Thursday, March 31, 2011

Liberty explains

The good news is that Liberty University, which dropped its men's wrestling program from the varsity roster this week, is aware that they currently meet the criteria for compliance with prong two. But they believe that in three to five years this will not be enough. This is despite their plan to continue to decrease roster spots in men's sports and increase spots in women's sports. Compliance with prong two remains somewhat subjective. How many and how frequently a school has to add opportunities is not neatly outlined. And while I applaud Liberty's forward-thinking--many schools get caught having to make lesser-of-the-evil type decisions because they have not thought ahead--it still seems somewhat curious that Liberty would make this cut now. Liberty officials argue that wrestling was the sport to go because it had a large roster (38) and because it was the only sport not in the Big South Conference--it actually had no conference affiliation. I still have not run the numbers myself, in part because the most recent women's sport addition will not be present in the latest set of data. But according to Liberty, their undergrad population is 52/48 women to men. And even with the addition of the three sports they are still not achieving proportionality! Makes me wonder what things looked like when wrestling was added in 2006 (and earlier).