Title IX is the law, not just some opinion

There’s the way things are, and the way you’d like them to
be.
This is the crucial distinction at the root of some people’s
problem with pointing out Gavilan College’s less-than-stellar
record of compliance with Title IX.
There’s the way things are, and the way you’d like them to be.

This is the crucial distinction at the root of some people’s problem with pointing out Gavilan College’s less-than-stellar record of compliance with Title IX.

The Title IX rules, as they apply to sports, are pretty cut-and-dried. Schools receiving federal funds must have a roughly equal amount of male athletes and female athletes, relative to the ratio of full-time male and female students enrolled.

Gavilan currently has about a 1:3 ratio of female athletes to male athletes. This despite actually having about a third more female students than male students.

So here’s the thing. If you argue that Gavilan shouldn’t do anything about this discrepancy, you’re arguing that the school should break the law.

It’s that simple.

Obviously, people can disagree with the law. And there are some decent arguments out there against some aspects of Title IX. But the approach to take is to try to change the law, rather than break it.

All that said, it should be noted in Gavilan’s defense that perfect compliance with Title IX is an uncommon occurrence. That’s why the Women’s Sports Foundation and the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Civil Rights talk about “good faith efforts” to comply with the rules. For Gavilan, that means trying to get its athletic programs up to speed, and there’s evidence that the school is doing just that.

We should certainly give the school and Ron Hannon, the school’s athletic director who has only been on board since 2001, time to set things right.

But we should also keep an eye on the situation, to make sure Gavilan is doing all it can to comply to Title IX equality standards as quickly as possible.

One last thing needs to be said. Those who are most closely involved in this issue – the female athletes at Gavilan and their coaches – are in the best position to take the bull by the horns here. So far, no formal complaints regarding Title IX have been filed against the school.

It’s understandable that some folks don’t like to make waves of that sort. But if an issue is important enough, formal steps need to be taken, apple carts need to be upset and things need to be changed.

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