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Alito’s Lysistrata Plan for College Football Parity

May 17th, 2022 by dk

Is it too soon to contemplate how Justice Samuel Alito’s draconian and antediluvian desire to rescind federal abortion protection might benefit Eugene? For example, only something like Alito’s fever dream could possibly return parity to college football.

It’s no secret that the SEC dominates college football. It wins more championships and launches more NFL careers than any other conference. Southern universities offer large crowds, rabid fans, plush facilities, legendary coaches, and a future NFL payday.

If there’s one thing high school football players pursue more immediately than all these benefits, it’s the affection and attention of young women. Alito seems to enjoy ancient literary references. His draft made six references to Henry de Bracton from 1250 AD. If older is better, Alito may want to reacquaint himself with Aristophanes’ tragicomedy from 411 BC. 

“Lysistrata” envisions women banding together to end the Peloponnesian War by denying all men any sex until a truce was declared. Far from being powerless, women   controlled the only thing those warriors truly and deeply desired.

I’m sure that high school boys have evolved over the last two and a half millennia, but the point Aristophanes made still holds. Women are empowered when they move together. To be clear, this is not about sex. It is about respect. Or,  if you prefer, about choices.

If young women choose to attend college in a state that affords them more options and respect, it complicate matters for football and admissions recruiters alike.

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a severe anti-abortion law just two days after the Supreme Court struck down an identical Louisiana law. Will his priggish cynicism dissuade young women from attending Ole Miss?

Louisiana legislators, not to be outdone, drafted a bill to classify abortion as homicide. How many parents and high school counselors will steer their daughters and students away from attending LSU?

Alabama mandates parental notification or a court hearing before a minor may receive an abortion. Will this policy make Alabama and Auburn less attractive to young female scholars?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis remains the South’s premier political demagogue. He wasted no time passing anti-abortion laws that were ruled too strict for the last 50 years, but what’s a half-century of personal autonomy and social stability between fiends? 

Universities across the South may need their own Plan B if a “Lysistrata” boycott takes hold.

Young women have more choices today than they did in 1973 or 1250 or 411 BC. They weren’t acknowledged Boston Marathon entrants until 1972. They couldn’t apply for a credit card until 1974. They couldn’t get pregnant without fear of being fired until 1978. The list of colleges they’ll consider could benefit the University of Oregon.

Oregon is one of only four Division I universities to offer Acrobatics and Tumbling as a varsity sport with scholarship support. For those who excelled in high school cheerleading who require a research university to further their studies, Oregon’s only large-school competitor is Baylor. 

But Waco, Texas may allow bounty hunters invading dorms and policing uteruses, as if witches and pitchforks were still in vogue.


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Friday and Sunday for The Register-Guard and archives past columns at

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