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Duke student paper concerned: Why no female managers on men’s basketball team?

As we live in a world where the percentage of “historically marginalized” populations must — must — be improved no matter the situation, the #1 ranked Duke men’s basketball team is facing the ire of the school paper for not having any … women managers.

The managers “are easy to notice if you’re watching the Blue Devils in the stands,” writes The Chronicle’s Sam Turken.

“At every timeout,” Turken writes, “the managers dash onto the court with one handing a clipboard to head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the others giving the players Gatorade and towels. They usually all dress similarly with each wearing black slacks, black Nike sneakers and a blue, black or white collared shirt with a Duke logo.

“But in recent years, another feature has been glaring—they’re all men.”

“Glaring”! Indeed. You’re in the stands watching the best team in the country, but you’re wondering … “Where’s the female managers??”

According to the story, manager positions for the b-ball squad are open to both men and women, and the latter have occupied spots in the past. However, there hasn’t been a female manager since the 2014-15 season.

Allegedly, according to Turken, a former manager said back in 2014 that the team “was not going to hire women anymore.” Another manager stated in a message (given to the Chronicle by a former female applicant) that the basketball team “held female applicants to a higher standard than males.”

That applicant has filed a complaint with the Duke Office for Institutional Equity, which said it was investigating.

From the story:

[The applicant who filed the OIE complaint] and one other former female applicant also said that the application process and interview in front of only men is intimidating and uncomfortable for female applicants. The latter woman said she felt self-conscious about wearing a dress during her interview. …

“It’s like you and this table of men,” [another applicant] said. “It’s incredibly daunting for women going in, let alone that it’s intimidating in the first place that you have to walk 15 seconds across the room looking at these guys.”

[She and another applicant] noted that the chair that they had to sit in was placed in an awkward position because it was a few feet away from the table. The woman who applied within the last three years said she was concerned that the position would allow the managers—who were all men—to see up the bottom of her dress.

“They sit you in a chair like slightly moved back from the table. So I was forced to then make sure my legs were put together at all times because I wasn’t hidden under the table,” she said. “I [had] to hold myself in this one position for like 30 minutes.”

But in the very next paragraph:

The two women who have gone through the interview said that the questions were gender neutral and did not make them feel any more uncomfortable. In fact, the woman who applied in the last three years said she left the interview feeling confident that she did well.

They added that “they do not think the men try to look up female applicant’s skirts.” Thank heavens!

Nevertheless, the women said the whole interview process is “naturally more intimidating for women who interview in front of only men,” and that “men cannot understand how uncomfortable it is to be the only female sitting in the room answering questions from a bunch of guys.”

To wit: The interview to be a men’s basketball team manager is “intimidating and uncomfortable” for women, which guys just “cannot understand.” Yet female applicants want a position which would require them to be around all men for 30-50 hours per week?

Read the full story.

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About the Author
Assistant Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over a decade, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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