There’s a good editorial in yesterday’s New York Times about Cal-Berkeley’s decision to reinstate three of the five athletic teams that had earlier been slated for termination. Addressing the argument that it was unfair of Cal not to also throw a lifeline to two men’s teams, baseball and gymnastics, the Editors point out that women were, are, and will remain severely underrepresented in Cal athletics, even with two of their teams reinstated. They they go on to make the following point:
Restoring the women’s teams won’t eliminate the sports gender gap at Berkeley or expand opportunities for women. But it does show that they are trying to meet women’s interests and abilities. The benefits to young women from playing sports are well documented, in their health, psychological outlook, educational performance and future employment. Female athletes also say that sports give them a wonderful opportunity to test themselves.
When money is tight, the struggle to close the gap in athletic opportunity is even tougher. Thanks to Title IX, if something has to give, equality doesn’t go first.