CAPE MAY RESIDENT MOFFATT SEEKING TITLE IX REFORMS
CHANGES NEEDED TO TITLE IX
The first thing Jamie Moffatt wants to make clear is that he is not trying to trash Title IX. But he firmly believes Title IX is broken and needs to be repaired.
Moffatt, a 60-year-old Cape May resident, is executive director of College Sports Council, a coalition of coaches organizations trying to reform Title IX, the 31-year-old sexual-equality law that greatly enhanced women’s participation in sports.
Moffatt said too many men’s sports have been lost in the wake of Title IX because of the proportionality criteria, the measure of compliance that attempts to match the ratio of male and female athletes to the overall student population. Moffatt calls that rule a “gender quota.”
“Back when I was in high school, the pendulum was way off,” said Moffat, a native of Pottstown, Pa. “Girls didn’t have an opportunity at all. But it’s gone completely to the other side. We’d like to see it come back a ways so that Title IX can do what it was meant to do – make sure there is no discrimination against women or men who want the opportunity to participate.”
Moffatt retired three years ago from his position as a management consultant for a Philadelphia accounting firm. He became involved in the Title IX fight through a friend who was instrumental in saving the Princeton wrestling program and wanted to expand the effort nationally. Moffatt wrestled at Cornell and has remained an advocate for college wrestling in particular.
“It’s a key part of my life, that opportunity,” Moffatt said. “To see this generation of youth not have that opportunity sparks a passion in me. There’s an injustice being done here.”
Moffatt said that less than three out of every 100 high school wrestlers get a chance to wrestle in college, mainly because of the many wrestling programs that have been eliminated to comply with Title IX. He also criticized the “capping” of rosters for sports such as gymnastics, wrestling and swimming.
“You can only have 12 people on the roster and 18 show up,” he said. “They don’t cost any more. They’re not on scholarship. They’re walk-ons. It’s not an economic issue. If I cut a wrestling team, I can save $250,000 a year and that can go toward a women’s sport. But capping a roster doesn’t free up any money, yet the gender-quota people don’t want to give an inch on any of that.”
Moffatt attended the hearings of the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics earlier this year in Washington. He said he was disappointed that U.S. Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige decided only to consider recommendations that received unanimous consent rather than a broader range of ideas.
“The process is good, in that people are getting to hear both sides of the argument,” Moffatt said. “But there’s no victory at all. Every couple of days another sport is eliminated, and nine out of 10 are men’s teams. Until the proportionality prong is completely eliminated, there is no victory.”