play special teams.

And think about this. You propose cutting 18 scholarships from 119 schools. That is over 2100 kids that no longer are playing football at some level. This has a major backlash, and will never happen.

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