Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More specifics from FGCU

It is not uncommon to find critique of the media on this blog, but I think The Naples Daily News has been doing a great job uncovering what has been happening in the FGCU athletic department. The administrators probably are not too happy about the News gaining access to documents related to the investigation into Title IX violations, the most recent of which is the interview of volleyball coach Jaye Flood with internal auditor Carol Slade. But if they had not been so secretive about the complaint from the start they may not be in this situation now.
Flood's interview reveals her experiences in the department including how her requests from support were rejected, the atmosphere in the department, and her feelings for her coaching colleagues and the administrators. She comes across as very fair. She points to specifics rather than making generalizations. She expresses her desire to stay at the institution but does not mince words about the need for things to change. She is able to see the good qualities in AD Carl McAloose but does not hesitate to show his inability to deal with issues that affect women's sports.
What also comes through in the interview is that the issues that have been raised at FGCU, and left largely unaddressed at this point, are affecting student-athletes. Flood reports that her players see the tension in the department, specifically, the tension between her and McAloose. Flood seems to be trying to address things diplomatically attributing the tension to the "intense" personalities in the department.
It is becoming more and more clear, to me anyway, that this internal audit done by the school is not going to satisfy most people--within or outside the institution. But until a complaint is filed with OCR or a private lawsuit brought, I do not see anything happening. And I am sceptical that a complaint or lawsuit would be filed by any of the coaches initially involved because of fear of greater retaliation. If it's going to happen, it will have to come from a student-athlete or a parent.


Anonymous said...

First, let me just remind everyone that you don't need to be a coach or student or parent to file a complaint with OCR. Any member of the public can file a complaint; which is unlike filing a lawsuit.

Second, I ran the Interest and Abilities numbers from the FGCU EADA report. Full Time Enrollment: 1,742 (38%) men and 2,838 (62%) women. Duplicated athletic opportunities: 106 men (54%) and 90 (46%) women. There is a 16% gap between enrollment and athletic opportunity for a Prong I analysis. If you keep the number of male athletic opportunities constant (no cuts), then this translates into needing an additional 83 female athletic opportunities for exact proportionality. Give about 15 opportunities as wiggle room under "substantial proportionality" (15 is the average women's team size at FGCU) and you are left with needing to add a minimum of 68 new athletic opportunities for women. What is that, four or five new teams?

Anyone know what Prong FGCU claims to satisfy for Interests and Abilities?

Anonymous said...

More specifically, anyone know of any female club sports at FGCU who have requested elevation to Intercollegiate status and have been denied?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Fort Myers News-Press has done a much better job than the Naples Daily News in investigating and reporting about the FGCU athletics situation.
First, they treat it as "news", not just "sports news". Second, they actually call sources and investigate allegations made by administrators, rather than just printing whatever the administrators tell them. Example: the administrators accused the coach of being "rude and difficult" to three specific rival coaches; however, when those rival coaches were contacted by the News-Press, they denied any truth at all to that accusation.
From newspaper quoted statements, it is clear that the administrators speak out of both sides of their mouths: About the female coach who is the winningest coach in school history to whom they gave a negative evaluation, they said "its about more than wins and losses"; about the other female coach ,to whom they also gave a negative evaluation, they said, "she failed to get her team to regionals". What are the priorities? It sounds like different coaches are subject to different standards, based on whatever the administrators' purpose is at the moment.
The Naples Daily News prints whatever the administrators tell them; there is no balancing perspective from the other side, so the articles seem particularly biased. The word on the street is that the NDN reporter is a friend of AD McAloose and that is why his bias is showing so blatantly. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

According to the internal investigation report, "The university meets the second prong of "a history and continuing practice of program expansion" as required by the Florida Educational Equity Act and the requirements of Chapter 1006.71, FS".
The problem with that is that the athletics program has only been in existence for eight has no "history". The program should have been Title IX compliant from its inception; there is no excuse for anything otherwise! A university with an undergraduate population that is 62 % female, and an athletics population that is only 49 - 50% female, is certainly not in compliance.

kris said...

Thanks to anon 1 and 3 for reminding us that anyone can file a complaint with OCR and insight on the quality of the press coverage in Florida, respectively. I have seen both News Press articles and Naples News articles but only on this issue so I did not really have a basis for comparison.