George Leef’s latest Forbes column documents disturbing changes in the way federal Title IX has been employed in recent years.

Initially, the main impetus behind the law was the rather blatant imbalance between men’s and women’s sports. Professor William Anderson explains in this article published by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, “I was on the University of Tennessee men’s track team in the early 1970s, which received substantially more support than the women’s program. We stayed in nice facilities on road trips, while the women piled numerous athletes into one room. Those not lucky enough to have a bed slept on the floor.”

Complaints about such inequality were widespread and most people regarded the language of Title IX as a reasonable, benign solution.

We still don’t, of course, have equality between men’s and women’s college sports, but one effect of Title IX has been to cause many schools to drop programs for men. That doesn’t help women at all, but it keeps them in compliance with Title IX regulations and avoids the high cost of dealing with bureaucrats who like nothing more than to investigate schools over alleged violations.

If that were the end of the harm wrought by Title IX, we might shrug it off as just another of the numerous minor costs of federal overreach.

Sadly, the loss of some men’s athletics programs is the least of the problem.

Title IX has now become a “juggernaut” in the words of NYU law professor Richard Epstein. He explains … that extremely zealous bureaucrats have abused the law (specifically, the Administrative Procedure Act) to impose their own ideas of what the language “be subjected to discrimination” means. They have managed to turn it into a justification for federal intervention into every aspect of college life that somehow involves sex.