Friday, October 16, 2009

You Know You're a Wrestler when.....

My son sent a funny email to me that is an inside joke to anyone who spent years of their life on a wrestling mat in a hot wrestling room. I forwarded it to others I knew who could relate. I then got to thinking of one more thing that can be added to this list that is also a very good lesson on how good intended government programs and laws have devastating unintended consequences.

You Know You're a Wrestler When....

Cauliflower isn't a vegetable.

You can't wait for Christmas...because you'll get 2 pounds.

Shoving cotton in your nose seems normal.

You wonder how much hair weighs.

The coach asks you to do 50 push ups and you think "that's it?"

You see someone bend over and you imagine how easy it would be to put them
in a cradle.

You won't even take a nap on your back.

You won't lock your hands when hugging your boyfriend or girlfriend

Your coach tells you "cut him" and a knife doesn't cross your mind.

You see someone lying on their back and you feel the urge to slap the ground
beside them.

Gyms look weird without mats on the floor.

You'll know exactly how much weight you will lose when you take off your

You have a black eye but don't remember how it might have happened.

Asics, Cliff keen, and Brute are more familiar to you than Nike or Reebok.

You tape your shoe laces before the Prom.

You have to go to the bathroom before weigh-ins, and the rest of the team
high-fives you because of it.

Every time you go to shake hands with someone, you have to fight off the urge
to arm drag them.

When you put clothes ON before bed instead of taking them OFF

*** You get angry when you hear the words Title IX****

This was that well intentioned law that while maybe successful for it's original intent, has had horrible side effects to men's athletics. Just last year under the Bush administration the College Wrestling Coach's Association had their lawsuit they had filed in 2002 against this law denied.

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, renamed in 2002 the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act in honor of its principal author, but more commonly known simply as Title IX, is a United States law enacted on June 23, 1972. The law states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..."

Although the most prominent aspect of Title IX is its impact on high school and collegiate athletics, the original statute made no explicit mention of athletics

With respect to athletic programs, the Dept. of Education evaluates the following factors in determining whether equal treatment exists:[7]

(1) Whether the selection of sports and levels of competition effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of members of both sexes; (2) The provision of equipment and supplies; (3) Scheduling of games and practice time; (4) Travel and per diem allowance; (5) Opportunity to receive coaching and academic tutoring on mathematics only; (6) Assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors; (7) Provision of locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities; (8) Provision of medical and training facilities and services; (9) Provision of housing and dining facilities and services; (10) Publicity. Unequal aggregate expenditures for members of each sex or unequal expenditures for male and female teams if a recipient operates or sponsors separate teams will not constitute noncompliance with this section, but the Assistant Secretary [of Education for Civil Rights] may consider the failure to provide necessary funds for teams for one sex in assessing equality of opportunity for members of each sex.

Three-prong test of compliance
In 1979, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under Jimmy Carter's administration issued a policy interpretation for Title IX, including what has become known as the "three-prong test" of an institution's compliance.[9][10]

Prong one - Providing athletic opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the student enrollment, OR
Prong two - Demonstrate a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex, OR
Prong three - Full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of underrepresented sex.
A recipient of federal funds can demonstrate compliance with Title IX by meeting any one of the three prongs.

What has happened is it has simply become a head count quota program where the schools to stay compliant discontinue many of their men's sports programs such as Wrestling, Baseball, Gymnastics, Golf and others. What they find is that if they have a football team that has 83 players there are no women's sports that have that many athletes, so to offset the football program they remove other men sports to try to balance the overall numbers.

Washington article: Since 1979, the number of Division I programs has declined from 152 to 86. Division III programs declined from 150 to 100 during that same time. Overall, there were only 229 wrestling teams to chose from last year.

Of all the high school sports nationwide, boys' wrestling presently has the sixth highest total (244,637) of participants (according to the 2002 Participation Survey press release linked from here). There are a quarter of a million high school wrestlers despite the relatively lower popularity levels of indoor sports in states with warmer weather. Anyhow, elsewhere we have read that that's a record high quantity for humanity's oldest (and arguably its toughest) sport.

When Northern Iowa athletic director Troy Dannen announced he was cutting the school's baseball team to save money, he didn't sugarcoat his reasoning.
"From a proportionality standpoint, we're really not even close," said Dannen, citing the school's male-to-female athlete ratio. "We weren't going to look at a women's program, we had to look at the men's side of it."

The conundrum plagues nearly every athletic department that is contemplating cutting a team to save money. Although most men's teams tend to bring in more revenue, they're often the first on the chopping block so schools can remain compliant with Title IX laws.

If Congress writes a law that has the simple goal of making educational opportunities equal for women as well as men and it becomes a quota program that creates rationing and in effect death panels for college team sports, what will happen with something as complicated as Health Care?

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