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Michigan court case over: MHSAA must join the 20th Century

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Starman, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member


    In other words, they now have to do things the way the rest of the country has for 40-50 years.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Doesn't mean they did it wrong, means they did it differently.

    Please, jump right in about how wrong it was, how the MHSAA sucks, how people who think they did it right are neanderthals.
    There was no malice in what they did; kids got to play sports. And when the numbers drop because the seasons are switched, you'll have an answer for that too...
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I don't understand why the numbers would drop.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Some of it is peripheral; golf-tennis seasons were part of the settlement too and must switch seasons.

    You'll have girls who now play basketball in the fall and volleyball in the winter. Now, they may choose AAU basketball in the fall or AAU volleyball in the winter.

    Other states that had to switch, such as the Dakotas and Virginia, saw participation numbers drop.
  5. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    So kids are still playing, but they aren't playing for their high schools. Sounds like an MHSAA problem, not a participation problem.
  6. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    The whole case, of course, was driven by AAU volleyball in the first place.

    Within 10 years, it'll be just like hockey: the best players will not play high school volleyball or basketball at all -- they'll play 200 games a year for their AAU teams, and only the Waldos will play on the high school teams.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Why make the MHSAA change seasons because of AAU participation? Because a couple of Grand Rapids-area parents were pissed that their daughters weren't good enough to play college volleyball and needed a scapegoat for their inability to get scholarships.
    High school coaches liked the opposite seasons; college coaches LOVED it because it let them view talent out of their own seasons.
  8. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    In the early stages of this case, I talked to several Division I women's basketball coaches that loved the way Michigan played its seasons. For the exact reasons that slappy just said, it allows them to see the players out of their own seasons, when they are kinda busy.

    College coaches will find talent no matter when they played, so there really should have been no basis for the lawsuit.

    And starman, the rest of the country hasn't been doing it this way for 40-50 seasons. At one time, there was about 10 states that had girls basketball in the fall as recently as 15 years ago.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    And they all changed, either because of court decisions, or the threat of court decisions.

    The MHSAA wasn't stupid to have the seasons reversed in the first place, but they were stupid to drag out a legal battle for 8 years that any idiot could see they had no - zip - zero chance to eventually win.

    Maybe they thought they'd get the case before a Reagan/Bush judge and figured they'd get a ruling: "Aw screw those little girlies, trying to take gym time away from the boys, they should be taking home ec or something. Probably lezbos anyway."
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I can't wait for the calls to start in Michigan sports departments...
    Caller: "How come the girls teams don't get as much coverage as the boys?"
    SE: "we weigh each story on their merits and on readership interest."
    Caller: "Well, haven't you ever heard of Title IX? You have to give the girls as much coverage as boys."
    SE: "**sigh**"
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    CLICK ;D ;D
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Supreme Court clears way for big change in Michigan preps sports

    April 2, 2007



    The U.S. Supreme Court announced today it will not hear the latest appeal from the Michigan High School Athletic Association in its 9-year battle against a gender-equity suit.

    That means that in the next school year, six sports — including girls basketball and volleyball — will switch seasons. Those switches will affect about 70,000 athletes. Michigan high schools must now juggle practice times and scheduling, specifically during basketball season, which starts in December. Schools with limited facilities will feel the crunch the most.

    “MHSAA has now reached the end of the line,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, which was counsel in the case. “The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear this case means that Michigan girls soon will receive the justice for which they have long waited. MHSAA now must practice the good sportsmanship it preaches, and give girls the equal opportunities they deserve.”

    In a statement, the MHSAA said, “Now is the time for our schools to step up and work with the decision of the court to continue to maximize the quantity and quality of interscholastic athletic participation opportunities for young people in our state.”

    The long legal entanglement of this gender-equity case started in 1998, when the Communities for Equity sued the MHSAA. The CFE, a Grand Rapids-based organization, said it wanted to fight sexual discrimination in Michigan high school athletics.

    A trial didn’t come until three years later. District Judge Richard Enslen declared that the MHSAA discriminated against female athletes because of when it scheduled girls sports seasons. Since then, the MHSAA has lost a series of appeals, except one to the Supreme Court in 2005.

    At stake was the authority of the MHSAA and its member schools to determine when sports were played. Michigan is the only state in which girls play basketball in the fall and volleyball in the winter -- the opposite of when they are played in college.

    Girls volleyball and basketball will switch seasons for the coming school year: Volleyball practice will begin in August and play will go through fall; basketball practice will begin in November and play will go through winter.

    Also, in an odd twist, the golf and tennis seasons for boys and girls would switch. An earlier settlement among the parties said that if some sports are played in so-called disadvantaged seasons — when they are not played in college — then boys and girls must share the burden equally.

    The lawsuit has hinged on the 14th Amendment and Title IX. The amendment was ratified after the Civil War to secure rights for former slaves. It also includes clauses that guarantee due process of law and equal protection of the laws. Title IX, a 1972 law that started an explosion of female sports in colleges and high schools, prohibits discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal funds.

    Enslen initially ruled that the MHSAA violated the state constitution, the state’s civil rights law, the 14th Amendment and Title IX. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld the ruling, in part because of the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

    But in May 2005, the Supreme Court ordered the 6th Circuit to decide this case based on Title IX and not the equal-protection clause. The high court cited an earlier case in which it ruled that when there was a comprehensive federal statute, enforcement of rights must be based on that statute, not on the 14th Amendment.

    The MHSAA, among other points, argued it should not be subjected to Title IX because it receives no federal funds.

    Basing the case on Title IX, though, the 6th Circuit still ruled against the MHSAA. However, the vote was 2-1 by the judges, after a 3-0 whitewash the first time.

    Last week, Jack Roberts, executive director of the MSHAA, told the Free Press the problems he foresaw if his organization lost:

    “The real difficulty will come at the local level. Volleyball will lose a lot of quality high school coaches, who are college volleyball players. They play their season in the fall and they coach either varsity, junior varsity, ninth-grade or junior high teams during their off-season. The schools will be scrambling to find coaches.

    “Finding officials will be a problem. The very best officials work in college. We have been able to share them in our season, but when it comes between officiating a college match or a high school match, we will lose the money battle.”

    Roberts also said a bigger problem would be a possible drop in participation. He said he feared schools without adequate facilities to accommodate practice time would eliminate teams, such as freshman basketball for boys and girls.

    “The immediate problem we’re going to have fight is the drop in participation,” he said. “The states that were forced to switch seasons saw double-digit loses in basketball and volleyball. And that wasn’t just in North and South Dakota; it happened in Virginia, too.

    “We have helped set a tone that participation matters.”

    Among states, Michigan is eighth in high school-age population, but it is fourth or fifth in athletic participation, depending on the year.
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