It's Practice

By Jeff Lippman - December 13, 2006

Growing up, my father would always tell me if I want to get better at something I have to practice against people who were better, bigger and stronger than myself. That way, you learn how to fend for yourself and are better equipped when playing against level competition.

The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics are overlooking this key factor into the reasoning for why many women's college basketball teams use male practice players during their women's practices. The CWA wants to ban the use of these male practice players in all intercollegiate athletics and have a proposed ban in place.

This is not making coaches across the country happy. Teams like Penn State and UConn are known to use male players and they believe it truly helps their players excel during the real game.

I completely agree with the coaches thinking on this issue.

Come on, it's just practice after all.

These male practice players use their size and strength to instill tenacity and power into their female counterparts and come game time, the female players are then better able to muscle up against their same-gendered opponents.

It is not sexist, it is just plain common sense.

How many 6-foot-5 210 lbs. females do you think are available to practice against Connecticut's players? First of all, if there were 6-foot-5 women available they would be playing on UConn already, and second, these practice players don't exist.

It is common, however, to find a male of that size to play against the women in practice.

Who do you think Oklahoma's Courtney Paris would rather man-up against in practice? A female who isn't half her size or a male who can get her ready for the game? I think that is a no brainer.

So to me, it just makes sense to use male practice players. If it strengthens your team and helps build character and confidence in your players, why not?

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 02:18 PM on December 13, 2006

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