Title IX has been one of the most important developments in college sports in the last 100 years. Very possibly one of the largest developments in all sports.
Title IX broke barriers to allow women more access to sports and opportunities to play sports.
One of the hallmarks of Title IX has been the ability to measure compliance in a number of ways.
- Proportionality (in proportion to student population)
- Increasing opportunity (demonstrate that it is increasing opportunities for women)
- Met Interest (complied with all demand for sports by women)
The biggest challenge Title IX has and continues to have is how it is supposed to deal with football. Without a female equivalent, football skews virtually ALL of the tests for compliance. Football is the revenue generater at many schools and it really dictates the requirement that all other sports need to be balanced against football. On its own, football requires probably 5-6 women’s sports. So as a result, the compliance tests are manipulated by many schools.
Specifically, many schools engage in some or all of the following practices:
- Reporting participation from women no longer participating
- Expanding rosters just to include players who will never actually participate
- Counting men ”practice” players as part of the “womens participation”
The Times analyzed public records from more than 20 colleges and universities and federal participation statistics from all 345 institutions at the NCAA’s highest level.
“Those of us in the business know that universities have been end-running Title IX for a long time, and they do it until they get caught,” said University of Miami president Donna Shalala.
Instead of putting money into new women’s teams or trimming the rosters of football, which can have 111 players, or other mens sports, some schools are engaging in “roster management,” the Times said.
“It’s easier to add more people on a roster than it is to start a new sport,” said Jake Crouthamel, a former Syracuse athletic director.
It is also cheaper. And ultimately it all comes down to money.