Thursday, November 11, 2010

Massachusetts State Colleges Fall Short of Title IX

A recent article in Commonwealth Magazine suggests that state colleges and universities in Massachusetts are falling short of Title IX's requirements for equity in athletics.

Here are some of the article's specific findings:
  • Women's teams at Massachusetts state colleges and universities on the whole received only 38% of the $29.2 million collectively allocated to men's and women's athletics. There is no requirement that schools spend the same amount of money on men's and women's sports, but a disparity this large calls into questions whether teams are receiving equal treatment in access to support and resources as required by law.
  • UMass-Amherst spends nearly twice as much per capita on male athletes as it does on female athletes.
  • It spent just 30% of the $618,000 devoted to recruiting on recruiting for women's teams.
  • State colleges and universities on the whole pay head coach of a men's team is 26 percent more than what a head coach of a women's team makes; assistant coaches on the men's teams on average make 37 percent more than those on women's teams -- a disparity largely driven by the salaries of UMass men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg, ($215,000) and football coach Kevin Morris ($200,000). In contrast, the former women's basketball coach at UMass who coached for eight seasons topped out at $145,000.
  • UMass-Amherst handed out $5.9 million in full and partial athletic scholarships to 382 students. Men received 56 percent of the scholarship money and women 44 percent -- a disparity that would be even worse if it controlled for the higher number of female athletes who have larger awards because they are out-of-state. This is a likely violation of Title IX's requirements that scholarships be awarded in proportion to participation rates of each sex.
  • At Westfield State University, women represent 52 percent of the school's enrollment and only 46 percent of the school's athletes, and at Bridgewater State University, women make up 60 percent of the student body but only 42 percent of the school's athletes. Bridgewater officials interviewed in the article claim compliance with the other two prongs that are alternatives to proportionality.
  • Participation data submitted by UMass shows athletic opportunities for women identical to the percentage of women in the student body (both are 49%), but this figure includes 10 male practice players on the women's basketball team, and more female than male track athletes who are "triple counted" as members of winter, spring track and cross-country teams.
An interesting article indeed. Perhaps it will inspire some legal action?

[thanks, Elliot!]