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March 15, 2012 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-03-15

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6A-Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

6A-Thursday, March 15, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


Female participation in
sports at all-time high


Celeste Peterson, mother of shooting victim Erin Perterson, right, cries after a verdict yesterday,
Jury rules on the handling of
2007 gunmanbVirgina Tech

Lawsuit final
litigation in
(AP) - The parents of two Vir-
ginia Tech students killed in a
2007 campus massacre worked
for years to prove university offi-
cials were negligent for waiting
to warn students of a gunman on
campus, and a jury agreed with
them yesterday.
It took jurors 3/2 hours to find
that university officials botched
their response to the April 16,
2007, massacre that left 33 peo-
ple - including the gunman -
dead. The jury determined in the
wrongful death lawsuit against
the state that the parents of Julia
Pryde and Erin Peterson each
deserved $4 million. The award
likely will be sharply reduced
because Virginia law requires
such awards to be capped at
The lawsuit was the last pend-
ing litigation over the mass

shootings and it's not clear if any
additional lawsuits will be filed.
The state is expected to appeal
the verdict, as it did a separate
fine handed down by federal
education officials. No crimi-
nal charges were brought in the
"We were looking for truth for
a long time," Harry Pryde said
outside the courthouse that's less
than 10 miles from Tech's Blacks-
burg campus. "We persevered
and we got some truth today."
After the verdict, the parents
said their persistence is what
their daughters would have want-
ed. They were the only eligible
families to reject their share of
an $11 million dollar settlement in
2008, instead taking the state to
court in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The $11 million settlement was
split between 24 families, exclud-
ing other disbursements such as
$1.9 million set aside in a hard-
ship fund. The state could not
immediately provide a per-family
breakdown of the settlement.
The families who sued the
state, however, said getting

answers mattered the most. They
argued that lives could have been
spared if school officials had
moved more quickly to alert the
campus after the first two victims
were shot in a dorm. The massa-
cre ended later in the morning
with the deaths of 31 more peo-
ple, including the gunman, in a
classroom building.
"When you know that some-
thing is right you're not deterred
from your course," said Celeste
Peterson, whose daughter Erin
died in the mass shooting that
was the deadliest in modern U.S.
history. "We wanted the truth
from the very beginning and we
got it. All I know is today we got
what we wanted."
The state, which was the lone
defendant in the case, argued
the university did all that it could
with the information available at
the time. President Charles W.
Steger and other university offi-
cials said they initially believed
the first two shootings were
isolated instances of domestic
violence, based on what police
investigators told them.

In 1
team s
of ne
giate f
to an
to a st
ian Ac
was f
have s
440 fr
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Act re
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lar wt
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spite national 98.8 percent of colleges offering
women's basketball programs.
'nd, U number LSA senior Jamillya Hardley,
a guard on the varsity women's
Y p basketball team, said the ever-
expanding media coverage of
By ZENA DAVE women's sports, especially bas-
Daily StaffReporter ketball, has led to its heightened
1898, basketball was intro- "A lot more female athletes are
as the first competitive becoming more popular in the
port for women at the Uni- media and their talents are being
. Women's athletics have recognized more," Hardley said.
significant progress since "Every year there is something
as recent data shows that new, like we have females dunk-
participation in college ing now, and that's making the
cs across the nation has game more exciting."
d a record high. Though the number of female
re are currently 9,274 varsity athletes has been on the
n's intercollegiate teams decline, the University's13 wom-
d the nation with a total en's teams exceed this year's
arly 200,000 intercolle- highest-ever national average of
emale athletes, amounting 8.73 teams per school.
average of 8.73 women's Marcia Pankratz, head coach
per institution, according ofthewomen's fieldhockeyteam,
udy conducted by R. Viv- said the expansion of women's
osta and Linda Jean Car- teams atthe University is impor-
, professors emeritus at tant to offering more chances for
lyn College in New York. females to excel and explore pro-
;h the University's female fessional sports options.
it participation rates have "I think that the more oppor-
significantly since the tunities that are afforded, then
n's basketball program the more experience there is for
irst developed, numbers young players to participate in
lowly dropped - down to sports and then realize 'Wow, I
om 523 female athletes in really like this profession, and I
- accordingto information can also make a living at it,"' Pan-
ed by The Michigan Daily kratz said.
a Freedom of Information The number of female head
quest. coaches of women's teams in the
pite the decrease at the countryhas also reached arecord
rsity, Acosta and Carpen- number at 3,974, with 42.9 per-
und that female intercol- cent of women's teams headed
athletic participation by female coaches, according to
eaked this year, and con- the Brooklyn College study. This
to grow since their last year's University reports on ath-
was released in 2004. The letic participation have not yet
also found that basketball been released, but trends show
emained the most popu- that the number of female head
omen's sport at universi- coaches has declined in the past
roughout the nation, with decade, dropping from seven in

2002 to five in 2011.
With the national rate of
female head coaches at its high-
est this year, Pankratz remains
optimistic that the number will
continue to grow.
"I think over the years the
support for women's athletics
has grown not only emotion-
ally, but certainly financially,
and now it can be a profession
as opposed to a part-time gig,"
Pankratz said. "I think young
people can see women role mod-
els coaching, and in positions
of sports, it motivates them to
know that they can do it them-
selves as well."
The number of female athletic
administrators at the University
has also exceeded the national
average of 35.8 percent, with
females comprising 38.4 percent
of athletic administrators at the
Chrissi Rawak, the senior
associate athletic director for
development at the University,
said the
University's efforts to diver-
sify its athletic administration
have caused employees to not
place a major emphasis on gen-
der in the workplace.
"(Athletic Director) Dave
(Brandon) believes in surround-
ing himselfwith people that have
diverse skills and strengths, and
that includes people that have
backgrounds that are unique and
different," Rawak said.
She added: "There are five
women around the table of
Dave's leadership team, and I
know that I replaced a man. I
don't necessarily think about
gender, I think about qualifica-
tions and experience and who is
the best person for the job."
The percentage of schools
with a full-time female sports
information director declined
this year from an average of 12.2
percent in 2004 to a current
average of 9.8 percent, accord-
ing to the study. Still, the Uni-
versity outscored the national
average, with three female
sports information directors
currently employed.
Sarah VanMetre, athletic
communications coordinator
for the women's varsity softball
and volleyball teams, said she
does not notice any discrimina-
tion as a woman holding an SID
"I was a student athlete
myself," VanMetre said. "So I
feel that is my biggest identi-
\fier in this position - never my
The record high numbers for
women's participation in sports
this year have sparked excite-
ment around the nation as
female participation and equal-
ity continues to grow, Pankratz
"The young women who
participate now, they have no
idea what the women in the 70s
and 80s went through so they
could be afforded these oppor-
tunities," Pankratz said. "Now
these kids feel even, and they
expect it to be even, and that's
what we were fighting for the
whole time. I think that's a cool
thing, the way that it's expect-
ed by these young kids coming
in that it's going to be fair, and
even, and that there will be

opportunities." a

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RELEASE DATE- Thursday, March 15, 2012
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Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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45 Swelter
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sleeping bag
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55" only money!"
57 Mental grasp
61 Clueless
62Where'The Lord
of the Rings"
monies were
64 ActressTeri
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69 Stiff hair
1 Levels the
playing field?
2 Cutting-in word

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63 64 66 58 57 58 59 80
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64 65 66
67 68 68
By Michael Doran 03/15/12
(c)2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc,


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affordable rates
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