"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." Who would have thought that such an innocent sounding, common sense piece of legislation could turn into a nightmare for thousands of young men throughout our country? Now it's true that this piece of legislation itself isn't to blame, but rather its enforcement. The opening sentence of this paragraph is known as Title IX and it comes from the Education Amendments of 1972; the force that is destroying collegiate sports is known as proportionality. Proportionality is a demon spawned from Title IX, that contradicts the spirit of its enactment, and it must be stopped.
To understand the situation properly you will need to know some basic history of Title IX. In 1972 Title IX was passed to end the discrimination against women in educational institutions. Then in 1979 the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare issued a policy interpretation, which created a three-prong test to measure compliance with Title IX. In her article for Penthouse, Jan Golab does a nice job of describing these three prongs: (1) "substantial proportionality," which requires that an educational institution have approximately the same percentage of female athletes as its percentage of female undergraduates; (2) demonstrating a "continuing history of expansion" for female programs; (3) by "fully accommodating the interests and abilities" of female students (47). In reality, prong one, or simply, proportionality, is the only method of compliance accepted by the Office for Civil Rights or the courts (Anderson). Proportionality needs to be stopped for several reasons, including: its eliminating thousands of athletic opportunities for deserving male athletes, it promotes reverse discrimination (which is contradictory to Title IX), and it is simply unnecessary and illogical.