Texas’ 2016 football schedule was released Tuesday with the Longhorns opening the 2016 slate against Notre Dame on Sept. 3. The game will be played at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Following two more out-of-conference matchups with UTEP and California, the Longhorns will start Big 12 play Oct. 1 against Oklahoma State. Texas will have few breaks throughout the 2016 season, as it will not have a bye week throughout the entirety of conference play. Starting with the battle against Oklahoma State, the Longhorns will play in nine consecutive weeks. Their regular season calendar ends Nov. 24 when they face TCU at home.
Although I played Little League baseball on an all-boys team, no one would have expected me to continue playing with men through my career. Instead, I was relegated to softball. The problem does not necessarily lie with not being allowed to “play with the boys.” Rather, the issue is with segregation itself.
The NCAA, through Title IX law, forces its universities’ athletics programs to allocate equal funds to both men’s and women’s sports. Although equality is undoubtedly a good thing, the “separate but equal” ideology enables discrimination.
The idea that sports should be segregated is a sentiment that is treated as fact despite being an arbitrary feature of the sports world we’ve created.
Having men and women play in different sports leagues is done to guarantee fairness because men are generally considered to be stronger, faster and taller than women, so women need their own leagues to compete against equal competition.
Indeed, the integrity of sport is based on an even playing field. However, attempting to divide human beings into two distinct boxes fails because humanity is more complex and chaotic than any category could give it credit for.
The sports world assumes that male and female are as easy to understand as wins and losses. Unfortunately, this classification ignores the fluidity of human biology. Medical science, through the existence of intersex individuals, acknowledges the anatomical and chromosomal variations that exist in human nature. Instead of a simple, two-sex system, sex can be thought of as a spectrum.
This is not to say the NCAA hasn’t done its part to include a wider range of student-athletes. For example, the NCAA’s office of inclusion released a comprehensive guide that clarifies the nuances of gender, scientific considerations and supplies recommended measures for transgender athlete integration.
The best way to fully acknowledge sex as a spectrum within the college sports world is to completely eliminate sex-based segregation. That would open up athletics to everyone, including gender nonconforming and intersex individuals who do not comfortably fit into either the male or female category and currently have no place.
Some may argue that it’s radical and impractical to abolish segregation along sex lines in sport as it would give men an unfair advantage over women. That may be true in sports that emphasize strength and speed, but not all men are stronger than all women, and not every sport requires strength and speed to be successful as an athlete.
Unfair advantage is the basis of sport, so if some men are stronger and taller than some women, so be it. Regardless of the matter, everyone deserves a chance to compete at the highest athletic levels.
It took five dives for senior Meghan Houston to finally pull away in the women’s 1-meter finals Friday at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. She grabbed the lead with a reverse one-and-a-half somersault. The dive scored 54 points to push her past California freshman Phoebe Lamay.
Houston won the title with 315.65 points after trailing Lamay throughout the finals.
“Those first couple of dives weren’t quite my best, but the back one-and-a-half is one of my more reliable dives,” Houston said.
Houston scored 51.75 points on her sixth and final dive — a back one-and-a-half somersault — to secure the victory. This is Houston’s third straight 1-meter victory at the Texas Diving Invitational. She defeated Lamay by just over two points.
“I knew it was pretty close,” Houston said. “I told myself to relax and do that dive like I do in practice, and I knew it was going to be there.”
Freshman Meghan O’Brien placed fifth with 301.85 points. Freshman Sofia Rauzi took ninth with 272.10. In the 3-meter event yesterday, Rauzi placed sixth and Houston placed eighth.
Houston qualified for the Big 12 championships the past two years and has placed in the top 10 in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. She qualified for the NCAA championships last year in both events.
The women’s platform final caps off the Texas Diving Invitational on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Head coach Charlie Strong said Wednesday that he’s not considering leaving Texas despite various reports linking him to the Miami coaching vacancy.
“It’s all a rumor,” Strong said. “We’re here to build a program. That’s why I came here. We still have a ways to go. … Everyone’s on board and we know that we have to get things done here.”
Strong said he tries to tune out the noise, but he is frustrated with the rumors. He emphasized that he has an “unbelievable” job at Texas, and he said he doesn’t know the rumor’s source. Additionally, he said he still feels wanted at Texas despite two six-loss seasons in his first two years.
“Our president [and] our [athletic director] have been very supportive of this program,” Strong said. “I feel like [I’m supported.]”
Strong also discussed the injuries the Longhorns are dealing with. Texas is using its bye week to get healthy after suffering several injuries during its 38-20 loss at West Virginia. Strong said senior running back Johnathan Gray and freshman guard Patrick Vahe are day-to-day, while sophomore running back D’Onta Foreman is out after finger surgery.
“Those three guys are the major concerns right now,” Strong said. “Everyone else — we have a few bumps and bruises — but everyone else is out there practicing.”
All three injured players are key pieces for the Longhorns’ stout running game. Vahe has excelled as a run blocker, while Foreman and Gray have accounted for 55 percent of the team’s rushing yards. Strong said he wasn’t sure whether those players will play against Texas Tech. However, he’s confident in the team’s depth to fill in.
“We still have 25, [freshman running back] Chris Warren, and then [freshman running back] Kirk Johnson is still there,” Strong said. “We have options there at that position.”
A slew of former Longhorns made an impact in Week 10 matchups.
New England defensive tackle Malcom Brown compiled seven tackles and one sack this week against the New York Giants. The 2014 first team All-Big 12 selection recorded a key sack on third-and-5, forcing the Giants to kick a field goal with two minutes left in the game.
Former Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs was key in breaking the Lions’ 24-game losing streak at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Of nine passes in his direction, Diggs only allowed defenders to catch two. He recorded two tackles and one pass deflection.
Sunday night’s matchup between the Cardinals and Seahawks featured a myriad of Longhorns. Outside linebacker Alex Okafor returned to the Cardinals after a Week 5 calf injury, recording one tackle, while Cardinals defensive end Cory Redding left the game early with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Seahawks safety Earl Thomas posted five tackles, one pass deflection and one interception in a loss.