Clemson coach warned against pregnancy
Report: Seven abortions to keep scholarshipsAssociated Press
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
COLUMBIA -A Clemson track coach told her athletes that becoming pregnant could jeopardize their scholarships, but the school said Monday that no students lost their aid and the policy was later dropped.
The warnings came to light Sunday when ESPN, citing an anonymous female athlete at the school, reported that at least seven current and former Clemson athletes had abortions for fear of losing their scholarships. The athlete told ESPN that she had an abortion after a school official told her she could lose her scholarship by being pregnant.
Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said in a statement posted on the school's athletic department Web site that track coach Marcia Noad had presented her team with written rules, which included the lines, "Pregnancy resulting in the inability to compete and positively contribute to the program's success will result in the modification of your grant-in-aid money. Please consult your coaching staff immediately to discuss."( Read more... )
Okay... I am all for female athletes. I am all for athletic competition. Schools these days invest a LOT of money attracting athletes and competing between other schools for championships and standing. I just graduated from Uconn - who tout their women's basketball team to no end.
I need to understand something. Up to a certain point, you can be pregnant and still play, but after that you are on the bench. You may or may not have an "easy" pregnancy/birth/recovery and that will affect your ability to participate in said sport. If you were given the scholarship to be a member of an athletic team, to compete and win glory for your university... aren't you breaking the contract by becoming unable to play? Or does this fall under injury/accident clauses, like when a player blows a knee or breaks a leg or pulls a muscle, making them unable to play?
Just because you aren't out on the court, or on the field, doesn't mean you cannot participate. Hence, I believe, that is why the coach (or school, they aren't exactly clear on who originally came up with this idea) put in the caveat of "positively contribute to the program's success"
and that the scholarship could be modified depending on the level of contribution. Hrm. Sounds like someone wants to have one rule for "regular" medical snafus and another for pregnancy. Maybe it is a policy thought up to keep students from "free-riding" the system to a degree. Whatever the case, you can't have it both ways.
This feels similar to the policies of the military - especially when you are in your initial training period. If a female gets pregnant during basic training, she (and not the male who contributed to her condition) gets kicked out... Of course, you'd have to already BE pregnant to really get dinged for it, most women who are in tip top condition physically don't begin to show until after the three months it takes you to get through basic training. If someone can get "split-training" to accomodate school, why not to accomodate pregnancy? Why does the military frown on pregnancy of its female soldiers? If you aren't in a situation where you are directly in the line of fire, it shouldn't make any damned difference.
With the sports scholarship... whether it is negligence or purposeful, or just plain dumb luck, it shouldn't make a difference either. Because that's how "regular" accidents and injuries occur. A woman who is in peak physical condition can do A LOT of physical activity (and I can hear people starting to chatter about contact sports being rough and so forth, and she could just as easily slip or have some other kind of accident and get a similar result). Continuing with a physical training regimen will actually make childbirth easier for a woman's body. Which means recovery would be that much quicker.
Example: Woman works in a factory, which requires regular lifting of 50+ pounds frequent bending and ocassional running to and fro in the course of a 12 hour shift. Said woman works until she is a week away from her due date, and only goes home at this point because the staff don't want her to give birth on the premises... Three hours labor, start to finish, and woman walks out of hospital with a flat stomach, still in perfect physical condition. Gets to stay home for two weeks because of maternity leave but could go back to work immediately if sufficient support structure in place to care for infant.
Example: Woman rides horses all day, trains and fights in battles as necessary to protect tribe. Works up until labor begins - gets off horse, has baby, gets back up on horse. Sound familiar? Amazons really might have existed, we just don't have definitive proof. Similar incidents occur around the world for women who's work is physical labor, like farming.