Marshall University's women's tennis team was criticized in an April 26 New York Times article about the coach inviting three freshmen onto the team even though they did not practice against the scholarship athletes — let alone compete. The walk-ons could come to practice whenever they desired and had the opportunity to travel with the team.
The article said both Florida State and Marshall encourage their women's coaches to accept many walk-ons — generally athletes who were not recruited — while often prohibiting or limiting the same practice regarding men's teams.
Title IX was passed in 1972 at the height of the women's rights movement and banned sex discrimination in any federally-financed education program. The article brings to light the issue of not just equality for women's sports at Marshall but also men's sports that suffer a lack of funds, with the exceptions of football and basketball.
Numerous times throughout the past several years, The Parthenon has expressed the lack of facilities for baseball and track field yet it seems there hasn't been much progress made in that area. Athletes have continued to compete on a high level against other Division I schools and have been very successful.
The athletes not only need a facility to practice and host events, but they also need a facility to give sports a better chance to recruit blue chip athletes. Let's face it: Would you want to play a sport at a Division I school that didn't have the facility for your sport?
Marshall, along with other colleges that are having the same issues, should be giving money to new women's teams or trimming the rosters of football teams. Changes need to be made to suit the needs of athletes here. Athletes should have the facilities, equipment or whatever is necessary to prepare them for competition. One sport should not receive better facilities, equipment or resources than any other sport — even if that sport brings in more revenue or fans. All female and male sports deserve equal treatment.