Sunday, February 16, 2014

Temple University Under Investigation for Athletic Department Inequalities

Temple University's athletic program is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights for alleged unequal treatment of female athletes with regard to the condition of locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities, housing and dining services, and athletic financial assistance.  It does not appear to have been reported whether disparities against any particular women's teams are alleged, and the identity of the complaint is unknown. 

Last December, Temple's athletic department announced plans to cut seven varsity teams--both men's and women's.  This investigation does not address those cuts.  But it could, I think, reveal information to potentially underscore the charges of Temple's critics that the university is "betting big on football."  If football is benefiting from higher quality facilities, locker rooms and housing and dining serves than any other team, that would come across in an investigation of gender inequality.

Public data about Temple athletics does confirm a disparity in scholarship dollars.  42% of athletic financial aid is distributed to members of women's teams, compared to 58% to men's.  Title IX regulations require scholarship data to flow proportionately to ratio of student-athletes of each sex, and Temple's student-athletes are 48% female.