Saturday, January 14, 2006

Will the NCAA Continue to Tear Rowing Apart?

In one of my earlier scoops (you heard it here first), I discussed the Pac-10's proposal to make men's rowing an NCAA sport with an NCAA championship. Well, here's the proposal.

This is all about some Pac-10 men worrying that their competition has more scholarships. The proposal does not mention lightweight men (or women, of course) so it's not clear what happens to them. If there is a NCAA championship regatta for heavyweight men, lightweight women would not be able to race there. According to the NCAA's separate but equal doctrine, the sexes and weights may not mix. The potential for damage to lightweight rowing is great here - I wonder if lightweight coaches have focused on it?

If the NCAA wants a model for a sport that treats women and men the same, maybe they should look at rowing. Both sexes compete in exactly the same manner, using exactly the same equipment, and train exactly the same way. In some events, they even compete together (mixed boats). What is more equal than that? Why does the NCAA (and now the Pac-10 men) want to tear this apart?

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