how Title IX hurts NCAA Men’s Gymnastics

I couldn’t be happier for girls who qualify for one of the 86 schools that have NCAA gymnastics teams.

It is a wonderful opportunity.

But what about the other side?

Dick Gould spent 38 seasons as men’s tennis coach at Stanford, leading the Cardinal to 17 national titles during his tenure. When Gould started in Palo Alto, the men’s tennis team had more full scholarships than starting positions; nearly four decades later, the program is limited to 4.5 scholarships for its entire roster.

Gould is a supporter of Title IX – he has three daughters who participated in intercollegiate athletics. He does believe, however, that the legislation encourages reverse discrimination for certain sports, including men’s tennis.

While I am adamant about the fact that schools don’t need to eliminate program to comply with Title IX legislation, I can understand Coach Gould’s frustrations. During a panel discussion this afternoon, he cited data that showed that there is significantly more interest in tennis from males than females. Yet, Division I women’s tennis teams have nearly twice as many scholarships to offer as their male counterparts.

I caught up with Coach Gould after his session: “Facts, Fiction, and the Future: Men’s Sports and Women’s Opportunities.”

The link below includes an audio interview with Dick Gould.

Double-A Zone

Suzanne Yoculan praises Florida

Winning Georgia Head Coach Suzanne Yoculan:

… I would like to thank Florida. They have an incredibly strong team, one that won the SEC. Their performances throughout the season helped motivate us all season. They are very strong, the future of our sport and we’ll have to do our best to stay ahead of them in the future.”

2007 NCAA Gymnastics Championship Quotes :: Press conference quotes from Friday, April 27.

Who are the Florida Gators? And how did they get so good?

Their roster has far less prior international experience than the other top teams.

I have to give the credit to Head Coach: Rhonda Faehn and assistants Adrian Burde and Robert Ladanyi.

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Gators

UPDATE: Rhonda Faehn named NACGC Coach of the Year

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Ashley Postell wins NCAA BEAM 2007

I told Grace’s father I could not sit beside him during the final.

It would be too tense.

She was great!

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My favourite routine, again, was Corey Hartung. Silky smooth. (I’ll post that routine and other highlights over the next couple of weeks as they become available on YouTube.)

Overall beam is the best apparatus in the NCAA. Much more maturity than the young kids in age group gymnastics.

Terin Humphrey wins NCAA BARS 2007

Kupets had the best routine with two huge releases. But she includes a low shoot 1/2 over low that really puts me off. It should be deducted.

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Bars was very good at Championships. And in finals. Some great amplitude on releases and dismounts.

But this is one event final to judge yourself if you are lucky enough to see the TV broadcast. You will get a different ranking even using NCAA rules.

It’s a shame that girls who have great line, great technique, hit exact handstand, have perfect toe point passing the low bar on giants — seem to get no credit.

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Tasha – ESPN

Kupets wins NCAA VAULT 2007

The girl to beat this year, was not beat.

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Courtney Kupets is fantastic.

I hope she tries out for the American Olympic team for 2008.

However, vault finals were a “let down” for me.

Gymnasts qualified with one vault. Then must average two different vaults (not different families) in finals.

I’ve always disliked this system. It results in some gymnasts competing a weaker second vault. Or poor performance of second vaults. There were a number of falls tonight.

For example, here’s what the champion had to say in the post-meet interview:

Question: “Tonight you won with two different vaults. Do you or any other girls train using two different vaults?”

Courtney: “I don’t regularly train on two separate vaults. My second vault tonight I haven’t done in about 6-8 months. But your muscles know what to do, that’s what training is for. You always keep that second vault in the back of your head.”

Is that smart? Is that safe?

Finals should be the same format as preliminaries. It’s obvious.

Incidentally, there were only one or two forward approach vaults done in the entire Championships. It’s almost 100% Yurchenko right now.

NCAA Women’s event finals

Live from the 2007 National Championships …

Watching warm-ups I sat in the Georgia cheering section. Everyone is still incredibly psyched with the three-peat team win the night before. Excited to host Championships in 2008.

I spoke with the injured Georgia gymnasts — seniors Ashley Kupets and Kelsey Ericksen — as well, disappointed they couldn’t compete. But thrilled the team was still able to win without them.

The biggest knock against NCAA Women’s gymnastics in the past has been the high injury rate. This is well documented.

But here at Championships the girls look very healthy. Very fit.

Perhaps I am not seeing those who were injured and never made it to Salt Lake City.

The laser light show has begun.

It’s SHOW TIME!

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Georgia’s planned Stegeman Coliseum Annex and Gymnastics Training Facility opens in the next few months.

bloggers at NCAA Championships

Turns out I’m not the only one writing live (actually Neil was blogging from afar by watching live scoring on the internet) on the NCAA Championships.

For example, here’s a post by Neil:

Georgia wins third straight NCAA title

Katie Heenan, who had a 9.9 on floor and beam, and a 9.95 on vault, has three national championship rings and has already predicted winning another one next year, when Georgia hosts the 2008 NCAA Championships.

“I’m not leaving here without four championships,” she said. “I’m going out 4-and-0.”

southchild » Blog Archive » Georgia wins third straight NCAA title

European Champion Maxim Deviatovski

New European Champion men individual allround Maxim Deviatovski of Russia performs on the rings during the European Championships Artistic Gymnastics in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Saturday April 28, 2007.

Fabian Hambuechen of Germany won silver, Yuri Ryazanov of Russia bronze.

ESPN.com – OLY – Photo 1558136

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(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Title IX legislation 35-years-old

UPDATE: Check the comments on this post. They concern the number of men’s gymnastics teams cut using Title IX as an excuse.

The women’s NCAA Championships has only been held for 26 years. It started in 1982.

Very successful today, how much credit can be given to Title IX legislation?

From the NCAA website:

In June, we will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Title IX, the historic legislation that assured equality for men and women in education. In the 1950s, there weren’t many opportunities for women in higher education, but when Birch Bayh pioneered the legislation that prohibited gender discrimination in any federally funded education program, the world changed forever.

If you think my words are overly dramatic, think again. In the last 15 years, Stanford has added seven varsity teams in women’s sports, increased the number of its female student-athletes from 220 to 400 and more than doubled the amount of athletics financial aid provided to female student-athletes.

The advancements have occurred on campuses across the nation. Title IX alerted colleges and universities to blatant inequity, and in the last 35 years, significant progress has been made.

There is still a long way to go, however, and that’s why I’m on the campus of Stanford this morning, attending the “Title IX Today, Title IX Tomorrow” conference.

Some of the most influential people in women’s sports history are here, including Billie Jean King, Donna Lopiano, Anita DeFrantz and Judy Sweet. Today’s itinerary will serve as a celebration, but also an idea exchange, as we look for ways to progress women’s athletics in today’s world of college sports.

Double-A Zone

Sounds good.

So why do only 65 of 365 division 1 NCAA Universities have women’s gymnastics teams? When you add in division 2 and 3 schools, the total is still only 86.

Why are numbers still declining? (Though Arkansas added a team in 2003 and has been very successful.)

Other women’s sports are growing: rowing and bowling, for example.

Seems to me that economics at each University is a far more important factor than easily skirted Title IX legislation.

Leave a COMMENT if you have an opinion.