Thursday, July 28, 2005

Does the NCAA Matter?

The NCAA does not hold a national championship for lightweights and some have suggested that this has held back the spread of lightweight rowing. The reasoning is that without an NCAA championship, schools will be reluctant to spend money on lightweights because they don't count toward the college's Title IX numbers. I don't think this holds water, though, because colleges make their own count of varsity athletes and undoubtedly include varsity lightweight women in those counts. If this is a problem, it's here for a while since the NCAA says it has no plans to hold a national championship for lightweights.

Worrying about an NCAA national championship misses the point. The IRAs work fine (although why have 6 million fours and no freshman lightweights?) and does anyone really want what the heavyweight women have - a small regatta that takes place in a different place at a different time than the end of year championship celebration for the rest of the collegiate rowing world? I don't think the lack of an NCAA championship is a barrier.


Anonymous said...

On what do you base the assumption that colleges "undoubtedly" count the lt wts for Title 9 ? Having watched girls as they go thra number of girls go through the recruiting maze of lt weight colleges- division 1 and 3 and ivy league too- it was far from clear to me what did and did not constitiute the correct method of reporting for the NCAA. Has the NCAA ever stated how the cyphering is to be done to satisfy their requirements? Do any schools state with certainty how they count their athletes? Wouldn't a straight forward and clear cut method be antithetical to NCAA that all colleges have come to fear? Seroiusly, has the NCAA offered guidance on such reporting to suport your assumption???

JW Burk said...

I make this assumption because the NCAA told me (in response to an email inquiry several months ago) that institutions decide for themselves what sports to count. My assumption, then, is that most schools count the NCAA championship sports first, then if they need more participating women add on the non NCAA championship sports. I would guess most schools want to count as many women as possible. They may consider this a gray area, however, and stick to the obvious.