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USA Wrestling President Stan Dziedzic writes Education Secretary Paige concerning his Title IX posit

By Stan Dziedzic | March 04, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)

February 28, 2003 Rod Paige Secretary of Education 400 Maryland Ave. SW Washington, DC 20202 Dear Secretary Paige: I have been informed of your recent announcement concerning how the Department of Education will handle the recommendations of the Commission on Opportunities in Athletics concerning Title IX. The media reports indicate that you will only consider the recommendations in the Commission report that were approved unanimously. I urge you to consider all of the Commission on Opportunities in Athletics' proposals, not just those with unanimous approval. A great deal of time and effort went into the hearings. I was among the public citizens who spoke to the Commission in its first Town Hall hearing in Atlanta, and have been closely following the efforts of the Commissioners to develop their recommendations. Obviating a large portion of their work would be unfortunate, not to mention unfair. Accepting just the unanimous recommendations allows only one dissenting voice to overrule the decision of the majority of the Commission. The efforts of the members who entered this endeavor with an open mind would be trumped by those whose thoughts were intractable. It provides a few with the veto power over the large majority. The entire tenor and integrity of the meetings would be undermined if you only consider only the unanimous votes. Your insistence on considering only the unanimous decisions is very unfair to the Commission members, who voluntarily sacrificed countless hours for more than six months. Any decision to seek unanimity should have been presented to the panel at the outset of the meetings. If you were going to only accept the votes with no objections, you should have informed the Commission and the general public at the inception of the meetings. Many of the most critical issues facing our nation were decided by a single vote in the Supreme Court. The decision of the majority is a basic foundation of the American system of fairness and democracy. The complexity of Title IX enforcement and the passion it invokes deserves more. A vocal response by a minority should not hold sway over the correct decision reached by the majority of Commissioners. Your Commission has worked very hard to present a complete report to you, with reasonable and agreed-upon recommendations. You should give the Commission the respect and support they deserve by considering all of the approved recommendations. Thank you for your reconsideration of your announced position on this subject. Sincerely, Stan Dziedzic USA Wrestling President cc: George W. Bush, President Gerald Reynolds, Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Karl Rove, Senior Advisor to the President J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives