Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Title IX Helped Kill Football in Cali

The old-timers among our audience will remember George Allen, the Hall of Famer who completed a brilliant coaching career by leading Cal State Long Beach — a I-A team — to a winning record in 1990. Ecstatic after a season-ending victory at Nevada Las Vegas, Allen's players dumped a bucket of Gatorade on him, a foolish move with temperatures in the 50s. Six weeks later, Allen died of ventricular fibrillation.

A season later, Long Beach pulled the plug on its 36-year-old program. It was the start of an exodus of California universities playing football, leading to today's dearth of teams in the state, especially in Division I-AA.

According to 2007 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates, of the 38 states with I-AA representation, none has as low of a team density per capita as California, with only four members for more than 36 million would-be fans.

New York, with more than 19 million, has 10 teams to choose from. Even South Carolina, with about four-and-a-half million people, can pick from seven.

What happened? Although some officials point toward funding inadequacies spurred by the state's ongoing budget crisis, others say the insufficiencies were ultimately intensified by gender-equity measures, specifically Title IX.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

long beach state was (and is) NOT a I-AA team -- they played in the big west conference with other I-A teams...

Bruce said...

Thanks anon... I was going to add the same thing, LB State and Cal State Fullerton, along with Pacific all played in the old D-1Big West conference. Ucla's non-conference scheduling regularly featured Long Beach and Fullerton.

I think the JC system in California really benefit from the lack of D-1AA programs, El Camino, Palomar, Mt. SAC and City College of San Francisco (and I'm sure I'm forgetting others) have all fielded some great teams.

dawizofodds said...

Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully I've adjusted the text to make this clear.

Anonymous said...

There are a small number of schools in the state that have football period for a state this size.

D1 - USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, San Diego State, Fresno State, San Jose State

IAA - Cal Poly, UC Davis, Sac State and non-scholarship USD

Most of the schools in the state either had football and no longer do (Fullerton, Long Beach, Pacific were all D1 through the 90's) or never bothered trying (Irvine). Riverside and UCSB had programs 30+ years ago.

greg6363 said...

The WAC was the beneficiary of the remaining Big West schools (Utah State, Idaho, Boise State, New Mexico State, Nevada, San Jose State and Fresno State) that still competed in 1-A football. UNLV was also in the Big West before moving to the WAC and then the Mountain West.

Anonymous said...

The Population in California would rather play soccer.

Anonymous said...

Well researched post. Your combination of citing "others" who say Title IX is to blame, coupled with stating it in the title, means it must be true.