I am shocked by a Connecticut federal judge’s ruling that cheerleading doesn’t qualify as a sport under Title IX.
“Competitive cheerleading is not an official sport that colleges can use to meet gender-equity requirements, a federal judge ruled Wednesday in ordering a Connecticut school to keep its women’s volleyball team.”
“The volleyball players had sued Quinnipiac University after it announced last year that it would eliminate the team for budgetary reasons and replace it with a competitive cheer squad.”
“The school contended the cheer squad keeps it in compliance with Title IX, the 1972 federal law that mandates equal opportunities for men and women in athletics.”
Here’s the rub!!!
“Competitive cheer may, some time in the future, qualify as a sport under Title IX,” U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill wrote in his decision. “Today, however, the activity is still too underdeveloped and disorganized to be treated as offering genuine varsity athletic participation opportunities for students.”
I will venture to guess that Judge Underhill has never been down South and watched a competition cheerleading squad prepare or compete!
I was not a cheerleader in high school or college and wasn’t particularly friends with the cheerleaders in high school, but my very best babysitter who has sat for us for three years was a Varsity competitive cheerleader at our local high school and I saw a lot of her world during the last three years. And let me tell me this young woman worked unbelievably hard at her SPORT!!! (I know that the ruling applies to college but my point is at the high school level and college level, cheerleading is a sport!)
Her competitive squad did weight training several times a week (and through the summer!) just like the football and basketball players. Her squad ran. They took gymnastics throughout the year for their stunts and flips. They put in crazy amount of hours practicing during the school year and the summer! Believe me they were sweating and they were exhausted. (Those cheer camps are scary hard. I don’t think the football players could survive it, and I would even say that I think the cheerleaders are in better physical shape than the football players!)
We had another sitter that tried out for the UGA squad. She didn’t make it her first year but did her sophomore year and again this girl is working her butt off. You better believe any of the cheerleaders in the SEC are working as hard as the football players, basketball players, baseball players and definitely the volleyball team!
Maybe the cheerleading squads aren’t organized in Connecticut but that certainly doesn’t apply to Georgia — or probably any other Southern school!
So what do you think: Should cheerleading qualify as a Title IX sport? Is it as athletic as football, basketball, BASEBALL (c’mon people baseball — they barely run!!)?
What if a Southern judge had made this ruling? Would this decision have been different? Is this a cultural thing that the Yankee schools just aren’t performing at the level of the Southern schools? Is that fair to our Southern girls who are organized and performing as a SPORT!?
(Check back for a second topic at 2 p.m today!)