By: T. A. Davis
For many years Tri-C had a wrestling program that provided students the opportunity to continue to compete in a sport they loved. Title IX caused that program and many others across the country to cease to exist. Poof! And they were gone. By the early 1990s it was obvious that Tri-C needed to drop some men’s sports to be in compliance with Title IX.
This phenomenon was a long time coming as for many years women’s sports were not representative of the student body at most schools. Tri-C has approximately 67 percent female students and thus the number of women’s sports outnumber the men’s five to three.
I interviewed Mark Rodriguez (Athletic Director at Tri-C) and he was gracious with his time in explaining the reasons behind dropping the sport. It really makes total sense; there are many more female students and they deserve to have more sports. Title IX is a federal law and schools must follow the rules or they will lose funding.
Recently, Cleveland State University announced it was dropping the wrestling program and this too made sense. As a fan of wrestling it hurts that fewer than 80 Division wrestling programs exist in 2015. But I also was raised by my mother who did not have the opportunity to play any sports growing up. That seals any argument for me; fairness and equality are the principles on which this great nation was founded.
It is sad that wrestling is usually the sport that gets the ax, but also great that women now have the opportunity to play collegiate sports and continue to play the games they love. This opens up the doors for successful teams like the Tri-C Track and Field team, who have been very successful over the past few years. At Tri-C all coaches are part-time but put forth the effort needed to be successful. There is no charge to attend a sporting event and the athletes at Tri-C play as hard as athletes anywhere. Go see a game or a track meet at Tri-C and you will understand that playing because you love the sport is worth everything to these young athletes.
I hope to see you at some Tri-C sporting events and I urge you to support all of the athletic programs at our great school.