Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Temple Athletic Cuts: A Title IX Blame Game?

Credit to
This past fall we saw Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania cut seven of its twenty-four varsity sports (baseball, softball, men’s & women’s crew, mens’s gymnastics and men’s track & field). Now this won’t go into effect until the end of the academic year (May 15th, 2014), so the athletes and coaches have time to fight for their teams. In a Philadelphia Business Journal article by Jeff Blumenthal, he states the the cuts were due to “financial problems, concerns about  student-athlete welfare, inadequate facilities and lack of compliance with Title IX.”

When most people read that quote you can easily see where the blame is being shifted, Title IX. Each one of the listed problems preceding the Title IX name drop all file into Title IX. If you are unfamiliar with what Title IX is, in simple terms it is a piece of legislation passed in 1972 to prohibit sex discrimination in the educational setting. Most people when they hear Title IX they think it only is in reference to prohibiting sex discrimination in sports tied to educational settings. Here is the legal Title IX language.

“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.” (

So now that we all know what Title XI is we can assess the situation fully. 

First, the “financial problems” do exist. Temple University has been having some trouble financing their athletics in general. The main source of these financial difficulties is because football and basketball has not been making money. Most universities and colleges with division one basketball and football usually need those programs to do well financially to support their athletic department. 
Credit to
Didn’t Temple just join the American Athletic Conference (AAC)? In joining this newer and bigger athletic conference Temple embarked on a massive wager in terms of their athletics and their finical stability. Sure a bigger conference means bigger money, but you also have to be competitive. Temple’s basketball team may be able to step up and compete, but realistically for their football team that is a long shot. The AAC isn’t even that glorious of a football conference. It is made up of the old Conference USA and teams that resolved from the former Big East Conference. It really is the mutt of the FBS college football world. Is a chance at “big time football” really worth watching the rest of your athletic department turn to dust?

Student-athlete welfare is a highly controversial topic in the world of sports today. The big news now is that college football players are looking to unionize, and everyone knows the continuous battle going on behind pay-for-play. Now Temple’s athlete welfare doesn’t have to do with the causes, but with a division one football program we could see this pop up in the future as a problem. 
Credit to
Temple’s athlete welfare is tied into its inadequate facilities problem. Temple has been a school for decades that had great pride in their long tradition of crew. Now that their boat house located on the Schuylkill river is in dire need of renovations the program was decided to become one of the casualties in the athletic cuts. Temple is deciding to throw away tradition and the welfare of a team coached by an Olympic crew coach in the name of “big time football”

This whole athletics cut stinks of a university making a decision to choose money over tradition and the well being of their athletic program, and dumping the blame on Title IX. For years Temple has been out of compliance with Title IX, and now the athletic program is really suffering for the lack of will to pursue a fix to their lack of compliance within a timely manner. 

Credit to Dr. Ellen Staurowsky, Drexel University
In an analytical study on Temple’s Title IX compliance by Drexel University’s Dr. Ellen Staurowsky, it is easily seen that since 2009 Temple has been out of compliance with Title IX and has done nothing to fix its problem. It seems awfully coincidental that 2009 was the year Temple’s football team started to improve. After a two win season this year their are now rumors of Temple building their own stadium closer to campus instead of playing at Lincoln Financial Field. Instead of shelling out money for joining the AAC and trying to build a new stadium why not use the money from donors and athletic funds to save these teams that will be cut? I’m sure the $10 million price tag on renovation the boating house is probably cheaper than building a new football stadium. 

If it seems like I am throwing Temple athletics and their decisions under the bus, I am. I’m trying to bring to light the circumstances that have truly caused these athletes to be put out on the curb, and left to find a new way to their dreams. The cost for “big time football and basketball” for Temple is too high. The athletes and coaches of the cut sports teams will fight for their teams and can use all the support of those who read this. Temple, don’t put the blame on Title IX. Hold yourself accountable for the decisions you have made, and inform the public of your true agenda for Temple athletics.  

Zachary Cintron is a pre-junior in Drexel's Sport Management program with a minor in Music Theory and Composition.  Zach also writes for his personal blog, Sports and Music Weekly. You can follow Zach on Twitter at @cintronz.

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Zachary Cintron on LinkedIn.

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