If you read Sunday's news centerpiece of The Paducah Sun and still want more information about Murray State's incoming softball program, I've got you covered.
Field No. 6 at Murray's Chestnutt Park will be the home of MSU softball.
All about Title IX
In 2004, Murray State invited Lamar Daniel to come to campus and evaluate its athletic Title IX compliance. Daniel found several problems that have kept officials busy making corrections and changes.
One of the biggest and most prominent changes has been the restructuring of the women’s sports programs with the addition of softball and the discontinuation of rowing.
Daniel is one of the leading experts on Title IX compliance, having worked with the Office for Civil Rights in his home state of Georgia for 20 years, in addition to conducting investigations into school compliance and writing manuals and literature used by the government. Just six months away from a second retirement, Daniel operates a consulting firm used by colleges all over the U.S.
A final evaluation of Murray State in December will be Daniel’s last official gig.
Title IX, a portion of educational amendments originally made in 1972 that prohibits gender discrimination in any program under any educational institution receiving federal aid, requires that school comply in three categories.
A school must accommodate female athletes based on interests and abilities, which schools comply with by meeting one of a “three-prong” test:
n Provide opportunities that are proportional to the gender's enrollment.
n Show continued growth in opportunity for the under-represented gender.
n Meet the interests and abilities of the student population.
Many schools choose the proportionality prong because of its visibility to inspectors.
“It’s not the easiest to me because you have to have a higher number of women’s sports and participants,” Daniel said.
Daniel sees schools all across the country cutting several sports programs from their lists because of budget cuts. For a school to choose to reach the proportionality portion of compliance, a football school can find compliance typically with six male sports and 10 for women. MSU has seven sports for men and nine for women.
The large number of scholarship football athletes skews the number of sports in a Division I program.
According to the roster on goracers.com, MSU will lose 20 athletes with the discontinuation of rowing, while softball will add 12 scholarship athletes, plus walk-ons. Equestrian could have as many as 50 athletes.
For the second category the awards of athletic financial assistance must comply with Title IX rules. Daniel called the third category a “laundry list” that is more subjective than quantifiable. Travel, housing, dining, and facilities are judged to be equal in affect to those offered to male athletes.
“That’s why you have consultants,” Daniel said. “You have to know how every sport operates and how they compare to others.”
A listing of local softball players who have gone on to play on the college level in the past four years:
Name, high school, college, college location
Brittany Scheer, St. Mary, Morehead State University, Morehead, Ky.
Sam Butts, Calloway County, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn.
Kayla Fox, Calloway County, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Ky.
April Carter, Ballard Memorial, Mid-Continent University, Mayfield, Ky.
Brittany Edmonds, Marshall County, Bethel College, McKenzie, Tenn.
Ashley Simmons, Heath, Bethel College, McKenzie, Tenn.
Bristyn Prowell, Caldwell County, Brescia University, Owensboro, Ky.
Laura Slack, Marshall County, Campbellsville College, Campbellsville, Ky.
Dria Moore, Paducah Tilghman, Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, Ky.
Ambur Frizzell, Carlisle County, Shawnee Community College, Ullin, Ill.
Jordan Huston, Murray, Shawnee Community College, Ullin, Ill.
Megan Snow, Murray, Shawnee Community College, Ullin, Ill.
Kelsie Beardsley, Ballard Memorial, Shawnee Community College, Ullin, Ill.
Kortney Rose, Heath, Shawnee Community College, Ullin, Ill.
Jessica Pickard, Marshall County, Shawnee Community College, Ullin, Ill.