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Title IX: Who isn't playing fair?

On Sports


Thoughts and assorted information as we blow through another busy sports week ...

• I read with interest the

Title IX complaints lodged last month through “anonymous complaints” toward the Beaverton School District for “not providing equal opportunities for female high school students to play sports.”

The complaints stem from the disparity of participation between boys and girls — from 7 percent to 12 percent at five of the district’s schools.

Just wondering: Could it be that girls aren’t quite as interested in sports as boys?

Cheerleading and dance are considered activities, not sports, mind you.

If we’re using ratios to determine discrimination, those activities ought to be included.

And why are complaints allowed to be submitted anonymously? Someone ought to be required to put a name behind a serious charge such as that.

• The St. Louis Rams’ gamble wasn’t to take Michael Sam in the seventh round of the draft.

The gamble comes in the potential backlash should the Rams cut the first openly gay player in the NFL.

Coach Jeff Fisher says the Rams won’t hesitate to release the former Missouri defensive end if he doesn’t deserve a roster spot.

Surprisingly, more seventh-round picks make it than are cut in the NFL. Though Sam had disappointing results at the Senior Bowl, the NFL combine and during the Tigers’ Pro Day, one would think he’ll be able to be at least a back-up.

Best thing that could happen, of course, is that Sam plays so well in the preseason, the Rams keep him.

But if he gets released, St. Louis will be a target for discrimination charges. That could be part of the reason why other teams passed on a player talented enough to be named Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year in 2013.

• Danny Southwick’s time at Oregon State was brief — one spring practice back in 2003. The Portland Thunder’s quarterback regrets that he left OSU for Dixie State in St. George, Utah.

“I was a knucklehead in college,” says Southwick, 32. “I transferred way too much.

Oregon State was the first of many.”

Southwick originally had signed with Brigham Young but fulfilled a Mormon church mission before deciding on Oregon State. He was a Dennis Erickson recruit, but Erickson departed for the San Francisco 49ers and Mike Riley came aboard that winter. Southwick played spring ball and was in a battle with Adam Rothenfluh and Ryan Gunderson for the backup job behind Derek Anderson.

“I was young and immature and wanted a chance to play right away,” Southwick said. “Anderson was the quarterback and the coaches said, ‘You’re going to have a shot,’ which is what every coach tells every player. But Mike Riley is a great coach. I think had I stayed, things would have worked out. The guy who came in and took my scholarship (the next year) was (UCLA) transfer Matt Moore.”

Southwick went from OSU to Dixie to Utah, back to Dixie and finally to Occidental, where he played as a senior. He has bounced from team to team during his professional career, too.

“Look at any D-I quarterback who transfers a lot, normally it does not work out,” he said. “You get lost in the shuffle. I didn’t know that then. I’m a journeyman in the Arena League, and I was in college, too. I should have stayed at Oregon State, but I really like it here in Portland. To be able to come back and play here, it’s like coming full circle. It’s been fun.”

• Can’t wait for the 40th annual Prefontaine Classic, set for May 30-31 at Eugene’s Hayward Field as one of the nation’s two Diamond League invitational meets.

Long-time promoter Tom Jordan, who called last year’s field the best in history, says this year’s field is even better.

“We give every world and Olympic champion a single room,” Jordan says. “We have almost all single rooms at the (athletes’) hotel.”

Jordan expects a very fast time in the men’s 10,000 on Friday night, “after the sun goes down, the wind goes down, and the pollen goes down.”

He sees a potential world record in the women’s 2-mile, which is 8:58.58. Kenya’s Mercy Cherono has run the 3,000 meters in 8:21.14, which converts to a 9:01.2 2-mile, “so she’s within range,” Jordan says.

The men’s mile — with 12 entrants possessing bests of under 3:55 — should go under 3:50, with Kenyan’s Asbel Kiprop (3:48.50) and Silas Kiplagat (3:49.39) the favorites, but with ex-Oregon great Matthew Centrowitz (3:51.34), the former NCAA 1,500 champion, a potential upset hope.

“He’s in shape,” Jordan says. “He’s one of the savviest runners I’ve ever seen — so smooth, very heady. The last couple of years, he’s been dinged up coming into the Pre. If he’s 100 percent healthy, he’s going to be a factor in the race.”

The men’s pole vault is loaded, with eight contestants over 19 feet, including world record-holder and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Renauld Lavillenie of France (20-2 1/2), 2013 world champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany (19-4 3/4) and American record-holder Brad Walker (19-9 3/4).

Then there’s the women’s high jump, with every medalist from major international championships of the past three years, including three Russians — 2012 Olympic champion Anna Chicherova (6-9 1/2), Irina Gordoyeva (6-8 1/4) and Svetlana Shkolina (6-8) — as well as American Brigetta Barrett (6-8 1/4), the 2012 Olympic silver medalist.

It’s going to be an incredible meet, as it always is.

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Twitter: @kerryeggers