Progress often taken by small steps

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By Ralph Damiani

This may seem like an odd place to write about sports, but we have done so before and this subject is worth hammering home.

Whether or not you are a big basketball fan, March is certainly a time when that sport hits its high note in the college ranks.

If you have any feeling for the game, you have been watching the teams slug it out in some great exhibitions of talent and hard work.

But if you are like many viewers, you may have missed the best basketball being played – the women’s bracket.

For those of you old enough to remember when the women’s collegiate game started, you remember that it was not top-notch basketball. The game was slow, scoring was low and it was almost painful to watch.

Not anymore.

If you have watched any of the games to this point – and have not seen any women’s basketball lately – you would be shocked. The play is outstanding, the game is fast and the scores compare with many of the men’s games.

It proves that those who said women had gotten a raw deal for years were right.

It would be nice to think that all this came about because society is warm and caring, but the truth is that this was forced upon us by our government.

A simple sentence added to the civil rights act in the 1960s – Title 9 – requires that colleges provide for women all the things they provide for men. That all be treated equal.

The result was the early years of women’s sports, which were not the highest quality.

But as all things grow and mature, so did the women’s game. And today, it is just first-class.

We hope that you take the opportunity to view the final four games this weekend, Connecticut, Louisville, Oklahoma and Stanford battle it out for the title.

You will be surprised and happy at the quality of play.