The New York Times is out today with an interesting look at how colleges cook the books in order to comply with Title IX, the federal law that requires equality in men's and women's collegiate sports.
In order not to get afoul of the feds, you basically have to show you have about as many women competing for you as you do men. Since men's sports usually include football, with its 100-plus rosters, schools can scramble to come up with enough matching women.
The Times reports on women "athletes" who are listed on the rosters of obscure women's sports but never attend practice or games.
And then there's A&M, which, the Times says, is one of the schools exploiting a loophole that allows men who practice with a women's team to be counted as female.
"Texas A&M, which just won the women's Division I basketball championship, reported 32 players in the 2009-10 academic year, although 14 were men," the paper says.
Like we say, it's allowed: A federal official told the Times "men should be counted on women's teams if they receive coaching and practice with women."
But at A&M? Where the honor code demands truth, honesty and the American Way in all things?
Plus these dudes who "count as women" -- wouldn't they violate the Aggies' well-publicized trouble with those who stretch traditional rules of gender?
Not to mention that if males practice basketball with women, they come in close contact and it could lead to all kinds of "unchaste activities."
Oh, NCAA: What awful can of worms have you opened?
Update: The College Sports Council, a group advocating Title IX reform, issued a statement on the Times story.
Title IX has been turned into a gender quota law plain and simple, and it should not be a surprise that schools have become skilled in ways to game a system that is irretrievably broken. The use of gender quotas to prove compliance with Title IX has failed and the system must be reformed now.
Title IX as written supports equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes, something that is impossible in athletics given the persistent imbalance between the sexes in interest in participating in a variety of areas, including intercollegiate sports. The use of quotas to enforce Title IX discriminates against male student athletes and artificially limits their opportunities to participate....
Measurement of interest, not quotas, will lead to fairness. In order to remedy the situation, the Department of Education should reinstitute the use of surveys to measure student interest in intercollegiate athletics, allowing schools more flexibility in complying with prong three of Title IX's three-prong test.