Posts Tagged Association football

Is College Football Limiting Growth for Men’s Soccer?

Posted by Noel on Thursday, 10 June, 2010

A College Sports Council report that was released today blames a law that affects women’s rights for the stunting of growth in Men’s Soccer. While they may have a point, the problem as it turns out, can be traced to College Football.

Wake Forest Soccer Team Celebrates its 2007 Championship

Wake Forest Soccer Team Celebrates its 2007 Championship

According to the College Sports Council (CSC), a rule in the 1964 Civil Rights Act which requires schools to give equal opportunity to women in College Sports is limiting the growth of Men’s Soccer. The report, released today, points out some glaring statistics that prove this point. According to the CSC, only 59% of college programs offer Men’s Soccer, while over 93% offer Women’s Soccer. Furthermore, in 1995 there were 197 Men’s Soccer programs in the NCAA, today that number remains the same, whereas Women’s soccer has grown from 189 teams to 310 in the same time span.

“Men’s soccer has really been harmed,” said Eric Pearson, chairman of the CSC. “Since 1996, the growth of the sport at the collegiate level has been heldĀ back.”

On the flip-side of the argument, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s incoming senior director of advocacy, insists the CSC’s study is overly simplistic. She says although schools might use proportionality to comply with the law, they still have plenty of flexibility.

“The law doesn’t care if an athlete is wearing a football uniform or a soccer uniform or a swimsuit or a fencing uniform. … All they care about is: Are you providing boys and girls, men and women, with equal educational opportunities?” Hogshead-Makar said. “Individual schools make those choices. The law doesn’t dictate what sports schools offer at all.”

In the end, both sides are partially correct. The law is definitely affecting the growth of Men’s Soccer, but it is not because this is a bad rule, it is because institutions need a solution to the problem of College Football.

The law states that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

The problem that arises out of this this, from the University point of view, is what is to be done with College Football? To put it bluntly, it is neither safe, nor financially viable to offer Women’s College Football and even if it was offered, it is very unlikely that there would be interest from enough women to sustain a league. So Universities have gone around this problem by offering Women’s Soccer as the female option to go alongside the profitable giant that is College Football.

Should something be done? Probably. Is the rule bad for college sports? No. But the solution should have more to do with finding a different sport or activity to pair with College Football than soccer. This might be a crazy thought, but the women’s activity that has always been synonymous with Football is cheerleading. So why can’t cheerleading get an upgrade? The activity is already taking up funding, there are already competitions, why not call it a sport?

Obviously this is just a thought that is being spit-balled into the ether, but the point in the end is, that Men’s college soccer would grow if the Universities thought it was important enough to let it. The only thing that will put it on the top of the priority list is the almighty dollar. So for you soccer fans out there, it is time to hope that the World Cup comes back the United States or that Major League Soccer has unprecedented and unexpected growth.

Otherwise, you could try flooding letters and phone calls to your favorite college AD’s office and be demanding. Who knows? Maybe they can come up with a great solution, but in all likelihood it will only happen if they really need to.

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A Game Where Every Goal was Scored via Penalty Kick

Posted by Noel on Friday, 28 May, 2010

It was either one of the most poorly officiated games in soccer history, or one of the roughest, but South Africa defeated Colombia 2-1 and every single goal was scored by penalty kick.

A total of four penalty kicks were awarded the first was missed.

Will Clinton Give More Than a Name to the US World Cup Bid?

Posted by Noel on Tuesday, 18 May, 2010

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has been named honorary chairman of the U.S. bid to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The question is; can a political, and more than likely part-time, figure like Clinton compare with a passionate and committed figure like David Beckham for England’s bid?

President Clinton

An active Clinton could make the difference for the US World Cup bid

Clinton’s reasons for entering the fold are obvious, especially after he stated the following, “That means that if we get the (World Cup) there will be an economic stimulus estimated between $400-$600 million per host city. That will be very good for a lot of families that are still hurting, a lot of communities that are still digging out from under the current economic crisis.”

A former President really has only one thing on their mind once they leave office and that is to cement their legacy. Helping to improve the economy by bringing what may be the world’s greatest event to American soil, could only help him in that effort.

In order to get this bid through, will he do for the US what a passionate soccer legend like David Beckham will do for England? President Clinton is obviously a very influential figure and there is no doubt that he could have a major influence on what happens with this bid, just adding his name to it helps. But what if he was more than just an honorary figure? What if he scratched out just a few visits to some key decision makers and a press conference here or there? He could absolutely make a huge difference.

The two biggest arguments against the United States having a world cup are first; that the country doesn’t need it. It’s true that the United States is in a recession, but the country is still considered to be in comparatively good shape by the rest of the world. The second argument is that the US hosted a world cup only 16 years ago. When the US hosted the 1994 World Cup, the country was still a fairly virgin territory in regards to soccer. Sure, kids played in the leagues across the land and Pele and Beckenbauer stopped by in their twilight years, but at the time there was no pro league and it was predominantly considered a kid’s sport. The World Cup went a long way toward changing that and it has resulted in a boom of excitement in regards to soccer in the United States. The other potential host countries will point that out and say that the US is not in need of another World Cup so soon.

BECKENBAUER-PELE-CHINAGLIA

The First shot at a North American Pro League starred Beckenbauer, Pele and Chinaglia.

So the US needs the help of a heavy hitter like Clinton, but they need more than his name. They need his charm, his effort and his action. With a suave and charismatic speaker like Clinton reminding key decision makers, in person, of the financial boom that soccer saw internationally after the US World Cup in 1994, the United States has not only a better shot at securing the tournament, but quite possibly a game winning shot. But will the former President give the time?

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