Sunday, July 27, 2008

San Diego considering additions

San Diego State is considering adding women's teams to compensate for the continuing disparity between men's and women's grants-in-aid. SDSU has continually fallen short of meeting the maximum 5 percent difference allowed by the settlement between NOW and the CSU schools negotiated in the 1990s.

So, despite severe budget limitations, the athletic department is looking at options including adding two women's sports (perhaps gymnastics and lacrosse).

I find it somewhat disconcerting that the school thinks its most viable option is to find funding for two more sports rather than eliminate some of the scholarship dollars that go to, say, men's football. I am NOT suggesting cutting players. Number of opportunities is not the issue being presented here. It's student aid. There are plenty of football players who are on the roster who do not get scholarship money. Adding a few more to that list is going to do some huge amount of damage??

Because I worry about the quality of the experience that female student-athletes will have on teams that have been added in the midst of a budget crisis. I am all for adding opportunities for women but not if the institutional commitment to supporting them is absent. Because if it is, we might see, not too far down the road, some gender equity complaints.