I think it is important to recognize the reaction that many are having towards Title IX and gender equity in education (which includes athletics at the collegiate level). By “blaming” Title IX it only serves to further strengthen the oppressive power that sexism holds over all of us (including men).
This isn’t about being “PC.” This is about recognizing genuine disadvantage and pain that has been caused by historic forces acting against women (and indirectly men).
I believe in the intelligence and creativity of the Cal community. If these sports are ever going to be reinstated then it is going to require a new approach, not just a rehashing of the old. The issue at hand is financial. The athletics budget year to year needs to be balanced end in a big fat ZERO or a positive number. That does NOT mean that all sports are subject to a ZERO-sum game.
We need to be REALLY careful not to assume that a cut to one sport indicates that another sport is more valued or that men’s sports are better than women’s sports or that women’s interests are greater than men’s. That leads only to creating more pain and suffering for everyone.
A better solution to the problem is one that improves the ability of the athletics department to fund all of the programs and have them all flourish. Right now only Men’s BB and FB make money. But what if that weren’t the case? We need to recognize that Title IX actually provides collegiate athletics with a really awesome opportunity.
What if women’s sports could make just as much money as men’s? Could you foresee a time when the athletics department budget actually contributes back to the university budget?
This isn’t a pipe-dream. But in order for it to happen we need to change our attitudes about what women’s sports can be and to support those sports achieve the level of competition and interest that men’s sports have achieved. The Pac-12 network may end up becoming its own channel. No other conference comes close to reproducing the level of competition or champions in all other sports (especially baseball) that the Pac-12 does. That network could be filled with awesome matchups in both women’s and men’s sports. Something no other conference could produce at such a high quality level. We have a real opportunity in the Pac-12 to move collegiate sports into the new millennium. With digital video so easily deployed and edited there is a HUGE opportunity to have a really cool network with really awesome content.
That can happen if we, AS FANS, rally around ALL sports at our beloved university. Let’s not make this about something that will only hurt us in the long-run. We can bring baseball back this way. This is really probably the ONLY way.