V-Ball & Other Goodies

    Last year, the men’s volleyball program was cut by the San Diego State’s athletics program.

    A few weeks ago, members of that now-defunct squad wanted to try out for another team: the women’s volleyball team.

    The California State University system has deemed that the guys will not be allowed to try out for the team.

    The men’s reasoning for trying out for the women’s team is Title IX, legislation that mandated equality in collegiate and high school athletics.

    In part, it states, “”No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

    Title IX has been a wonderful thing, enabling many women to participate in sports from which they had previously been disenfranchised. Before the 1972 ruling, women’s athletics were essentially an afterthought. Now women share the spotlight in collegiate sports.

    It’s just too bad that Title IX does not seem to apply both ways.

    The men at SDSU are being excluded from participation in sports and denied benefits on the basis of gender.

    SDSU offers six men’s athletics programs, and the women have 11. Sure, the men have football, which has a number of players, but 11 teams against 6? That is disparity.

    Maybe football is at fault since it has so much attention given to it.

    Now, while I am not saying that the women’s volleyball team should become co-ed. The premise at work here disturbs me. Every once in a while, one hears about a female athlete trying out for a men’s athletic team, and she is lauded for her bravery and for breaking new ground. She gets a nice fluffy story in the news. While I applaud women who try to break new ground, it upsets me that when men try the same in reciprocity, the story is tucked in the back of the paper, an afterthought.

    What is also alarming about this is that it could happen here. Without money, athletics cannot survive. UCSD needs some money fast or there is the possibility that programs may get cut.

    Other stuff ….

    I was lucky enough to get a call from Don Chadwick, who is UCSD’s director of sports facilities, and he invited me to take a look at an example of the artificial turf that the school hopes to place at Muir Field. A couple of weeks ago, I tore into the idea of artificial turf. Don took me to La Jolla High School to show me what the stuff really is.

    I must admit, the fake stuff is not all that bad. It is not like the old-school Astroturf that we all grew up seeing on television. It is a new, improved artificial turf. It has the feel of real grass when you stand on it.

    There are benefits to the fake stuff, such as low maintenance needs, and it is not as expensive to maintain, either. And the negatives are not nearly as bad as with the old artificial turf. The stuff is not that bad. But still, I have a problem with it.

    It just gets to me that it is fake. I mean, is nothing sacred anymore? It will not be the same playing on this stuff. No wonderful grass smell. No grass stains. No marks from Mother Earth on a soccer player after a sliding kick. No pieces of turf hanging out of a football player’s face mask. No mud in someone’s mouth. It is just fake.

    This would be UCSD’s fake watering can, our fake Chinese rubber plant, our fake plastic earth. It just wears me out.

    I can see us 30 years from now singing “”Where have you gone, real grass? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.””

    I noticed that the Chargers traded away their No. 1 pick and got LaDanian Tomlinson with the fifth pick. Though the team had a great draft, I feel Atlanta got the better of them. Only the future will tell, and Vick’s progress will determine, whether the Chargers made a good move. But the Chargers got ripped off in the trade. They should have received Atlanta’s first-round choice next year or a premier player. Instead, they got the Falcons’ No. 2 pick next year and Tim Dwight. Dwight is a nice football player, but in no way should he be mentioned in trade talks regarding a No. 1 pick. The Chargers should have asked for Jamal Anderson, the Falcons’ No. 1 pick this year and next year, for what the Chargers gave up. Ridiculous.

    Looks like Michael Jordan will be coming back. And along with him Charles Barkley. This, I must admit, is really amazing. Even if they bomb, they’ll be fun to watch. Ah, the memories. Sir Charles is quoted as saying that the teams are only looking for a big man. Hell, bring Bill Russell out of retirement — he’s not up to much of anything other than selling Coors Light.

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