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blue girl

Really, really good post Mr. Mannion. You've given me a lot to think about. I'll be back after linkage-reading.

blue girl

First, Phyllis Schlafly is a complete and total loon and I wish she'd just go away. Along with all the rest of 'em.

I'm assuming that most right-wingers would say to the "on the fence" boys -- "Too bad! You didn't work hard enough! What? You think you deserve MONEY FOR COLLEGE as a REWARD for being lazy? Ha! You lose."

And I'm not sure I agree with you about this line:

"The people who've been arguing that it's ok that George Bush is an ignoramous don't really believe it."

I know plenty who completely believe it and they wouldn't describe Bush as an ignoramous either.

These men that I know tend to be anywhere from late 50s - mid 70s. They didn't go to college but became pretty successful in business anyway. They *brag* about not going to college and make sarcastic remarks about people who think degrees are going to get them ahead. God, I heard one of them once brag about their little town's library having to be shut down for lack of money.

I know it's a generational thing, but it really aggravates me when my son is exposed to their nonsense.

Cryptic Ned

--What schools are eliminating their football and basketball programs?---

I think a few schools for whom the football team was about 15% of the male population have shut down their football programs. Swarthmore for example.


The big problem (D1) with athletic scholarship equivalence (Title IX) is football. I forget the exact number, but those 70 or so schlolarships put pressure on athletic departments viz. female scholarships. This whole kerfluffle is due to the conflict of the business that is athletics versus the responsibility of a college or university to its students. You failed to mention one of the most commonly dropped men's programs: wrestling. An interesting topic, that I never see investigated, are intramural sports opportunities at colleges and how and whether they have changed as a result of Title IX. If they have, I'm betting that it is due to the increased interest in athletics in high schools by girls, also due to Title IX.

Division III colleges do not give athletic scholarships. They tend to support their intercollegiate sports from general revenues and view such competition as a meaningful option for their students. This concept is completely lost on the big money large universities.

RPI hasn't had good ice hockey since Ned Harkness left, with one exception.. in my opinion..

Shakespeare's Sister

Great post, Mannion. And I'd just add that, as I noted in the post to which you linked, it's not just the Right Wing Political Noise Machine that both subtly and overtly encourages anti-intellectualism. It's the Right Wing Religious Noise Machine that does it, too. Anti-intellectualism has become inextricably linked with conservative fundamentalist Christianity. (See: Intelligent Design.) Knowledge undermines the tenuous, though dogmatic, faith predicated on literal translations that a large swath of conservative Christianity demands. Best, then, to demonize education.



I went to the University of Iowa where wrestling isn't a sport, it's a higher calling, so I guess I think of wrestling programs as sacrosanct and therefore no schools would dare touch them. I'm sorry to hear I'm wrong.

I think Pop Mannion would agree with yuo about RPI hockey.


Wrestling should be outlawed if only to get rid of those god-forsaken unitards! They make everyone look like an Oompa Loompa!

My husband went to school at Grinnell and did indeed concur that Iowa and wrestling go hand in hand.


Following up on David X. Machina's comment about boys on the margins with some guesses of my own...

For many people, particularly the urban and rural poor, the decision to go to college means leaving home for good. This may be one of the major cultural disincentives.

Small town America ain't what it used to be. Towns that could once support numerous small businesses, libraries, doctors, lawyers, etc. because of the money from the nearby manufacturing plant may no longer exist in large numbers. So when a young man in such a place looks around at his options, what does he see?

Some fast food joints, maybe a Wal-Mart, the military, or somehow scraping together the money for college.

After finally earning that degree, home no longer has a place for him and not everyone wants to uproot to an urban center.

As for if this affects boys more than girls, I don't know...

I also don't know how it relates to Mannion's piece above. Except to say that at about the same age is when my 18 year old self began to realize that I was never going to make any money 1) playing sports, 2) playing video games, 3) making music, 4) getting by on innate talent and charm. I had the grades and my parents had the money to send me to college though. And I could envision my self someday earning a living from a degree in the general geographic area as my friends and family.

blue girl

Not to sidetrack into wrestling here -- but, Jennifer -- wrestling is really intense and fun to watch once you get into it. You are correct though -- those unitards are quite oompa-ish.


blue girl- I agree. I knew many wrestlers in high school and married a former wrestler. My commentary was not about the sport, but the uniform... to me, it just diminished all they were doing. Is your son a wrestler?

blue girl

Jennifer, Nope -- doesn't wrestle. He's not really a sports nut at all. More of a music nut. And striving to be a unique individual -- which I'm proud of.

Lance, he and I had a terrific discussion about your post today driving home from school. He said..."Mr. Z, who has pictures all over his classroom of Frederick Douglas -- he's his hero -- so you know he's not a racist or a sexist, told us that the feminists and the anti-anit-anti-racists still don't think things are equal and want to keep giving more things to girls than boys." Then he went on to give several examples and I think he may have been embellishing to make his point. Boys wear old uniforms, girls get new ones every year, etc. But he ended by saying that teachers are way nicer to the girls than the boys. He said boys can't get away with anything and girls get away with everything!


Hello my little Lance-chop...

I have been enjoying your recent posts and did want to say that although you are leaning towards verbosity, I'm with you!

FYI- I am the cover story on "In Style" for February. My article talks of things I am grateful for, one of which is I must confess that I have indeed found another beau, but since your heart is truly tied to The Blonde, I don't think that will bother you that much. I'm still game for an innocent Tango.

Yours always-



"Lance-chop?" Oh dear.


As the mother of two male former college athletes, I can say that I understand the concept and intention of Title IX. The problem arises when universities take the literal meaning of Title IX to the extreme.

Sure, the schools keep their money-making sports, football and basketball intact, but that doesn't mean they're keeping the number of athletic scholarships intact for those sports. More and more players are no longer given a free-ride. As an example, what has happened with baseball in many cases, is that scholarships have been drastically cut. Baseball used to get an average of 11 full scholarships per year (the coaches could either use the funds as full scholarships for 11 players or divide the money and share the wealth with more members of the team.) An average Division Division I baseball team now receives 3 scholarships. The lack of money is NOT discouraging these boys from attending college. It's just forcing them to take more loans to pay for their education.

Now, the real problem with Title IX arises when universities try to give scholarships to equal numbers of female athletes. I have seen unathletic girls, who have no interest in sports, approached by university athletic directors asking them if they'd like to join a new women's competition ping pong or badminton team...and receive a scholarship for doing so. Or, to equalize the male-female ratio, girls are approached and asked if they would like to dress as the school mascot or run on the football field and deliver water bottles to players...and receive an athletic scholarship for doing so.

Now how ridiculous is that? Here a girl is recieving thousands of dollars a year to play water-girl, and a High School All-American baseball player is receiving nothing.

There's something definitely wrong with the enforcement of Title IX.


I have to add that the comments about wrestling being one of the prime targets for cuts in men's sports is related to the previous post. Anecdotally, atheltic departments in the Big Ten get more complaints about wrestlers than any other sport. More fights, less class attendance, etc., etc. And I believe that is a total number, not weighted for number of athletes. So while football players getting into fights may make the paper, wrestlers beating folks up is "dog bites man".

So, for your average Uni administrator, what could be a better combo than balancing your Title IX hassels than by getting rid of your biggest group of hassles?

BTW, I specifically said "anecdotally" because I wouldn't be surprised if the wrestlers aren't all that bad, problem-wise. But they are PERCEIVED to be the biggest problems, and that's where this ties into the earlier post.


I just found this post but it would be nice if you actualy knew anything about TitleIX enforcement or college athletics before you wrote a long rant about it. Among the many things you got wrong:

1. Title IX enforcement is not based on scholarships but on participation rates versus the university sex ratio. The biggest problem with Title IX is that the 20 male athletes who walk on to the football team create the need for 20 (or more) female athletes. And the dirty little secret is that ,generally, women will not play sports without a scholarship (that is, women do not try to walk on to a team in near the numbers than men do with the exception being competative cheerleading).

2. At state universities, athletics do not receive appropriated funds from the state (no tax dollars). Most athletic programs are run by a separate, not-for-profit corporate set up to organize, administer, and fund the intercollgiate sports teams. The organizations are usually called the Athletic Foundation. (Every year, Penn St makes a point of stating the Joe Paterno is not an employee of the University). However, these separate organizations are the ones that have to comply with Title IX and the easist way for the athletic foundations to do this is to eliminate male sports like track and baseball while creating teams like Women's crew and filling the team with existing students.

3. If you look at US News college review you will find out two things are go against all of the elitist statements you made. Being an athlete is a huge advantage in getting into Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, etc. They have teams made up of walk ons and being a fairly bright, fairly good athlete is worth more at Harvard than having a 1600 on your SAT. Also, for all the talk about the white boys, the universities with the worst Title IX compliance rates at the Historically Black Universities.

4. Wrestling is unique in that most any university could have a competative wrestling program with nothing but walk ons. However, establishing a wrestling team would require a university to establish an equivalent female sport to offset the walk-ons and at most universities that would require giving scholarships to more women than men.

5. You miss stated the impact of basketball. Women's teams currently have more members than the men's teams. (15 to 13). The problem is that a women's team cost about the same as a men's team while generating a small fraction of the revenue of the men's team. And the biggest reason for the financial difference is that women do not support women's sports.

6. Also, if you would look at participation rates, you would find that women's sports are much more white and much more upper middle class than men's sports. Look at a schools that win in soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, volleyball, golf, equestrian, swimming, etc. The Department of Education statistic show than Hispanic and Asian women are underrepresented versus the percentage of the college student body and black women are barely represented in proportion.

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