Tony Barnhart isn’t a lawyer, although he plays one on Twitter.

Mr. Conventional Wisdom tells it like he thinks it is.

No debate, eh?  Allow these folks to retort.

If the law is so clear, maybe Tony needs to explain it to Ken Starr.

“Most schools are not treating athletes equally 40-plus years after Title IX passed, so it’s hard to know exactly how that would play out because so often the support coming from the school already is so unequal,” Chaudhry said.

Congress recently pointed this out at a House subcommittee hearing about player unions in May. Rep. John Tierney asked Baylor president Ken Starr to explain why in 2012-13 Baylor had a 56-44 ratio for athletic financial aid in favor of men’s sports given that participation rates would indicate the funding should be closer to 58-42 in favor of women.

Responded Starr: “Well, that is a very fluid and dynamic process, so it may change from year to year, but if there is in fact a disparity, and I accept what you’ve said, it has to be addressed, so we have to come forward with explanations as to why there may be a temporary disparity. We recently created two new women’s sports with scholarships in order to address the disparity, so we have for example created equestrian with a number of scholarships for women. We have created acrobatics and tumbling.”

A legal mind is a terrible thing to waste.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

20 responses to “Tony Barnhart isn’t a lawyer, although he plays one on Twitter.

  1. Rp

    “Well Mr. Tierney, the male sports generate revenue at a ratio of 100-0 over the womens sports, so that 56-44 ratio really looks to be a pretty good deal for the ladies, doesn’t it?”


  2. DawgPhan

    But i am quite sure that everyone on twitter knows about Title iX..Believe someone that comments here even learned about it in school, no less.


  3. 81Dog

    Title IX doesn’t require pro rata spending based on male/female enrollment. It looks at several factors, the male/female enrollment being only one of them. While the purpose of the law is to require an equal opportunity for women athletes to pursue competitive athletic opportunities at the collegiate level, anyone who says “well, University X has a 55/45 female/male enrollment, therefore 55 percent of the athletic spending has to be on women’s sports,” without further analysis, doesn’t understand the law.

    Ken Starr may be a lot of things, but he isn’t stupid and he can read. While there are plenty of “womens sports advocates” who insist Title IX requires per capita equal funding, that isn’t what the law says. I have no idea where O’Bannon would leave the spending model, but Title IX will certainly have to be accounted for in the final reckoning. Nobody really can know what that will be, but anyone who says it wont be a factor is wrong, in my opinion.


    • reipar

      81dog that was what I was taught as well. My new question is what happens if the courts decide some of the male programs are employees. Would everything that goes into those programs be pulled out of the equation? If that were the case it would make it much easier to comply with Title IX no matter what factors or analysis the court wanted to focus on.


      • 81Dog

        I’m a long, long way from any kind of employment discrimination expert, or Title IX expert, but here’s a crib from Wikipedia (not exactly the Harvard Law Review, but accurate here as a brief outline):

        Three-part test[edit]

        HEW’s 1979 Policy Interpretation articulated three ways compliance with Title IX can be achieved. This became known as the “three-part test” for compliance. A recipient of federal funds can demonstrate compliance with Title IX by meeting any one of the three prongs.[27]
        “All such assistance should be available on a substantially proportional basis to the number of male and female participants in the institution’s athletic program.”
        “Male and female athletes should receive equivalent treatment, benefits, and opportunities” regarding facilities.
        “The athletic interests and abilities of male and female students must be equally effectively accommodated.”[15][28]
        “Institutions must provide both the opportunity for individuals of each sex to participate in intercollegiate competition, and for athletes of each sex to have competitive team schedules which equally reflect their abilities.” Compliance can be assessed in any one of three ways:[27]
        1.Providing athletic participation opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the student enrollment. This prong of the test is satisfied when participation opportunities for men and women are “substantially proportionate” to their respective undergraduate enrollment.
        2.Demonstrating a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex. This prong of the test is satisfied when an institution has a history and continuing practice of program expansion that is responsive to the developing interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex (typically female).
        3.Accommodating the interest and ability of underrepresented sex. This prong of the test is satisfied when an institution is meeting the interests and abilities of its female students even where there are disproportionately fewer females than males participating in sports

        So, at least in theory, under test 3, if you have, say, 75% women enrolled, but only a small handful want to play, and those women only want to play, say, volleyball, you wouldn’t have to split the athletic budget 75/25 women to men, assuming many more men want to play sports. It doesn’t seem that this gets much traction in reality.

        Test 1 is hard at a place with more women because football just takes more people and equipment than any women’s sport.

        Test 2 seems to be the way most schools try to show compliance, with a touch of Test 3 (we’re accommodating everyone who wants a team). So, a school adds equestrian (hey, it’s expensive! It’s for girls! We care!), or soccer for women (hey, there’s a lot of players on a soccer team!) and cuts a mens team (buh-bye, mens gymnastics and wrestling!) to kind of nod to Test 1.

        My recollection, which could be off a tad, was that when Andy Landers and our former gymnastics coach threatened to sue UGA if they didn’t get substantial raises, was that they leaned heavily on a test 1 type analysis (Hugh Durham gets paid, and I’ve won more! Football coaches get paid, and my girls win national titles!!!) to make UGA flinch and open the checkbook.

        Whatever you think about Title IX, it has pretty consistently been rejected by the courts that football, with its added costs, number of players needed, and ability to generate revenue, is not a separate classification from the overall athletic department. Some partisans on one side find this unfair, in that football generates all the cash, so why do we have to waste it on women’s teams that all the spectators could take the same cab to watch; on the other side, the partisans claim that it doesn’t matter where the money comes from, if you don’t spend just as much on the girls as you do on the boys, you’re a misogynist.

        Me? I think the reasons for women to play sports, in the traditional leadership/discipline/teamwork sense, are exactly the same as for guys. If you consider the mission of college sports to be as an adjunct to the overall educational experience, they should certainly have a chance to play. Given that mens teams evolved over time to an economically viable enterprise in football and basketball (at least in some places), I don’t know that the dollar for dollar argument is right, either.

        But, we all know big time college sports is not about the college. It’s about the cash. From a fiscal standpoint, women’s sports have no purpose compared to, say, SEC football, until they prove their fiscal worth. That argument ain’t gonna fly, is it?


        • reipar

          “The athletic interests and abilities of male and female students must be equally effectively accommodated.”[15][28]

          And I am wondering if football players eventually belong to a union or unionesqu association because the courts have ruled they are employees then how could the court come back and classify them as a student also. Title IX seems to only consider the traditional definition of student athlete, but it appears that definition is dying at least in the revenue generating sports. This could make for some interesting court cases over the next several years.


          • ripjdj

            Two points as to this thread. One, “the Courts” have not and will not determine football players are employees. The administrative Law Judge with the NLRB in Illinois is not a “Court” it is a bureaucratic bureaucrat who has decided his bureaucracy has jurisdiction so that he can continue to be employed by the Department of Redundancy Dept. (Was that snarky enough?) Second, Wilbur your law practice really most be slow to post that long a response.
            On a completely different and hopefully non-misogynistic level why don’t we just have teams,we are all equal right? No men’s and women’s track just track , no women’s Gymnastic team just a Gymnastic team open to both men and women. I have said this on this blog before ,If Coach Richt found a young lady who could throw a 40 down and out with the same trajectory and speed as Matt Stafford he would offer her a scholarship at the speed of light. UGA would build a separate locker room in the period of time it takes for this Administration to ask “what difference does it make?”


            • 81Dog

              that raises a point that the most strident pro Title IX womens sports advocates want to overlook: I doubt there’s a single D1 womens basketball player, tennis player, track and field athlete, swimmer, etc. that could make a D1 mens roster, or any woman athlete (maybe a kicker) that could make a mens football team.

              Does that mean there shouldn’t be a womens athletic program? Not in the least. All the things that are good (at least in the abstract) about boys/men playing sports are good for the girls, too. But because of the higher level of skill/athleticism in mens sports, a lot more people will pay to go see them. Left to their own financial devices, womens sports for the most part wouldn’t be able to justify equal money in the revenue sports. Maybe UConn and Tennessee make a little money on womens hoops, but I doubt much of anyone else makes enough to break even.

              Of course, not all mens sports generate revenue, either. Given the skyrocketing take from TV money the last 20 years, football and basketball pay the freight for most everything else.

              Now, you can argue, with some justification, does that mean football players should get palatial training/locker room/residential facilities while the girls soccer players split 15 scholarships 35 ways and play on a rockpile on the edge of town? There’s enough money to pay for a lot of things, just not enough for everyone to have Ritz Carlton like facilities and private jets to road games.

              Oddly enough, college sports aren’t supposed to be like the pros, where you pretty much eat what you kill. That’s how it kind of shapes up, though. The ardent football first crowd is the “we make the money, leave us alone” laissez faire capitalist approach (except in so far as it involves paying players) and the activist womens sports crowd seems to be “what’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine, shut up and write the checks” ummm, community property approach.

              Money kind of ruins a lot of otherwise noble enterprises, doesn’t it?


            • 81Dog

              also, who dat? 🙂


  4. M.

    It would be wondrous if this all led to the repeal of Title IX – a law which never should have been in the first place, but is certainly now no longer necessary.


    • DawgPhan


      nice one…


    • Monday Night Frotteur

      You don’t need to repeal it, just exempt revenue sports.

      If Georgia wants to waste money on men’s swimming, it should waste money on women’s swimming too. If Ohio State wants to waste money on men’s track, it should waste money on women’s track too.

      But there are no female equivalents to the revenue sports. Apples and Oranges and all that.


  5. Bright Idea

    I’m with Barnhart. A Demo justice dept. will never let the women get shortchanged calling it a part of the “war on women.” The fact that women’s sports operate in the red will have no bearing. Right now those wanting to pay players are banking on the fact that the majority of athletes making money for the schools are minorities and the government will turn their back on Title IX. That won’t happen over the long haul.


    • sniffer

      Well, ask the merchandisers to print womens gymnastics uniforms with the girls names on them and let the market decide the revenue generation. Isn’t that what O’Bannon is about? Market generated revenues from the likeness/images of college athletes?

      My guess is there are people who will buy the merchandise of non-revenue sports. The market can be a glorious place and great equalizer. Not in the sense of equal revenues, but opportunity to generate “income” for all.


  6. Dog in Fla

    Responded Starr: “Well, that is a very fluid and dynamic process….We have created acrobatics and tumbling.”

    Tony Bagels may have met his match. There is no better forensic expert on the dynamics of fluid process than Kenny Starr who invented acrobatics and tumbling which sometimes can be helpful in the delivery of fluids. If Kenny keeps this up, I see a spot for him right behind Condi on the Selection Committee soon.


  7. SouthGaDawg

    Tony B. thinks he’s a lawyer and a sports writer…


    • RandallPinkFloyd

      He is ‘MR. COLLEGE FOOTBALL’ after all. It is hard for me to take him seriously with that arrogant nickname/persona.


      • Dog in Fla

        Some think Tony arrogantly annointed the Mr. CFB title on himself. Others think he formed a subcommittee to study famous leaders’ nicknames such as “Tony Tea Bags”, “Genius of the Carpathians”, “Tony Pro “, “President for Life”, “Tony Bender “, “Ivan the Terrible”, “Tony Boy” and “Tony Ducks” but the committee stalemated and went with Mr. CFB instead


  8. Whiskeydawg

    Tony, I have an Ebay deal which has turned bad. Would you represent me?