What I’ve been reading and writing, June 30

• I’ve been taken to the woodshed by another women’s sports blogger — “Ken” from After Atalanta, which is about “discussions of gender in sports.” I didn’t expect a bouquet of roses for what I wrote last week about Title IX, but such a torrent of rage with the word “patriarchy” tossed around indignantly is quite another thing altogether. Discussion? Hardly.

• Longtime NBA scout Clarence Gaines Jr. — who’s one of the most interesting people I follow on Twitter — linked to a post by veteran college basketball coach Jack Fertig from earlier this year about women’s college basketball and Title IX. The glaring scorelines of some of the games led Fertig to ruminate on examples he saw of how some schools with ample resources on women’s hoops absolutely wasted it. By contrast, Fertig, who was an assistant at the University of Tennessee, illustrates one of the many essential reasons why Lady Volunteers coach Pat Summitt has become a basketball legend:

“Pat put it the best way I’d ever heard when asked about equal distribution of equipment. She responded, ‘If I ask for 30’ (not sure what exact number she used) ‘pairs of shoes and you give them to me, I don’t care if the men’s team gets more. Now, if you give me less than what I need and the men get more, then we have a problem.’ But when it comes to attitude toward all of this equality, she summed it up perfectly — with a two-part answer.

“The first has to do with people in general and the second deals with her focus (and should not be thought of as her feelings for the men because I can vouch first-hand that she is one of the greatest supporters the men’s side has.) When Pat was asked, with all the money UT made, why she didn’t complain, she said:

“First, no one likes a complainer; and second, the men’s program is irrelevant to me.”

• Writer Cathy Young, with whom I became acquainted some years ago because of her feminist independence, has been used to the kind of treatment I’m now getting for a couple of decades. Earlier this week she examined the cheerleading controversy at Quinnipiac College which led to this post, “The Ongoing Folly of Title IX.”

• Erik Brady of USA Today reveals details of serious money troubles at the Women’s Sports Foundation that have led to massive job reductions and other cutbacks just in the last year. While the recession has hurt plenty of non-profits, these numbers are astounding.

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