In the athletic scene, Title IX has increased opportunities for female athletes to play collegiate sports. Because of this policy, money allocations for collegiate sports must be equal for both genders.This is fantastic for women and a great positive influence, but it limits opportunities for male athletes who don’t play the popular collegiate sport—football. For example, rugby athletes at Brigham Young University are not financially supported by the university. Because BYU took men’s soccer off the list, BYU today has 10 women’s sports compared to the nine men’s sports that are financially supported by BYU. That means that there is identical funding, but an unequal number of sports available. This also means that there is an open spot for a men’s sport to receive funds from BYU. If BYU desires to stay equal in opportunities for both males and females, they should start by adding rugby to the list of athletic programs financially supported by BYU.
The rugby team has been extremely successful and has won three out of the last five national championships, but they still seem to stay off the radar of the athletic department. They do seem to notice the football team; however, I can’t remember the last time they won a national title.
Some say that there are simply not enough funds for all the athletic programs supported by BYU. BYU football alone brings in more than $7.4 million in profits every year. We don’t have enough funds to simply help support the rugby team? Rugby could easily be added to the list of BYU sponsored programs and the football team would still get along just fine. Maybe since the rugby team is likely to bring in a fourth national championship, BYU’s athletic profits could simply help pay for nicer facilities? It seems the football team’s $7.4 million is not being spent in the absolute best way possible.
For example, the football team just bought all new royal blue jerseys, pants and helmets that were only worn for the Utah game. I’m not saying that the football team doesn’t deserve the financial support that they enjoy. They do bring in tens of thousands of more fans than the rugby team does, which means more profit for the school during the season. To be frank, rugby hardly brings in 4,000 fans, even to their largest games. That’s because rugby is not even included in BYU’s ROC pass. How can we expect to bring in a crowd when we aren’t even recognized as a sport to watch at BYU?
The rugby team deserves as much financial support as the football team receives. It seems unfair to force them to fund themselves, when football has been blessed with so much.