Sunday, November 2, 2008

NCAA Watch #1: Egregious Failure in Gender Equity

Only a day after UDC was cited for 'egregious lack of institutional control' the NCAA released its biennial gender equity report, which, with the exception of Division III, reveals regression rather than improvement. From the NCAA's press release:
Data from the newly released 2005-06 report indicate that in Division I, 66 percent of total expenses were directed toward men’s athletics versus 34 percent for women’s programs. Although the figures represent minimal changes from the 2003-04 report, the gap between men’s and women’s spending is slightly wider (three percentage points) for the 2005-06 report compared to the previous study.

In Division II, the proportion of total expenses devoted to men’s and women’s athletics remained the same (58 percent and 42 percent, respectively) as it was in the 2003-04 report. However, in Division III, the percentage for women’s athletics programs increased by two percentage points (to 44 percent), while men’s allocations dropped by two points to 56 percent. . . .

Head coaches’ salaries are often cited as a major factor in recent increases in athletics spending, and that could continue based on findings in the 2005-06 report. Data from 2005-06 show the proportion of money spent on salaries of head coaches of men’s teams still outpaces the proportion spent on head coaches of women’s teams in Divisions I, II and III, a trend that has remained relatively constant since the report was first issued in 1991-92.

In comparing 2003-04 and 2005-06 findings, Division III was the only division to register an increase, although it was insignificant at just 1 percent, in the proportion of total expenses being directed to head coaches of women’s teams.

Similarly, the proportion of assistant coaches’ salaries for women’s teams lags behind that of men’s programs in all three divisions, according to the 2005-06 report. At Division I institutions without football, assistants of women’s teams receive 47 percent of the salary dollars, which represents a small increase from 2003-04. Comparatively, in the other two divisions, assistants of women’s teams received not more than 31 percent of the salary budget. . . .

For more coverage see this article at Inside Higher Ed, which highlights another part of the problem:

Donna A. Lopiano, former head of the Women’s Sports Foundation and now president of Sports Management Resources, a consulting firm, attributed the apparent decline in support for women’s sports to a number of factors, including the slowdown in the growth of participation of female athletes in high school and college and a tightening economy. “Add in the continued arms race in men’s football and basketball, in particular the academic support building arms race and assistant coach salaries,” and it’s inevitable that athletics departments will have trouble finding enough money to go around, Lopiano said in an e-mail message.

In recent years, most Division I colleges have tended to deal with financial shortfalls by cutting back on men’s sports other than football and men’s basketball, which has often led advocates for those sports to blame the push for gender equity — and Title IX of the Education Amendments, the federal law that requires equitable treatment of female athletes — for their plight. But “with no more men’s sports to squeeze because they’ve already been cut,” Lopiano said, “now women’s sports are being squeezed.”

To top it off, she said, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has largely stopped enforcing Title IX.
Mercifully, this should change on Tuesday, whatever the result.


Superdestroyer said...

I doubt that an Obama Adminstration will get excited about Title IX sports enforcement. The HBCU's are out of complaince and usually some of the worst offenders because their campuses usually have a much higher percentage of female students.

Profane said...

We will see. For now, at least, I am going to give our President-Elect the benefit of the doubt.