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Game ON

By Chris Lydgate '90 on February 10, 2012 02:49 PM

Good news. The women's rugby team is alive and well and planning its first home game of the season against Lewis & Clark tomorrow.

Although not a league game, the contest against L&C is expected to feature the good clean fun for which the sport is justly famed. (I can't believe I just wrote that.)

The women's team is currently seeking a coach who can lead them back to league play after the previous coach raised safety concerns with the side, which prompted Dean Mike Brody to withdraw the team from league play until he was satisfied the team could safely play competitive rugby.

The Quest reports that following Brody's decision, some players on the women's team have alleged that Reed is violating Title IX by giving preferential treatment to the men's team. Treasurer Ed McFarlane, who is Reed's Title IX officer, is conducting an investigation into these allegations. "We take Title IX complaints seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation," says college spokesman Kevin Myers.

For example, women players say that the majority of their winter practices took place when the field was dark, whereas the men practiced during daylight. They also say that the athletic director refused to buy them new jerseys until they went a season without a forfeit, but was willing to buy jerseys for the men's team. The women's team has to stock their own medical kits, which the men do not. And so on.

I have no idea if these allegations have any merit, but I do know that sexual discrimination of any sort is unacceptable, and I'm confident that any disparities arising from discrimination will be quickly remedied.

But what if the disparities arise from something else? If a coach believes that a team--be it composed of men, women, or ring-tailed tarsiers--is not ready for competitive rugby, the Dean is, in my opinion, totally justified in withdrawing from league play.

Meanwhile, I'm stoked that the team is going to play against Lewis & Clark. Go Reed. Lean to the right! Lean to the left! Lean to the left! Lean to the left!