The NCAA has been meeting this week. They decided that 7th graders are now officially "prospects." Only in basketball and only boys; but still. The organization was concerned that college coaches were attending camps for elite 7th and 8th graders, something the NCAA could not monitor or regulate because the former cutoff for a prospect was 9th grade. The DI Legislative Chairman noted that it was "just a sign of the times." What times? Apocalyptic ones? Okay, that's slightly hyperbolic. But, come on--7th grade? This seems almost like the futile performance enhancers war. Someone finds a loophole, an administrative body addresses it, then there's another loophole, another rule and so on and so on. And all the while we do nothing to address the underlying problem(s). Have we learned nothing from the Elena Delle Donne situation?
So many times since I started this blog have I wanted to title a post "You big stupid head"--except that's the cleaned up version. Happened again the other day when I read a response/defense by a sports writer of the inequitable coverage of local girls' and boys sports. And it all comes down, in a very reductionist way, to "what fans want." But he uses national stats to convey what fans want and the fact that he only recently got a complaint about coverage from one of his own readers as indicative of what fans want. And even in this process he makes a mistake about the presence of women's professional sports:
There is no female pro football, no professional women's softball league and the WNBA is still low on the media radar because fans aren't flocking to it.
Because, yes, there is professional women's football and softball. And you what, there's going to be women's professional soccer (in the US) again very very soon. And there has been, for a very long time, women's professional tennis and golf. So please don't tell me that there are not professional sports out there. If a sports writer doesn't even know about them--how can they possibly know to cover them let alone what the fans want. And the WNBA is not low on the media radar. Everyone knows it exists. So please, enough with excuses.
Was skimming through an older issue of TENNIS that I hadn't yet read. It was the year in review issue and had a short column on line calls and the percentage of missed calls that are mistakenly called in versus mistakenly called out. So someone(s) ran some stats and it was pretty interesting. But I thought it was kind of amazing that they were able to find data only on the performance of linesmen. Didn't know they kept track of the calls of men and women linespersons. Guess the women must not be making any mistakes!