Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Vivas Verdict, Welty, and the future of Fresno State Football

Before I begin, I just want to take a moment to genuflect upon the oppertunity MDG has given me to be a guest blogger- and as such, my views are my own and may be different from someone else's.

The Vivas verdict has been an event in Fresno State athletics that has affected the entire department, and has sweeping after effects and probable outcomes that, while not certain, have a pattern that have been already been played out at other athletic programs in the Cal State system. For those of you who do not know, Lindy Vivas, formerly the woman's volleyball coach, sued Fresno State for gender discrimination after her contract was not renewed this year. After a legal battle, which included Scott Johnson thinking there were 'seven or eight' girls to a side on volleyball (there are, in fact, five), the court awarded Vivas $5.85 million in damages. This decision has made national headlines and has been seen by some as a landmark case for Title IX, as it is the largest award for an anti-gender discrimination lawsuit at a University, and has generated a lot of discussion on the barkboard and other fan sites. Some have begun to call for Weltey's resignation, while others are angry at the university and the chancellor for not standing up for the university's decision.

But there are even bigger questions than these which affect the situation, for this is a pattern which has been repeated at the majority of the universities in the Cal State system and, having visited upon Fresno State, can be expected to have massive repercussions. College football had once thrived in California at the Division I, I-AA, and II levels for decades until the Cal-NOW act was passed placing very stringent restrictions upon athletics at the CSU's in particular. Within a decade, fully half of the college football programs in California had folded, and the few that remained outside of the Pac-10 continue to be in jeopardy. Football is a sport that, while having the potential to generate generous profits, can also cost an institution a tremendous amount of money, and requires scholarships be given to as many men as 5 or 6 other sports. Many schools cannot financially support it while meeting the new guidelines. Fresno State had been fortunate that it had managed to escape many of the problems that have plagued the other schools in the system with its success on the field of play, but this legal decision has changed the financial and political situation of athletics at Fresno State. This situation, alongside similar problems in the Quaadir Brown case, implicate people from Welty to Johnson to Boeh in gender discrimination, and it seems reasonable to assume that this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what kind of things may happen next now that the cat is out of the bag on this.

My point is this- the mere suggestion of lawsuits brought down football programs at ten successful California universities in the last 15 years. It is not out of the question to suggest that landmark legal cases involving sweeping charges of gender discrimination and bias against Fresno State University won't result in a similar outcome for the Bulldogs than it did for our former opponents. This may be the beginning of the end of Fresno State football, and we may soon see the permanent removal of the goalposts from beloved Bulldog Stadium if we fail to pay attention to the lessons learned from the last decades.


James said...

Can you go into more detail regarding the connection between the Vivas case and the football program? Why might the Vivas case end the football program?

Anonymous said...

I think the point he is trying to make is if the university pays out funds to cases like Vivas, eventually the atheltic department, including football, could be affected...

look at all the CSU's who have dropped football, Fullerton, LBSU, Northridge...FS is on shaky ground when it comes to finances...the ones up top need to step down and let someone else take the reigns to right the ship

down with Welty

Anonymous said...

Yes, down with Welty, and the stupidity that he has allowed to fester in the athletic department. Hiring Scott Johnson was the worst decision of all, but there have been many bad decisions IMHO.

Hiring militant, cause-centered "percieved sexual orientation" types like Vivas will come back to haunt us every time, as well. And they DO stick together, or didn't you notice?

I fear the bad times may just be starting, though. This could get uglier before it gets prettier.

Somehow, I hope the Bulldogs come out of this tailspin.

Anonymous said...

If Fresno State doesn't get its act together quick then it will bury itself alive. In the past decade there's been the Tark team's troubles, AD mismanagement of funds leading to dropping of men's soccer, women's swimming and wrestling. Now the Vivas verdict with JohnsonKlein and Milutinovich cases on the horizon not to mention the Q Brown and Chris Lewis situations for the football team which has played poorly for the last year and a half. That's not the kind of publicity the team or University needs added to its tarnished reputation.

I'm noticing a pattern here and it looks like things are only going to go way downhill for FS from here. I used to be a loyal Fresno State Athletics supporter, particularly in football, but what has happened on and off the field has made my patience run thin. Nearly a decade WITHOUT a conference championship is UNACCEPTABLE. All these years with Welty at the helm is WAY UNACCEPTABLE. FS get rid of Welty. Boeh do some serious housecleaning and start a rebranding campaign including getting rid of the green V ghetto dog. Hill win the WAC outright already. Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

I do not see these hateful women "bringing down football" hear at Fresno State,though that very well may be their ultimate goal. The high courts must see through the B.S. that these disgusting man-haters use as a pretense for their phoney plight to win "fair treatment" for women. We must strongly insist to our legislators and politicians in Washington and California that we are not going to allow this sharrade to go on any further. The PC garbage is getting old and very smelly. These people have rode on the backs of mens sports to keep them afloat from the start. They need to regain their composier and retract the claws and fangs before they too loose everything they claim they are struggeling to win.
Another thing, I think coach Margie Wright's days as the women's softball team should come to an end because we need a BETTER coach. Her testifying at the so-called discrimination trail and hearings in Sacramento was only an attempt to both force,and intimidate Fresno State to allow her to suckle at the university's tit till she dies a miserable old woman. I hope we do not give into these obvious man-haters demands.
We can and should be fair without allowing the minority to have the reign over our lives or our beloved and important sports programs. Compromise within reason,and never give in to the militant garbage that these people really stand for. NO WAY!!
Go Bulldogs!