A year-and-half ago, OCR launched an “inquiry” into Title IX compliance at Weatherford College in Texas, in response to gross disparity in athletic opportunities for male and female students. The inquiry produced an agreement that obligated the college to add sport if a survey of the female student body revealed sufficient interest. Last week, the college Trustees approved plans to address this disparity by adding a women’s softball team, though it does not seem to be a survey that motivated the decision. According to the Athletic Director, Steven Garippa, softball was chosen because “the softball demographic in our area is phenomenal” and other factors such as “the availability and cost of facilities, the competition that is available immediately, the number of participants that can be involved and the interest in our service area” made softball the right choice. There is no mention of whether a survey was or will still be administered pursuant to the agreement. Perhaps the Trustees did not need a survey to reveal what it already knew about unmet interest in women’s softball, and hopes that by adding the program now, any future surveys will demonstrate that women’s interest is being met.
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