Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Reversing the gender gap at small colleges... with football

Perhaps those of my former colleagues at Millsaps who mocked the administration’s investment in our on-campus football field will think again; a growing trend, particularly at Division III schools, is to recruit male students by starting, reactivating, or reinvigorating varsity football teams.

While I am mildly sympathetic with the argument that there are times when scholar-athletes spend too much time emphasizing the latter half of the hyphenate, I have to say that I’ve never had a problem with the athletes in my classes either at Division I-A schools like Duke and Ole Miss or at D-3 Millsaps. That said, the merits of achieving a 50–50 gender balance on campus are debatable at best, even at places where the admissions game is a bit less zero-sum than at the elite colleges and universities.