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The NCAA and Olympic Sports

Jim McCarthy, helping out at Off Wing Opinion, has uncovered more NCAA foolishness:

250 men’s collegiate athletic programs have been cut since the last Olympiad in Sydney. Olympic sports like track, wrestling, swimming and gymnastics are nearing extinction on campus. As 12 of the 14 members of a presidential commission agreed, this is happening because Title IX is being enforced as a quota.

Simply put, this is one of the most important stories in sports and the national media continues to pretend there’s nothing amiss.

Jim links to this story on a task force formed by the NCAA and the USOC to look in to the problem. The comments of Myles Brand do not augur well for a remedy. Title IX is off limits, and schools should recognize that Olympic sports are "valuable to the institution." Ergo, President Brand? Surely schools weigh the value to their institution of all the sports they consider participating in. Does he want schools to run even bigger deficits at the athletic department in order to expand non-revenue sports?

One proposed policy change did catch my eye. There is a rule imposing "a 7-year 'dead' period that prevents teams moving into Division I from competing for national championships." This rule denies skilled recruits the opportunity to compete at a school which has recently adopted a sport, so the best will go somewhere else. The rule obviously makes it more costly to build a competitive program in a market where recruiting is paramount. Indeed, that may have been its original intent. Scrapping it should be an easy call, but with the NCAA, nothing ever seems easy.