Friday, November 16, 2007

Writer disses collegiate bowling

A columnist out of Tennessee has a snarky piece criticizing the position of women's bowling as an NCAA-sanctioned sport. Also annoying is that not so atypical "apologetic" pattern that male writers use when talking about women's sports: criticize, make a "but I really do support women's sports and equality and all that" statement, and criticize some more. It's like a reverse sandwich technique. And the author, David Whitley, certainly has the pattern down.

Whitley seems to have a problem that bowling now (actually since 2003) has the same status as football. Only in name, I would say. Does any intercollegiate sport really have the same "status" as football?
So he makes what he must see as the requisite bowling jokes as he goes off on his quest to find the NCAA Championship bowling trophy which is in defending champion Vanderbilt's athletic department. (Is it in the shape of nachos and beer, he gibes.)
And then, of course, he launches into the "collateral damage" done by Title IX--all the men's sports that have been cut due to proportionality is his main observation. This, we know, is not true. The number of men's sports have increased as have participants. Women still only comprise 43 percent of intercollegiate athletes despite being over 50 percent of those attending college. And that sport Whitley now thinks women's bowling is equal to--football--that's the reason (along with big-time basketball programs) for all those cuts to men's "minor" sports.

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