Re: Pepperdine Womens Program

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Posted by Father Flaherty on December 06, 2016 at 20:14:18:

In Reply to: Re: Pepperdine Womens Program posted by Also very important on December 06, 2016 at 13:16:29:

: : : Pepperdine is a great school, great location. Anyone have any idea why their program is not better than it is. They have been on the bottom of the conference for years. It never seems to get better. At one time their women's and men program was very competitive. With all the talent in CA and surrounding states, not sure why the team is not more competitive.

: : Yes, great location, nice school, but also very isolated, very socially strict with the student population, and it only attracts a certain kind of student, not the top athletes who want to play against top competition and get great TV and crowd exposure. Pepperdine's physical plant has come a long way from the days when it was located on Vermont Avenue (where Price HS is now located), and it was run by local tire retailer George Pepperdine, a decent, but deeply and extremely religious figure in Southern California history. Pepperdine has grown into a more well-rounded university now, but at its core, it still reflects the philosophy of its founders. Not a criticism at all, and the entire WCC is made up of similar types of schools, but it is what it is: A smallish school, located in a relatively remote area of LA County (it's great if you surf or like the solitude of the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area), but it's just not for everyone.

: : And besides all of that, from a basketball perspective, the women's program has not been terribly competitive, really ever, going just once to the NCAA tournament in the past 11 years (losing in the first round in 2006). Sure they've been to the WNIT three or four times, but if the men's NIT is pretty much inconsequential, the WNIT is even more so.

: : Hard to recruit there, hard to win and not every available student-athlete fits the school's desired mold.

: Coach Ryan Weisenberg has stated lesbians are not welcome on his team, exactly like University policy. In a sport dominated by lesbians, that's not a likely winning formula.

No joke, Coach Weisenberg's comments have been outspoken and, some would say, outlandish, but for a school run by the Church of Christ, their opposition to openly gay players is not at all surprising.

From an article posted last year in the Daily Fix (also carried nationally in several AP reports):

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" In what appears to be a first-of-its-kind ruling, a California federal judge ruled the nation’s ban on sex discrimination in education under Title IX includes a ban on sexual orientation discrimination too. U.S. District Court Judge Dean Pregerson decided last week “that sexual orientation discrimination is not a category distinct from sex or gender discrimination.” Lesbian couple and former basketball teammates Layana White and Haley Videckis filed a lawsuit against Pepperdine University in 2013, saying their basketball coach mistreated them because of their sexual orientation.

“I was being targeted and some of the treatment, I thought, was just completely unfair,” Videckis told Los Angeles TV station KABC earlier this year. The coach said, “‘Lesbianism isn’t tolerated here. Lesbianism is real and a big problem in women’s basketball.’ And I directly remember the date of that meeting because it just stood out to me that someone could use that word in such a derogatory way,” Videckis told the station.
The women were repeatedly interrogated by their coach about their orientation and relationship and asked invasive questions like whether they slept with their beds pushed together and whether they went on vacations together and also were asked about their gynecological exam records. White says the stress from the discrimination pushed her into severe depression and even attempt suicide. They were driven off the basketball team and lost their scholarships as a result.

Pregerson’s ruling is not final but has allowed the women’s lawsuit to move forward and has explained why “sexual orientation” is covered under “sex” in Title IX which makes for a compelling argument for future cases of LGBT discrimination. Think Progress outlines the judge’s reasoning and explains it a lot better than I can:

“It is absurd to demand a victim of alleged sex discrimination based on sexual orientation prove she is a lesbian,” Pregerson writes in his ruling. “The contrary view would turn a Title IX trial into a broad inquisition into the personal sexual history of the victim. Such an approach should be precluded as not only highly inflammatory and offensive, but also irrelevant for the purposes of the Title IX discrimination analysis.”

Thus, he concluded, “it is impossible to categorically separate ‘sexual orientation discrimination’ from from discrimination on the basis of sex or from gender stereotypes; to do so would result in a false choice.”

Videckis and White were subjected to stereotypes about lesbianism and sexuality, which “stem from a person’s views about the proper roles of men and women — and the relationships between them.” If the staff’s harassment was based on “lesbians’ perceived failure to conform to the staff’s views of acceptable female behavior, actions taken on the basis of these negative biases would constitute gender stereotype discrimination.”

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