Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Title IX tidbits

In Indiana it appears that not too much has changed since the state's high school athletics association got a letter over a decade ago from the Department of Education about scheduling boys' basketball games. Girls' basketball, at that time, had 10.5 percent of their games scheduled on Friday nights. Today it is at 19.2 percent. Boys who play b-ball in Indiana have 41 percent of their games scheduled for Friday nights. Fridays are considered an optimal day and the preferential scheduling in favor of boys' teams is an issue. In addition to opportunity for ticket sales and other revenue-generating ventures, games scheduled on Fridays are good for players who do not have to worry about getting homework done that night and going to school the next day. No formal complaints, legal or otherwise, have been filed, but the availability of the above statistics suggests it wouldn't be hard to prove inequitable treatment.

Niagra University is adding women's golf to their list of varsity sports. No word on why--especially given the economic realities most insitutions of higher education are facing. A quick look at the insitutional data shows women comprise 61 percent of the undergraduate student body and have 51 percent of the athletic opportunities. There is already a men's golf team. Not sure if that was a factor as well. But good opportunity for female golfers in the region.

And speaking of tough economic times, some schools--especially DIII schools--are using athletics to boost enrollment, and thus bring in some tuition dollars, according to an article in Inside Higher Ed. Of course, it's not as easy as bringing in athletes. Some schools are adding football. Over 100 new student-athletes equals a nice boost to tuition revenues. But it also adds a lot more participation opportunities for men. There's also the issue of where recruiting dollars are coming from--for men and women. Athletic administrators attest to the success of bringing students to campus after they have had some contact with athletic department people--but recruitment costs money.