Title IX and MMA

With the rise in popularity of MMA, I've wondered if that's going to influence decision-makers to take a second look at Title IX.  Collegiate…

By: Luke Thomas | 16 years ago
Title IX and MMA
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

With the rise in popularity of MMA, I’ve wondered if that’s going to influence decision-makers to take a second look at Title IX.  Collegiate wrestling programs are continuously targeted and marked for removal to make way for women’s programs.  Now, I often think the arguments in favor of repealing or removing Title IX fall short, but the premise of Title IX – that athletic funding should be divided 50-50 between the genders – never seemed coherent.  And the consequences are serious.  Notable quote:

The worst hits have been taken by men’s wrestling and gymnastics. More than 400 collegiate wrestling teams have been discontinued, and according to the NCAA only 17 Division One men’s gymnastics programs are still competing. Seventeen!

Track and field and swimming have also been hard hit. Among the men’s swimming programs dropped are UCLA and Miami, which between them have produced 27 Olympic medals. The scores of major discontinued men’s track programs include Southern Methodist, Bowling Green, West Virginia, Western Michigan–and most recently Ohio University and James Madison.

Since 1896, United States athletes have won a total of 2,089 Olympic medals. More than ha1f, 1,095, have been won by male athletes in just four sports–men’s track and field (605 medals), men’s gymnastics (58), men’s swimming and diving (316), and wrestling (116)–the very sports that have suffered the most from the restructuring of collegiate sports brought about by the current Title IX “rules.” If that isn’t a crisis for the USOC, what is? Where is the USOC going to be if the four sports that have won 52.4% of all U.S. Olympic medals go out of business?

Losing potential medals or abandoning a tradition of medal-winning isn’t an argument in and of itself for removing Title IX, but it does demonstrate the consequences of the measure aren’t invisible.  Young men with lots of promise are losing athletic and career avenues in the name of equality.  If wrestling experiences a renewed growth in interest vis a vis a rise in popularity of MMA (admittedly a contentious notion), is it possible we can get lawmakers to take a second look at Title IX?  Here’s to hoping.

Share this story

About the author
Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories