Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Kutztown adds lacrosse and bowling

We talk a lot about Title IX compliance at Division I schools because of big athletic department budgets and successful teams and lots of scholarship dollars, but the issue of compliance certainly exists at Division II and III schools as well.
Kutztown University in Pennsylvania has just committed to adding women's lacrosse and bowling. Several years ago they added women's golf. Kutztown is citing compliance with prong 2, a history of expansion of their women's program but also notes that they need to bring their athletic department numbers more in line with their undergraduate population. Women comprise just under 60 percent of the undergraduate population but in 2005-06 had only 43.4 percent of the athletic opportunities. The new teams will add 40 opportunities for women athletes.
With the two added teams, Kutztown will be carrying 23 intercollegiate sports: 13 for women, 10 for men. Division II has championships in 25 sports. This is a fairly high number of teams for a DII school. According to this fact sheet, the average number of DII men's teams is 6.5 and women's is 7.2.
I commend Kutztown for continuing to seek compliance but I wonder how sustainable 23 teams are. Too many teams was JMU's problem as well. Granted the situation is different between DI and DII schools but adding teams to meet compliance standards only to cut them later because of financial issues can lead to even more Title IX backlash as we have seen with the JMU case.
Here's hoping Kutztown is able to provide good opportunities for all its athletes now and in the future.

No comments: