February 13, 2003

Colorado State's Sonny Lubick says,: "From our standpoint, if the NCAA took football scholarship limits down to 75, it would be better. If we could get it down 10 more scholarships, it would help us at CSU. If scholarship limits were reduced even more, it would put us all on even terms. If you gave Nebraska the first 18 players to recruit in this region every year, and Colorado State the next 18 players, there wouldn't be that much difference between us."

Generally, Lubick has always seemed to me a straight-shooter who managed to do a lot with a little, but I can't help wondering what he'd be saying if he actually coached at Nebraska, or Miami, or Florida.

posted by kloeprich to football at 12:40 PM - 8 comments

Great comments by Lubick. I think the biggest benefit would be the decreased scuttling of secondary men's sports like wrestling that have been dumped because of title 9 gender equity requirements. The second biggest benefit would be the overall parity of NCAA football, since the most popular schools wouldn't be able to hoard talent. It would be a boon for other schools if all those high school all Americans that are bench warmers at Top Ten schools were accessible from the recruitment pool. I would love to see this happen.

posted by vito90 at 03:37 PM on February 13, 2003

Here's another article trying to push the thesis that somehow we're reaching a point of parity in college football. Aaacck. But the article provides good backgrounder on the scholarship issue. Scholarship reductions to football has become the clarion call for those who can't quite bring themselves to admit that Title IX may now be a little outdated. I think the idea has merit (for a number of reason's - many unrelated to Title IX's impact) but many of the hard-liners don't want to see football reduced, they would much rather see women's spending increased to match football. Don't get me started...

posted by kloeprich at 05:31 PM on February 13, 2003

It doesn't seem to be sour grapes with Lubick, who was Miami's defensive coordinator during the early glory days. Colorado State isn't exactly a powerhouse, but his teams have won 10 games or more four times in the last decade. Within its own conference, the Rams have as much to lose from scholarship reductions as anyone. As far as the motives of the Title IX hard-liners, they didn't make the first move in this process. The schools cut something like wrestling. Wrestlers start complaining about Title IX. At this point, Title IX advocates kindly point out the 15 to 20 football players (at minimum) at the school who won't play a down in a given year and that's where the concern should be placed. That sounds more like, "don't come crying to us", than a clarion call to put women's sports on equal billing with football. Title IX or no Title IX, football gets away with a lot of spending -- not just scholarships -- out of the proportion necessary to win games.

posted by jackhererra at 09:48 AM on February 14, 2003

Having witnessed the process first hand I can assure you it's rare that hard-line Title IX advocates "kindly point out" anything. I agree that Football has enjoyed sacred cow status in this for too long, but I think you're incorrect when you say Title IXer's didn't make the first move (if we're considering cuts the first move). The pressure on the universities is not merely to level the body count but the sport count as well. So football poses the problem of having no female equivalent in both participation numbers or like 'sport' (i.e. softball/baseball; basketball, etc.) Cutting 20 football scholarships would certainly reduce some financial overhead but it doesn't balance the athletic opportunities in the fashion of cutting a full-fledged sport like wrestling or water polo or gymnastics. Those who say, 'don't come crying to us' typically back that up by arguing the schools didn't have to choose this route; the NCAA offers several paths to Title IX compliance. And they're right, but once a school is reported out of compliance the window to rectify is so narrow few options beyond meeting quotas would actually work to anyone's satisfaction. It's important to note that it's rarely the NCAA applying the real pressure. In almost every case where a school has faced major Title IX issues the 'discussion' is framed by outside parties - generally women's right's groups - or by internal parties (such as women's coaches) who's motives are typically no different than the coaches of any other sport on campus. There's nothing wrong with a coach wanting to improve his/her program, but too often Title IX is used purely as the blunt instrument by which coaches demand more money and more perks - then claim it's all about equal opportunity. Would cutting football scholarships allow schools to save that extra men's sport? I don't believe it. But football spending seems to be spiraling out of control and I have yet to see anyone truly justify the 85 scholarships football gets. I hope Lubick's position gains some traction; I have no hope for its implementation saving the lower tiered sports.

posted by kloeprich at 12:27 PM on February 14, 2003

The NCAA doesn't apply any pressure on this, for fear that the major programs -- programs for whom this isn't really isn't a factor because they afford everything -- will leave the cartel if the presidents cut as many as 10 scholarships. The NCAA doesn't really apply pressure on much of anything that matters, so the inaction on scholarships comes as no surprise. As for the window to rectify, it usually narrows because many of the schools affected by that process spent years didn't do a whole lot to remedy the situation for the first 20 years that Title IX was in effect. It's kinda like when you let a bill go a bit -- the time to start exploring options is not when the power company cuts your lights off. Now, I could live with athletic programs getting some amnesty from "pressure groups" to shape up through those paths to compliance, but I can understand those groups not giving the schools the benefit of the doubt when they say "we'll try." Finally, (a) where did Kloeprich witness this process; and (b) since when did Sonny Lubick become a hard-line "women's rights" advocate?

posted by jackhererra at 05:38 PM on February 14, 2003

I had the less-than pleasant experience of witnessing the Title IX process at CSU Fresno. Thankfully I was not personally impacted by most of the goings on; unfortunately several close friends and family members were. I agree that many university's ignored the potential lion's pit Title IX was becoming and later paid (and are paying) the price. But the history of this law is not cut and dried from the point of its initial 1972 enactment. There were a number of grace periods, a Supreme Court ruling, legal wrangling over proper interpretation, etc. This is a very broad law that has required quite a bit of fleshing out to reach its current application. In fact it didnít reach the full force as itís applied now until 1987. It wasnít until the early 90ís that universities really had guidelines making compliance relatively consistent and easy to understand. So to say they Ďdidnít do a whole lot for the first 20 yearsí of the law, while loosely accurate, doesnít really tell the story. This may be hard to believe but I feel Title IX was proper and necessary and I have little sympathy for schools that knowingly ignored the needs of women athletes (my wife was one), but I also feel that it has been abused and could use some review and modification. (Which it got.) Was there something in my post that led you to think I was calling Lubick a "hard-line 'women's rights' advocate"? I agree with Lubick's thoughts on cutting scholarships and reducing recruiting costs; I do not necessarily feel this will result in money being made available for other men's sports and certainly donít think his comments were intended to be interpreted much beyond their relevance to collegiate football. (Although he did comment that the saved funds might benefit other sports.) Sorry to ramble. I never imagined my Lubick post would lead to a Title IX discussion, but it is fun.

posted by kloeprich at 10:03 PM on February 14, 2003

Kloeprich Sorry to ramble. I never imagined my Lubick post would lead to a Title IX discussion, but it is fun. No apology necessary, I learned alot from this thread, thanks for taking the time to educate.

posted by vito90 at 01:26 PM on February 15, 2003

I echo vito. I didn't have much to add, but I sure learned quite a bit ...

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:36 AM on February 17, 2003

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