Weak leg?
October 3, 2000 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Weak leg? A female kicker is suing Duke University because she was cut from the team. She says it was because she's a woman, the coach says she wasn't as versatile as other kickers on his roster. With colleges passing illiterates through based on football skill, I'm skeptical that a coach would make a roster decision based on sex.
posted by owillis (13 comments total)
From the article:

"In opening arguments Monday, Mercer's lawyer, Burton Craige, said Mercer was excluded from the Duke team because she is a woman, not because of a lack of talent. Simpson said Mercer was cut because she didn't have the range of skills as other kickers."

"Range of skills"? Excuse me?

Or is this a euphemistic way of saying she couldn't tackle anyone? Or she could, but the guys enjoyed it? (sort of a spin on that Troy Aikman cologne commercial)

posted by ethmar at 12:59 PM on October 3, 2000

I don't know.... A range of 35-40 yards for a Division I kicker is definitely shorter than the norm. Does that mean her accuracy drops off dramatically over fourty yards (which would probably be normal for most kickers) or that she simply didn't have the leg for field goals over 40?
posted by gyc at 1:19 PM on October 3, 2000

The article gave me the impression that she didn't have the strength to do kickoffs, and field goals over 40. AFAIK, college rosters don't have room for a place and field goal kicker, hence the cut.
posted by owillis at 1:41 PM on October 3, 2000

I would agree with gyc that a range of 35-40 yards is relatively short in comparision with field goal kickers of good Division I schools. If she can't get at least get the ball to the post from beyond 40 yards it wouldn't be very practical to have her on the team when there are three seconds left and the team needs a 45-50 yard field goal. As far as range of skills goes, maybe this lack of range on field goals carries over to kicking off. I know my school's field goal kicker also does the kick offs (and does a damn good job of it). Also, something to consider in this same area is onside kicks.
posted by howa2396 at 1:47 PM on October 3, 2000

No mention of OTHER people vying for the position. Obviously there were BETTER kickers, and those kickers remained on the team.

She sounds like a whiney loser... that I'd like to smack.
posted by chiXy at 2:26 PM on October 3, 2000

What does this say for the next women who may actually be able to compete? Even if you looked at talent alone this creates problems in the back of the mind of any coach now, simply due to the fact you can't cut the poor girl no matter what. The threat of a lawsuit is dangerous enough. I'd like to bring the coach to testify...Why did you cut her? --Talent? --You were treated poorly by your mother? --Title IX?. You aren't able to kick so you get cut.

Although unrelated, if you can not be on the field helping the team, there is no use in keeping you around. Just look at Lomas Brown, the injured Cleveland Brown who was recently cut, after being blinded by an official's penalty marker, a freak as they come "accident". That's the name of the game. If she wanted try at another school, the coach may have helped but don't go burning the bridge. He made a judgement call. Same as any coach who would like to keep his/her job.

Maybe go play another sport, just don't go complaining to a judge. Do all disappointed, angry, upset, people have to have the law/judge/jury decide for them who was right or wrong? Maybe you didn't get all the breaks in life, maybe you just to need to work that much harder, sometimes it won't be fair. What would MJ have done? Sued his H.S coach for cutting him? Take the lesson as motivation and move on, and maybe FSU, Clemson, GTech, Wake Forest etc. will take you on to let you get back at the team who said no. But just as chiXy said, I'd like to put some pads on and smack her around and see how she takes it. She'd probably sue me for being "too violent." (Just my 2 cents, BAD DAY AT WORK TOO!)
posted by brent at 2:55 PM on October 3, 2000

re: college "football". Well, it's not a real sport, is it?

And I'm not sure whether the lower IQs are to be found on the field or in the bleachers, but bits of this discussion are pretty revealing.

It's a blessing in disguise that she's out of it.
posted by holgate at 3:42 PM on October 3, 2000

holgate: what exactly is that supposed to mean? That we should lower the standards in search of equality? Kind of counter productive, I'd think.
posted by owillis at 3:46 PM on October 3, 2000

owillis: I'm just used to sports where the kickers stay on the pitch for the duration of the match. So to talk of "standards" and a "range of skills" seems a little ridiculous.
posted by holgate at 5:06 PM on October 3, 2000

Maybe I'm not understanding you. Nothing is more important in kicking (and sports in general) than "standards" and "range of skills". If you don't have those, you shouldn't be on the team. No exceptions.
posted by owillis at 5:35 PM on October 3, 2000

Exactly, I'm not good enough to play at the college level, and I'm can accept that fact and live with myself just fine. If I really feel a need to play football, my college has a good intramural sports program, and I would be willing to guess that her's does too.
On another note, I find it offending that you would even bring up I.Q. in this discussion. IQ is irrelevant.
posted by howa2396 at 6:00 PM on October 3, 2000

One small thing, Brent: you got the story right, but the names a little confused. Orlando Brown is the lineman in question. While Lomas Brown also played for the Browns last year, he's now playing for the Giants. (But don't worry - the Browns now have another Brown in Courtney Brown.)
posted by Aaaugh! at 7:59 PM on October 3, 2000

I live in the Triangle area (where Duke is located) and work with a few Duke grads who follow the team. Their take and the majority of those in the area on this is she is just looking to make some money off the entire thing. The reason they are saying this is because the starting kicker who won the "job she felt she deserved" had a much better range by 10-15 yds, was nominated to first team ACC, a finalist for the Lou Groza award (top college kicker) and even an academic All American.
Every school is different but most teams have only so many spots available on a squad and the coach of that team want's to fill it with the best athletes for their positions regardless of what gender. What most players do if the get cut and want to play football is they transfer to a lower level school which better matches their skills. I am sure Miss Mercer could have played football somewhere in fact she would be assured of a spot at Mount Union College who has a no cut policy. But of course why would she want to when she can try and milk a bunch of money off Duke because she did not make the cut. Seems to show me her true passion was not to play football but to make some quick cash.
posted by remo at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2000

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