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It’s time for the guys to leave

Caricature of SteveGeno Auriemma has captured nine national titles in his 29 years as the University of Connecticut women’s head basketball coach.  But the school should tear up his contract and send him packing.

Jim Jabir became the first male coach of the women’s basketball program at Dayton in 2003. This season should be his last.

Iowa State University’s Bill Fennelly is the so-called dean of the Big 12 women’s basketball teams with nearly 600 victories in his 19 seasons.  Let’s give him a cardinal and gold watch at his retirement party.

The time is long over due to get rid of male head coaches of women’s college sports.   Until there is a woman head coach of a man’s basketball team, men have no place coaching female athletes at America’s colleges and universities.

Men coaching women players is sexist, patronizing, and insulting. This practice violates any sense of equity and fairness.. To put it succinctly, higher education should level the playing field and kick men out of the game.

Four decades ago President Richard Nixon signed into law Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments. Title IX prohibits sexual discrimination in federally funded education programs.

Ironically, instead of improving the male/female coaching ratio in universities, Title IX actually has tipped the balance against women coaches in college sports.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport  publishes an annual college Racial and Gender Report Card. The latest figures are a sober reminder that colleges and universities remain in the hands of white men (88%).   And the old boy network continues to hire white males as head coaches and athletic directors.

Even for all women’s sports, only 38 percent of head coaches were female in 2013-2014. Although the percentage is higher for basketball (60%) the number of female college basketball coaches actually is declining.

As universities moved to comply with Title IX, the increased number of women’s college athletic programs elevated the prominence and respectability of female sports. That stimulated higher salaries that in turn made head coaching jobs for female sports an attractive career option for males.

It’s not surprising that male school administrators and athletic directors look to other men to take the helm of women’s teams.

Despite the obvious number of qualified women basketball coaches, too often they are passed over in the job search. This is blatantly discriminatory, indefensible and should end immediately.

Next year Connecticut, Dayton and Iowa State University should all have women head coaches.

If Gene Auriemma, Jim Jabir and Bill Fennelly want to stay in the game, I hear the University of Texas has a job opening—for their men’s basketball team.

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