(Well, ALMOST on the road…)
Quickly, New York Times: The N.C.A.A.’s Women Problem, by Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College
The N.C.A.A.’s policy of providing no financial reward for victories in the women’s basketball tournament is emblematic of another problem: Athletic administrators and overseers treat college sports like a commercial venture. If men bring in the money, the thinking goes, then men should get the money. (Well, some men — the coaches, conference commissioners and athletic directors, but certainly not the players themselves.)
This reasoning is faulty on two levels. First, the men’s tournament may have higher ratings and sell more expensive tickets, but the women’s tournament is also a moneymaker: It is broadcast by ESPN and sells out many games. Even by conventional commercial standards, the men shouldn’t get $1.56 million per victory while the women get nothing.
Second, college sports are not supposed to be treated as purely commercial activities. The N.C.A.A. constitution considers college sport an amateur activity with redeeming physical, social and educational value. There is no clause in Title IX that says “except if one gender generates more revenue than the other.”