Saturday, December 21, 2013

Where CSU's athletic dollars are going

In the wake of news that Colorado State was inequitable distributing its athletic scholarship dollars, the following is an interesting editorial about where CSU athletics is putting its money. The university cut women's water polo this year. They did add soccer but there are still fewer female athletes than male athletes while the percentage of female undergraduates exceeds that of male undergraduates (52 to 48). There might not have been a net loss in athletic opportunities given that the size of the soccer squad is roughly equivalent to the water polo team. But Deborah Schulman's piece points out other disparities beyond participation numbers and scholarship dollars.
Though Title IX does not mandate a 50/50 split in funding between men's and women's sports, the fact that women's sports receive 30% of athletic department dollars deserves some investigation. For example, the fact that out of  the entire coaching budget, only 21% goes to coaches of women's teams. And only two of those (head) coaches are women. (The Tucker Center at University of Minnesota released a "report card" about the state of women in intercollegiate coaching. CSU is not, unfortunately, unique in its lack of female head coaches.)
It is not as if the university is running a large men's athletic program--well at least in terms of number of sports. There are only 4 men's scholarship sports. The issue is that so much of the money and other types of resources go into football; 45% of the budget is devoted to football. And the university is about to embark on a huge football stadium project.
Numbers like these illustrate the reality behind the claims of devotion to gender equity and suggest just how skewed things would be without a federal law compelling schools to examine and execute it.