|GENDER PARITY IN SPORTS|
The pros and cons of Title IX
May 19, 1997
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Is there a way to create opportunities for women without taking them away from men? How can a grandfather support girls' sports? Have any colleges or universities ever been denied federal funding because of Title IX? What impact does the ruling have on high school sports? Aren't men just more interested in sports than women? VIEWER COMMENTS
March 28, 1997:
A debate about March Madness-- the National Collegiate Athletic Association's championships tournaments for men and women.
February 7, 1997:
Women's professional basketball is starting to bring in the money and the fans.
July 30, 1996:
Athletes of both sexes train for the Olympics.
Browse the NewsHour's index of Sports stories.
The Women's Sports Foundation's stand on Title IX.
Lauren Jacobson of Tuckahoe, NY, asks:
Is there a way to create opportunities for women without taking them away from men? What creative methods have men's sports teams used to keep afloat (For instance, some institutions turned to private funding -- alumni -- to save their wrestling teams.)
Donna de Verona of ABC Sports responds:
This question reflects a response to a well organized campaign to blame women for undermining men's sports. This is unfortunate because in Division I schools, 60 percent of the football programs run a deficit of over a million dollars, thus depriving both men and women sports opportunities. In fact, all though some programs generate revenue, only about 10 percent generate profits.
What can be done in schools that count on revenue is to cut the rooster of scholarship athletics, cut down on recruiting and managerial costs. For instance in many big schools during home games, the entire team and staff check into hotels. Imagine the cost saving on home games if the team stayed at home during home games. There are also many ways to reduce expenditures.
By the way, the Javitz amendment does allow for a team like football to incur extra expenses under the law. The Javitz amendment, allows for extra-ordinary expenses for a team like football, which requires more players, more equipment and costs for equipment, etc. So football is protected already, and, perhaps, endowing minor sports is one way to go as well as a new U.S. Olympic Committee funding program.
Mark Nickel of Brown University responds:
Schools that offer relatively few teams for men and women should have an easier time creating additional opportunities for women than schools whose athletic programs are well developed. Brown happens to have an enormous varsity athletic program for a school its size (5,600 undergraduates). We offer 17 women's teams, 16 men's teams and 2 coed teams. (The national average for women's teams is 7.) We are already at the limit of our budget and our facilities, but we intend to do what we can to bring gender ratios up to the court's goal.
Two of the three elements in Brown University's compliance plan will expand opportunities without additional cost and without further pressure on facilities. We will expand our very successful women's crew program by adding a lightweight crew, which is emerging as a popular varsity competition for women. Money to support additional coaching for crew is available because the Ivy League reduced the allowable number of football coaches by one, and a recent expansion of the boathouse can accommodate more athletes. Brown has also found donor support to create a varsity equestrian team and to raise the women's water polo club team to varsity status. Crew and water polo will add more than 40 new opportunities for women next year; equestrian, which just completed its first year of competition, has already added more than 30.
The plan also addresses an imbalance in rosters. Historically, while men's teams have attracted many more athletes than they can accommodate, many of the women's teams continue to be under subscribed. Under the plan, all coaches must achieve and sustain at least minimum roster sizes so that the University may have maximum return on its investment in coaches, facilities, uniforms and so forth.
Beyond that, however, the options are fewer. Since there will be no additional University money for athletics, the third element of the Brown plan assigns maximum roster sizes to all men's varsity teams. This will have the effect of eliminating athletes who enjoy the workouts and competition even though they have little prospect of significant playing time. Neither the University nor the plaintiffs wanted to diminish opportunities for anyone, but that will be necessary since funding for additional teams and facilities is not an option. Incidentally, in our case the court made no allowances for the source of funding, University or donor.
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