It was one of those "blip under the radar" news stories that rarely gets any play: About two weeks ago, The Associated Press reported, Millersville University announced it was dropping three varsity sports programs.
See if this doesn't surprise you: All the teams to be terminated are men's teams. When the sports end after this school year, the public college - Millersville is one of the state system schools - will retain 19 of its 22 programs.
The new split will have seven men's sports and 12 for women.
Money is one of the reasons - the main reason, the school says. Fair enough.
But there's an unfair thing at play here, too - at least, unfair in the real world, where the reduction will shortchange male students by offering 42 percent fewer sports than are available to females.
And there should be no surprise as to what makes this situation "fair:" Title IX.
Millersville said getting rid of the three teams - indoor and outdoor track, and cross country - will affect only 30 students, and will eventually save the college about $200,000 per year; the school said it will fund scholarships to affected student athletes who remain at Millersville through the end of their eligibility.
Millersville said it also considered competitive success and standing along with gender equity.
Still, Title IX - which will celebrate its 40th anniversary as part of the sports landscape in late June - has once again turned the concept of equal opportunity on its ear in the name of satisfying a quota-based system of measurement.
There are plenty of things wrong with this that have nothing to do with gender.
Scholarships provide opportunity for plenty of kids to go to college - even partial rides at Division II schools that offer a break on tuition for state residents.
Track is a sport that offers greater opportunity than most, and locally, has delivered on the often overhyped promise of athletic scholarships at a level greater than other sports.
Football and basketball sell tickets. Track doesn't.
But it always comes back to which locker room the athlete walks in and out of. If a school has 1,000 students, 500 of whom are women, and only half have an interest in sports, then there better not be more than 250 men who want to play - or their opportunity may be denied in the name of gender equity.
That's not equitable. That isn't opportunity.
Ultimately, money is the driving factor, as became obvious a decade ago when Bucknell University cut its wrestling team. At the time, the Lewisburg campus was completely non-scholarship, which meant it had no control over the number of athletes (thus a Title IX math quandary - there were more women on campus, but fewer were student athletes).
Bucknell's wrestling boosters paid for new women's teams in the years leading up to the program getting the ax, specifically to avoid Title IX problems. It didn't work - at least until a large donor ponied up a half million dollars with the return of wrestling a condition.
Guess if you're a wealthy track booster who has ties to Millersville, it's time to see whether true equity can be reestablished with a large enough donation.
Title IX may not be playing a role in Mifflin County, but the school district is adding two girls sports starting next year.
The first is girls tennis, which means no more mixed-gender teams - and fairer head-to-head competition. I'm the first to admit that one's long overdue; Lauren Valdivia is probably the second - I've long believed she would have won district titles and contended at the state level if she didn't have to play boys every spring.
The other is competition cheerleading, which is not strictly a girls sport - boys are welcome on the squad. That one is still in the planning stages, as the PIAA, which will begin to recognize the sport, defines how it will work. I'm told at least one competition is expected at Mifflin County High School, and those who wish to be on the traditional cheer squad are not required to be part of the competition unit.
Interestingly, cheer is also the sport that saw Title IX used by women against women in 2010. Quinnipiac University moved to eliminate volleyball as a women's sport and replace it with competition cheerleading - but the female volleyball coach sued, claiming cheer was not a sport. Her petition was upheld in federal court.
The new division of sports will leave Mifflin County with 11 girls sports and 10 for boys, although cheer would technically be the 11th boys sport if they choose to go out for the team.
Jeff Fishbein is sports editor of The Sentinel. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.