Coverage denotes need, want

Societal perception of women’s sports needs change, adding another CCC team pointless

By Lorenzo Morotti, Editor-in-Chief

The amount of broadcast time that major sport networks dedicate to women’s sports is reflective of how society perceives the importance of female athletes.

According to a report titled “Gender in Televised Sports,” researched and written by Mike Messner from USC and Cheryl Cooky from Purdue University, ABC, CBS and NBC combined only devoted 4.7 percent of airtime for women’s sports in 2009.

And in our media dominated society coverage denotes importance. So until the low percent of airtime changes, along with the way female athletes are perceived, adding a women’s  sports team to Contra Costa College would be like the athletic department throwing the little money it has down a well.

Simply adding another sports team won’t solve the imbalance in the number of male students competing in athletic programs at CCC compared to their female counterparts.

This perception, however, is slowly changing. The problem is that it is not changing quickly enough for the college to add another athletic team to solve the issue of equity in sports.

This is true especially considering the population of women at CCC are largely first generation college students from low economic standing who tend not to play sports because they don’t think it is as important as getting an education.

That is very sound reasoning considering that even if they did play for a team, who would go watch?

In this country, if it isn’t broadcast, then it doesn’t matter and the current state of airtime for women’s sports is just as saddening as the ratio of male-to-female athletes at CCC and its fan base.

During the first half of the 2014-15 Comet basketball Bay Valley Conference season the men’s team played after the women’s games. But to be in compliance with Title IX, passed in 1972 to promote equitable gender access in public institutions, the women played after the men during the second half of BVC games.

However, once the men were finished playing, more than half of the audience in the bleachers left. How is that equitable?

While there are four men’s teams and four women’s teams at CCC, adding another women’s sports program would not change the fact that the number of players on the football team roster is double that of all women athletes at the college.

So to have true equity, the college would have to add three or four more teams to compensate.

But even adding one won’t happen considering that the athletic department continues to poorly market its women’s sports interest survey meetings.

Until the college figures out an efficient platform to notify more students that these meetings are happening, then only one or two women will continue to show up to a near empty classroom.

Lorenzo Morotti is the editor-in-chief of The Advocate. Contact him at [email protected].