Book Review: Strike IX
â€œThis is bad.â€
With those three words, the horrific truth of their future thrust upon the Providence College Friars.
Paul Lonardoâ€™s Strike IX highlights the final season of the Providence College baseball team. In this stimulating account of pride and passion, Lonardo brilliantly ties together the motivated young stars who put together a historic, memorable season.
As the academic year began in 1998, rumors began to spread that Providence College was going to begin cutting back on their sports programs, due to their failure to comply with Title IX, a federal law that prohibits schools from discriminating against a particular sex in regard to educational programs.
In a battle between the school newspaper and the school administration, word got out that the baseball team was among the sports that were set to be cut. Even under the national spotlight, and despite much opposition and anger, the administration stressed that they had no choice.
For a team that was now entering itâ€™s final season, many players had choices to make. Their ultimate dream of making the big leagues would only be hinderedâ€“â€“or destroyedâ€“â€“by playing on a team that would not exist in the following season. Although some would depart, most stayed behind to fight for their pride; a sacrifice that wasnâ€™t difficult for them to make.
After the team had to clean the field on their own, it became very evident that the school was no longer on their side, and that they were, in fact, along. Despite that horrific truth, the Friars would pull it together to form one of the most inspiring stories in the history of college sports.
In a very unique account, Strike IX gives you the rare chance to see the effects of Title IX, and the emotional, avid relationships between the players of a historic team. It is yet another reminder that pride will triumph, even when your aspirations are dried to dust.