Monday, Apr 23, 2018
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Football waste is the biggest Title IX villain

It's naive to perpetuate the myth that Title IX is a women's problem. That's misguided thinking, like the two New York teenagers who unsuccessfully sued McDonald's for their obesity.

Title IX is everybody's problem.

Instead of pulling in different directions, opponents and supporters of the controversial, 31-year-old, gender-equity federal law must come together - for the good of college athletics and the good of the country - before there's nothing left worth saving.

The Title IX debate should be less about women ruining amateur sports and more about college presidents who need to consider breaking from the tradition of pouring good money after bad into football.

If most football programs were profitable, the strong opposition to Title IX would make perfect sense.

Bottom line: Less than one-third of all Division I-A schools with football programs make money.

Yet, when it comes down to reducing football budgets or getting rid of so-called minor sports, college presidents always choose football.

If I were searching for ways to trim athletic budgets, football would be the first place I'd start, since that's where schools generally allocate the most funds.

College football teams should be able to survive with fewer than 85 scholarship players, considering NFL teams have about half that total.

If every program has the same number of players, what difference does it make if the number is 70 or 85?

Cutting 15 scholarships to help save the wrestling program won't ruin college football.

Make those players walk on, since most of them are practice players who don't travel to road games anyway.

Why give an athletic scholarship to someone who's not good enough to play in a game? Give it to someone who excels in another sport.

And please explain why college football teams stay in hotels the night before home games? Can't they sleep in their own beds?

See, saving the wrestling program is easier than critics of Title IX make it out to be.

Still, the reality of the situation is that colleges will continue to favor football at the expense of minor sports.

Ten of the 15 members of the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics represent Division I-A football schools. Now, where do you suppose their allegiances are going to lie? Common sense should tell you they are going to oppose Title IX.

Here's another reality: The Title IX dilemma isn't going away.

Locally, the University of Toledo's and Bowling Green State University's athletic departments are not making money. Last year Bowling Green eliminated some minor programs in lieu of reducing the football budget.

Despite two winning seasons under former coach Urban Meyer, football did not turn a profit. BG also plays ice hockey, another expensive sport.

If things continue the way they're going, it might not matter who's right or who's wrong in the Title IX debate. There won't be any sports left to fight over.

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