Croup’s Corner – Lady Pioneers? No. Just Pioneers.

Written By Josh Croup, Sports Columnist

Point Park completed a perfect regular season Saturday against the River States Conference (RSC) West Division with a comeback win against Alice Lloyd College.

That was the bigger story over the weekend, which is why my print column was about Point Park’s success against the West this season. That was the story that deserved to go in print because it was about the players actions and their accomplishment.

Maybe this piece belongs in print too but I only get one print column a week and the players deserved the print space over my rant about how we’re in 2018 but really in 1918 in some parts of the country.

If you read the Alice Lloyd athletics website, Twitter feed or listen to one of the school’s broadcasts of basketball games, you’ll see quite the distinction between the men and women’s programs.

The men were referred to as the “Eagles” and the women were called the “Lady Eagles.”

What a great way to unify an athletic program, eh?

There was a push a few years ago to remove “Lady” from prominent athletic programs in the country, most notably at the University of Tennessee.

Why do the men have a right to hold the school’s mascot name without an identifier, but women have to make sure they’re put on a different level, not entitled to the school’s mascot name without distinguishing themselves? Why are there no “Gentlemen Eagles?”

It’s a tradition thing, I get it, and it’s prominent more in the south than anywhere else in the country. But experts have said using the term “Lady” to differentiate programs can be harmful. The moniker implies that the men’s sport is the “real” sport that doesn’t need a description before a mascot name.

I’ve wondered why we do this since I was a little kid watching sports and hearing women’s teams referred to as “Lady” (insert mascot here).

The only reason for doing this is to suggest that the men are the ones that deserve the mascot name. Call them the women’s basketball team and the men’s basketball team, but don’t give one priority in holding the mascot title without a qualifier over the other.

Alice Lloyd is far from alone in this regard and is only part of a larger problem that exists in collegiate and high school athletics. Cincinnati Christian University, also in the RSC, referred to its women’s teams as the “Lady Eagles” up until December. The school hasn’t used the distinction recently.

If Alice Lloyd or any other program wants to put its women on a different level from its men, sobeit. Leave Point Park out of it.

Point Park’s women’s team was repeatedly referred to as the “Lady Pioneers” on Saturday’s broadcast available on Alice Lloyd’s Facebook page and on a local radio station.

I realize it’s the tradition of schools like Alice Lloyd to put women’s athletics on a different level from the men, but don’t add a moniker to other programs’ women’s sports that don’t have them and don’t want them.

At Point Park, we’re one athletic program and we’re one family of Pioneers. Nobody is entitled to the mascot name over someone else that goes here and participates in athletics because of their gender.

When you’re here, you’re a Pioneer. It’s that simple.

As for other programs and my personal writing, you won’t see a moniker before another team’s mascot even if that school chooses to pin on there because of tradition or any other reason.

The Alice Lloyd men’s and women’s basketball teams are the Eagles. The Point Park men’s and women’s basketball teams are the Pioneers.

The Point Park Pioneers defeated the Alice Lloyd Eagles 67-62 last Saturday. That’s the story.