quote:Romo is just one of several well-known male athletes who have stepped foot on the court with me or one of my teams over the years. And right now, after the NCAA's Committee on Women's Athletics last week proposed a ban on the use of male practice players in women's intercollegiate athletics, there might not be a hotter topic in sports.
To me, however, this subject shouldn't even be up for debate. Male practice players have become a vital part of women's basketball, and taking them away from women's hoops would be like removing tackling dummies from the football field. To be able to compete against stronger and often faster men in practice has only made my players -- and me during my own playing days -- better on the court. The thought of losing that advantage is simply a crazy idea.
According to the CWA's statement, "any inclusion of male practice players results in diminished participation opportunities for female student-athletes, contrary to the association's principles of gender equity, nondiscrimination, competitive equity and student-athlete well-being."
From the other column on the page:
quote:Men's practice players have helped women's basketball get better. The idea that they take "opportunities" away from women in practice doesn't make any sense if you've ever seen how they are actually used.
Coaches use them to give everyone more productive reps, not just the starters. They use them to help simulate opposing players' strengths and weaknesses. They use them because they can constantly wear them out if need be; it doesn't matter if they're not as fresh and strong as possible for games.
A devastating injury demon -- anterior cruciate ligament tears -- afflicts females in this sport a great deal more proportionally than males. As scientific/medical research and weight-training methods advance, we all hope to see ACL injuries decrease markedly among women's hoops players.
But I'd guess the ACL factor alone has contributed a lot to women's hoops teams facing problems with having enough available, healthy bodies in practice over the years.
This "position statement" suggests that the answer is bringing in more women to the team -- as if there are talented, fit, competitive women who can practice and play at the necessary level just hanging around every campus wanting to join the team but being ignored because coaches want men practicing.
Thoughts? I have to say, this seems terribly short-sighted to me. Assuming these coaches are correct that no one is being denied reps and that practicing against men improves the abilities of players, should these benefits be sacrificed in the name of gender equity? Does the proposed policy even advance gender equity? If so, how? Because, too me, it seems to hinder it.
*Ms. Lieberman was in college at ODU when I was a pre-teen in Virginia Beach, and I saw her play several times. Back then, the Lady Monarchs were the hot ticket in town.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003
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I had no idea they used men to help the women's team practice. But it makes alot of sense if you ask me. If men are indeed being used generally in this way I say keep letting coaches do it.
They are suggesting that using men as practice takes up spots that women would want to fill? Look when I was in high school I would have LOVED to practice with the girls, they look so cute in those basketball shorts! As it was I managed both the men's and women's teams.
But back to the point, I think the 2nd column is right, "The idea that they take "opportunities" away from women in practice doesn't make any sense if you've ever seen how they are actually used."
Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005
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I really don't see the problem with using men in practice. I mean, they aren't taking their spots in ACTUAL games are they?
If using the men (and literally in this case "using" seems to be the best word for it, they really don't appear to be getting anything out of it other than an increased chance of injury) makes the women better players and advances the game, what's there to complain about?
I think maybe a less offensive analogy might be to take away a sparring partner from a boxer.
Should we make male coaches in women's basketball illegal too? Just split EVERYTHING down the X/Y line? This isn't about fairness or the sport, it's about equality for the sake of equality, which isn't automatically beneficial.
Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004
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in my estimation there's no real logical thought behind this... just doesn't make sense.
If they're arguing that women are out there that want to be used as a practice opponent but not actually play, then they could almost have a point except for the following: 1) Why wouldn't those women want to be on the team rather than just practicing? 2) From the sounds of it if men weren't used then women wouldn't be able to replace them for the same purpose. If the purpose of having men there is to have opponents who are faster/stronger/taller (and that you can't find those qualities in the same fashion among the available female pool) then the position would effectively go away rather than move to newly hired female practicers (but maybe I'm understanding the situation incorrectly). And if there are women out there that fit the bill then are they actually being descriminated against, or are they in fact being hired where available as well?
Posts: 1038 | Registered: Feb 2006
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What a silly decision. It reminds me of the little league teams that had boy and girl players in the young divisions. Our county team wouldn't play against them even though it meant forfeiting in the semi-finals becuase the girls might get hurt. The boys weren't even old enough to have gotten their first growth spurt. They were still the same size.
Nothing irks me more than the idea that girls just can't compete against boys. Sure, we're not the same in everything. I wouldn't want to try playing linebacker in the NFL or getting in an Iron Man competition. But I don't believe guys are always going to win.
Then again, I'm curious to know how much of that is native male/female anatomy and how much is the result of pharmaceutical enhancement.
Posts: 2283 | Registered: Dec 2003
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quote: According to the CWA's statement, "any inclusion of male practice players results in diminished participation opportunities for female student-athletes, contrary to the association's principles of gender equity, nondiscrimination, competitive equity and student-athlete well-being."
So they have to exclude males from participating to promote their principles of gender nondiscrimination? That makes a lot of sense.