by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Just when you think they’ve already said the dumbest things possible, the NCAA continues to publish committee recommendations. From The News & Observer:
Many women’s collegiate teams, especially in basketball, bring in male students for practice. Coaches think practicing against men — usually taller, faster and stronger — helps their teams.
But the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics thinks this violates the intent of Title IX, the 1972 federal legislation requiring equality in education. Earlier this month, the committee released a recommendation that the NCAA ban male practice players in all women’s sports.
Remember, this is the NCAA, which tried to tell UNC-Pembroke, a historically Indian school, not to call itself the Braves â€” and which was accused by Seminole Tribe Chief James E. Billie of producing:
manufactured controversies that serve no purpose whatsoever, than to promote the egos of those few instigators who have assigned themselves the lofty job of telling us Seminoles how we feel.
Billie’s comments could work perfectly well here just by substituting “women” for “Seminoles.” I love the fact that committee member Patrick Nero is in charge of telling women what offends them. Especially while he and his committee are actually offending them â€” or at the very least, giving them reason to be concerned:
“Ridiculous,” said Robbie Church, women’s soccer coach at Duke University.
“You can’t find anyone” who supports it, said Stephanie Glance, N.C. State University’s associate head coach of women’s basketball.
“It’s not a good idea,” said Sharon Baldwin-Tener, East Carolina University’s women’s basketball coach.
Erlana Larkins, a junior forward and one of the stars on UNC’s women’s basketball team, said, “I don’t see us getting any better with girls practicing against us and practicing against our teammates.”
Duke basketball coach Gail Goestenkors wonders where she could find a woman to compete against 6-foot-7 Alison Bales in practice. … NCSU’s Glance and University of Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale argue that male practice players help the sport. Coale’s third-ranked Sooners feature 6-4 Courtney Paris, one of the nation’s best players.
The men practice against Paris and then tell friends, who want to see her play. Students’ attendance has exploded, Coale said, in part because of the men. Maynor and Cools say working at practice has made them women’s basketball fans and made them part of the team. …
Latta doesn’t want to see her practice teammates disappear.
“Love ’em,” she said. “That’s how they make us better. They give us attitude. They give us the killer instinct.”