Friday, May 30, 2008

New NCAA sport for women?

You think I am going to say wrestling, right? Because there was that article earlier this week in the NYT about small colleges adding women's wrestling. But no, the NCAA has not even added women's wrestling to its list of emerging sports. This is unfortunate. Especially in light of the sport the NCAA has been considering adding: beach volleyball. An NCAA committee is investigating the possibility of intercollegiate beach volleyball. There definitely seems to be interest in places like Florida--where this article is out of. But one has to wonder at the viability of a sport that can only be played in certain areas of the country. (I know there are other sports like this--the issue is whether we want to add another.)
And one also has to wonder why the NCAA is investigating this sport as a potential emerging sport but not seriously considering wrestling. Hmm...could there be an image problem with women's wrestling? What else is on the list of emerging sports? Well there's squash and synchronized swimming. Are we seeing a pattern here? The emerging sports are appropriately feminine (and probably pretty white as well). Women in bikinis and sunglasses on a beach or women in singlets on a mat in a gym? It's not hard to see what the NCAA is thinking here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One hold up may be that the number of women's college teams has just pasted the 20 team minimum in the last month or two. This assumes that all colleges count not just NCAA D1 schools. Another factor is the teams are split between Olympic and collegiate styles of wrestling.

However, at the rate schools are adding women's team, I would think emerging sport status is less than a year away.