Fresno State Adds Two More Women's Sports Programs

January 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The women's swimming and diving program has been reinstated after being cut in 2004. The university is also adding women's lacrosse.The university says the women's lacrosse team will play their games at Bulldog Stadium beginning in the 2008/2009 academic year.

The university says lacrosse is growing in popularity here on the west coast, but others question their reasoning for adding the sport.

Stacy Carter of Merced travels to Clovis daily in order to compete with the Clovis Swim Club.

She's excited about the possibility of being able to continue swimming on the college level at Fresno State.

"I know a lot of friends would love to go to Fresno State if they had a swim team too so I think it's a great opportunity."

Fresno State Athletic Director Thomas Boeh announced the reinstatement of the women's swimming and diving program Monday. He also announced the addition of an entirely new sport... lacrosse.

The two were recommended by the university's gender equity task force in order to comply with title 9, a federal law that requires equal opportunities for male and female athletes.

"We believe with the addition of swimming and diving and lacrosse that Fresno State will be among the nation's leaders in compliance with title 9 as it relates to participation rates and allocation of scholarships to women," said Thomas Boeh.

But not everyone agrees with the decision to add the two sports.

Former Fresno State Wrestling Coach Dennis DeLiddo is fighting to get wrestling reinstated after it was cut in 2006.

"That's the mission of the university, to serve the needs of the community. Why aren't we serving wrestling?"

To him, the idea of a lacrosse team doesn't sit well.

"I don't have any idea who they're serving there. That's just a quota."

Former Fresno State Athletic Department Administrator Diane Milutinovich recently settled with the university, after suing, claiming she lost her job because she was an advocate for title 9.

She calls the university's most recent actions a good first step for title 9 compliance.

But she says the problems began when the university cut women's swimming and diving in the first place.

"Once they dropped women's swimming it made it more difficult for Fresno State to comply with title 9," said Diane.

She thinks things could have been worked out differently to promote gender equity without having to cut any men's programs.

The university cited budget issues when it decided to cut wrestling back in 2006.

But Monday, the former wrestling coach handed a letter to university President Dr. John Welty, asking that wrestling be reinstated as a non scholarship sport.

DeLiddo says he's offering to coach for free.

Athletic Director Thomas Boeh said he doesn't see any situation where any other programs would be added in the foreseeable future.


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