Brown Reinstates Men's Track & Field and XC teams

Brown University, which had earlier planned on canning their track, field and XC teams are reinstating them! The earlier decision stemmed from a Title IX lawsuit but the unfair part of track and field and XC in general is that each athlete gets counted 3 times over (!) for the three seasons (indoor, outdoor, XC) compared to other sports such as football, basketball etc. So it unfairly inflates the number of “athletes” when only one individual is competing.

The letter from the President of the university while reversing the decision is quite articulate and you can read it here. The following words particularly resonated with me:

“Our students, alumni and parents took the time to share their deeply personal stories of the transformative impact that participation in track, field and cross country has had on their lives. Many noted that, through Brown’s history, these sports have been a point of entry to higher education for academically talented students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity, many of them students of color. In addition, we heard from members of the women’s track, field and cross country teams who made a compelling case that eliminating the men’s program would adversely impact the women’s program.”

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Hey, that’s great news—thanks for sharing, @vedgund. It was great to see the outpouring of support for the track & field and cross country teams at Brown—as I write this, their petition is just a handful of signatures below the goal of 50,000.

I’m sure Brown is in a tough spot with needing to satisfy equal varsity sport opportunities for women under Title IX, but demoting men’s track & field and cross country to club status was the wrong solution, particularly given how important these sports are as an entry point for students of color.

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