Sunday, August 1, 2010

Criticism of Biediger v. Quinnipiac University and the Rejection of Competitive Cheer as a Title IX Eligible Sport

Over on Saving Sports, the official blog of the College Sports Council which advocates reform of Title IX, Eric McErlain argues on behalf of competitive cheer qualifying as a Title IX sport. He also takes issue with U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill's recent opinion in Biediger v. Quinnipiac University, where Quinnipiac was ordered to keep it's women's volleyball team in order to comply with Title IX. McErlain contends that the lack of international and professional competitions for competitive cheer should not impair competitive cheer's chances for Title IX recognition since similar opportunties for softball are on the decline as well (and Eric cites Holly Vietzke post on our blog titled Is Softball on Life Support?). Eric also notes:
Despite Judge Underhill's ruling, female student athletes have already decided on their own that competitive cheer is a sport. As of the 2008-09 academic year, competitive cheer was more popular with female student athletes in the nation's high schools than golf, field hockey, lacrosse or gymnastics. Overall, it is the ninth most popular sport for female high school students.
For an additional reading critical of Judge Underhill's analysis, see this column from Gregg Easterbrook on ESPN.com.