Dr. Emmett Gill – NCAA and professional athletics

Dr. Emmett Gill – NCAA and professional athletics


(music playing) Dr. Emmett Gill: My focus here at the university
is primarily athletic, I know, a great deal of my work does focus on intercollegiate athletics,
whether it’s policy issues, whether the issue is Title IX, substance use, an array of NCAA
issues, but I also look at different issues in professional sports. I’m primarily interested
in minority opportunities, in front office administration, athletes in off the field
issues, and this upcoming school year particularly the NFL will become a focus of our work because
of Commissioner Goodell. Intense interests in sort of helping the development of employees
who play football. So, that’s a little bit about my work in general, but you know my
two favorite topics and what I found myself focusing on since I’ve come here to Rutgers,
The State University of New Jersey, is the opportunity to look at issues like Title IX
and college sports an this notion of social justice in college sports. Title IX, it’s
been a wonderful tool in terms of getting females involved in intercollegiate sports,
and then having those opportunities to participate in sports evolve into other opportunities,
but in some ways Title IX has not served its full purpose because we still have African
Americans females, Hispanic females, who still do not have the same opportunities to participate
in some of the sports that we take for granted. I’m very passionate about that topic, and
then this idea of social justice, you know college sports. We can look at the situation
here at Rutgers and our women’s basketball team and Don Imus as an example of social
justice in sports. The mere fact that our female student athletes had to go through
that situation was a social injustice, so you know, using principles of different scholars
like Peggy Mcintosh and others, sort of frame these issues, to look at them, and so we can
engage in dialogue that’s going to help us resolve the injustices and to make sure that
Title IX fills this promise to all females of all colors. In some ways the Office of
Civil Rights and their involvement in Title IX, it needs to be funded at a higher clip.
When we look at the majority of cases that go through the Office of Civil Rights, with
regards to Title IX only about 1% relate to sports, so that’s one thing funded. I think
the second thing that’s imperative is that on the high school level, we begin to collect
data. We collect data on the high school level with regard to sports opportunities for males
vs females. But, also on the high school level we need to collect information in terms of
sports opportunities for white females, black females, hispanic females, and asian females,
so that we make sure that not only are they participating, but they’re participating in
the array of sports that are available: lacrosse,field hockey, equestrian, swimming, soccer, all
of those sports. So collecting data at the high school level. I think the third thing
is just that we have to talk about it. There was a time during the Bush Administration
where Title IX and the policies, especially the three prong policy was under assault.
But now, I think that effort sort of discouraged people from talking about Title IX. So what
we need to do is we need to have our feminist scholars, both black and white, ramp up a
dialogue. Those are the three things that I think will be essential to ensuring that
Title IX continues to move forward. Within the context of college sports, and are written
on Duke Lacrosse, and I think that there were injustices, you know social injustices committed
against the Duke Lacrosse players, I think that there were also social injustices committed
against Durham as a city, so I think some things existed there. I’m not sure if you’re
familiar with, the audience is familiar with the Baylor situation, where Coach Dave Bliss
was trying to frame players after the murder of Reginald Dennehy at the hands of one his
teammates. It was so much time elapsed before we found the real story. I think it was an
injustice that we give a coach that much power. I also believe the reality that the low number
of black college coaches that we continue to have relative to the number of student
athletes of color who compete in the sport of football is an injustice. I think that
I’m encouraged by the reality that we do have, you know, scholars, we have activists, and
we have scholar activists who are out there trying to address these issues. Certainly
with respect to black culture and college football, there’s this issue of Title VII,
will Title VII be a remedy? With regard to the situation at Baylor, I think that the
NCAA tried to make sure that the schools have more institutional control over their programs.
So why are there a lot of injustices occurring in college sports, you know, and pro sports?
Steroids is an injustice, but you know they’re there and I think that in my profession with
regards to my scholarship, I have a wealth of data, and a wealth of things to write about. (music playing)

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