BUZZARRE: Women’s fencing becomes sport at CSUS after Title IX

State Hornet Staff

After failing to adhere to Title IX requirements in a West Coast Best Coast Conference meeting on Friday, Sacramento State has now started a women’s fencing team to alleviate the breaches of Title IX.

The board decided on women’s fencing in a 11-2 vote over women’s field hockey and women’s curling as other possibilities.

Title IX was a part of the 1972 Equal Opportunity in Education Act and states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” according to the document.

Three voting board members were passed out during the vote due to hangovers, while the other 13 voting members had no idea what Title IX was, sources close to the source said.

The board also made a decision to hire graduate art student Lance Rion as the head coach. Rion, who has no experience fencing other than using his paintbrush as a sword when fighting fellow graduate students during class, said he’s optimistic about the talentless program.

“I’m excited to see where this program goes in the next few years,” Rion said. “There’s really no dominant schools on the West Coast for Division I and we hope we can bring home a National Championship to Sac State.”

For that reason, the board decided on women’s fencing. No schools in the West Coast are in the top-10 nationally, according to NCAA Division I Fencing Rankings.

The team starts in the 2013-14 season and is working on a schedule to benefit the Hornets as a first-year program. The non-conference matchups of No. 2-ranked “The” Ohio State University and No. 1-ranked Princeton University have been set, but West Coast Best Coast Conference Commissioner Pip Pip Cheerio stated the conference schedule has a few kinks to work out.

“We have to make sure our schools have the best competition leading up to the NCAA Tournament,” Cheerio said. “This takes a lot of time and lot of resources. It’s no wonder why we never get anything done around here.”

Although the average Div. I team requires $625,000 for equipment and salaries for coaches, the recent California State University system budget cuts have already caused a burden for the team.

“We had to run to Leslie’s Pool Supplies and buy water noodles for our sabres because as of now, we have nothing to practice with,” said starting sabremaster Rachel Froster. “We have no money as a program because (Rion) used all $625,000 for his salary and left nothing for any equipment and jerseys.”

The team will be practicing on the back-right basketball court in The Well because nobody uses the space for the current badminton court set up, Froster said.

Teammate and third-string sabremaster Anna West was recruited from Point Hill Junior High School after finishing eighth grade. Although West has no fencing experience, neither does the rest of the team.

“I honestly don’t even know the rules of the game, but I was offered a full-ride scholarship due to my age and potential in the next 10 years,” West said.

West celebrated her 13th birthday in March and said her only experience battling was when she saw “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.”

“After seeing that movie, I thought to myself, ‘It can’t be that difficult. It’s just like dueling with lightsabers, but not as cool,’” West said. “So I’m excited for training. These next few months should be a ton of hard work, but it’ll be worth it once the season starts.”

NCAA ruled the recruiting of West a breach of NCAA regulations, but was soon dropped due to the lack of members on the first-year program.

With the recent landscaping outside of the University Union taking away money from the athletic program, there is no timeframe when the program will receive the next sum of money. But Cheerio said a West Coast Best Coast Championship will earn the program a $40,000 bonus – which will most likely go to Rion’s salary and nothing else.

“You need to have a solid leader to go anywhere. If you can’t pay me enough, then you don’t have a solid leader. Money is what makes the world go round,” Rion said. “I’ve always been a winner and will continue to be one – if the university can pay me enough. I’m a broke-ass college student with no experience fencing. Of course I’m going to be a diva.”

The first match will take place in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 14, 2013, as the Hornets face the No. 2-ranked Buckeyes.

“I’m pretty sure they are going to kill us. Practicing with water noodles will only get us so far,” Froster said. “I’m convinced half of them are Fembots who don’t have feelings. But I think it’ll be a great chance for us to get some more practice before conference play.”

Marvis “The Truth” Bargough can be reached at opinion@statehornet.com, but he won’t respond since this is not a real news story.