College baseball season opens in one week. You have plenty of time to read Strike IX -The Story of a Big East College Forced to Eliminate its Baseball Program and the Team that Refused to Lose by Paul Lonardo.
The book has everything: law and baseball. What else could you want? Seriously, Lonardo has done a very good job explaining Title IX and the final season of Providence College Baseball. It is a good read.
Lonardo starts out with background of the class action lawsuit against Brown University over Title IX. The Supreme Court refused to hear a 2-1 decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, despite the fact that amicus curiae briefs were filed on behalf of 1,700 colleges and universities.
Lonardo then tells us how Providence College decided to cut the baseball program. He shows us how the players responded despite the school’s lack of support for the final season.
I admit that I didn’t remember how well the Friars did in 1999. After I started reading the in-depth coverage of the players and their determination to win a championship, I couldn’t wait to get to the end of the book to see how far they went in the tournament.
For most schools there is always next year. That was not an option for the 1999 Friars. They didn’t win it all, but they did win the season. They won the conference tournament and set several records that season. They couldn’t win over their school administration but they won fans all over the country.