As the 77-year-old winner of a gold medal in diving at the 2005 World Masters Games, I am very familiar with Title IX (“In the Game,” fall 2012). The revolution in collegiate sports since 1972 has been dramatic and particularly advantageous for women’s roles in varsity competition, and very deservedly so. But there have been some downsides for men’s participation in varsity sports, particularly non-revenue sports, and particularly at public universities.
Williams was quite flexible in handling Title IX. But as swimming and diving programs were dropped at University of Illinois, University of Miami (Florida) and University of California, Los Angeles—which all previously had supplied an impressive number of Olympic champions—there has been an unfortunate impact on ongoing U.S. Olympic competition.
—Bill Harwood ‘49, Evanston, Ill.
I’m puzzled by negative references to the past state of women’s crew. I rowed from 1973 through 1977, when women’s and men’s crew were club sports. We were supported by gracious alumni and parents, plus we raised our own funds. We shared most equipment, which was generally in “experienced” condition. We drove personal cars and stayed with family or on the couches of friends for away races. Both crews competed favorably against well-funded varsity programs. In particular, Nancy Storrs ’73 and Sue Tuttle ’78 went on to much success with USA National Teams. It was tougher for our coaches due to very low compensation.
I wish crew had been a varsity sport during my time at Williams, but then I might not have made the team or had the great experiences I enjoyed. I graduated, got a job and donated a boat. It was my way of thanking the alumni who made my opportunity possible.
—Dan Fox ’77, Chagrin Falls, Ohio