Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Clarion U Cuts Three Teams

Clarion University in Pennsylvania recently announced plans to cut its men's cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams. The resulting distribution of athletic opportunities does not put the school in compliance with the proportionality prong, but it does close the gap somewhat: Clarion's percentage of female students is 61%. Prior to the cuts, only 41% of athletic opportunities went to women. By my math (using numbers from this article), cutting three teams (60 opportunities*) brings the percentage of athletic opportuntities for women up to 48%-- still 13 percentage points away from proportionality.

Of course, people are blaming the cuts on Title IX. This is unfortunate, but not surprising when articles like this one call the proportionality option a "mandated Title IX requirement." How many times does OCR have to "clarify" that a school can choose compliance with either of three prongs?

Clarion, by the way, is a Division II school. 90 of the 222 (now 152) opportunities it provides for male athletes go to football players.

*60 opportunities were cut, but the number of actual athletes affected was 25, as many of them competed in more than one sport.

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