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  • Title IX and Football

    Last night I was thinking about Title IX and football. As I added up the scholarships in my head, I thought...football MUST be exempt because there is no way we have the women's sports here at Arkansas to add up to the men's sports.

    So I did some digging today and added up the numbers.

    At the UofA, six men's sports are offered: Football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis and track. Nine women's sports are offered: basketball, track, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis and volleyball.

    The men's scholarship total (assuming that we give a the full allotment of each sport out, which I'm sure we do) is 131.3. The women's scholarship total is 97.4.

    So I was wondering how this is possible, and read this:

    A school can meet this requirement if it can demonstrate any one of the following:

    *
    that the percentages of male and female athletes are substantially proportionate to the percentages of male and female students enrolled; or
    *
    that it has a history and continuing practice of expanding athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex; or
    *
    that its athletics program fully and effectively accommodates the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.

    In other words, there are no women's sports that the student body has an interest in, that aren't already there. To me this seems like a way for all schools to "get around" title IX.



    So I also looked up Wichita State. I didn't count bowling because I wasn't sure that counted towards any NCAA limits, or how many scholarships were offered for that sport.

    WSU offers five men's sports: basketball, baseball, track, golf and tennis. This adds up to 46.3 scholarships. You offer six women's sports: basketball, track, golf, softball, tennis and volleyball. This adds up to 71 scholarships, assuming that all are awarded, and they might not be. Which would make men the underrepresented sex. I wonder if this is common at schools without football?




    Anyway, just some interesting stuff.

  • #2
    I know this isn't really the point, but Unless you included it in the track totals, you left out cross country (both genders). Of course, that would probably be a wash anyway.

    You're right, though, it is interesting. But I would think using that last criteria as an end-around is a dangerous course.

    If we were to add football, I bet someone would assert there is interest for additional women's sports (soccer, swimming or something).

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    • #3
      WSU must justify it with spending more on the men's sports. That's the only thing I can figure out, cause there definitely wasn't a nearly 2 to 1 female to male ratio when I was there.

      Western Kentucky all over again?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RoyalShock
        I know this isn't really the point, but Unless you included it in the track totals, you left out cross country (both genders). Of course, that would probably be a wash anyway.

        You're right, though, it is interesting. But I would think using that last criteria as an end-around is a dangerous course.

        If we were to add football, I bet someone would assert there is interest for additional women's sports (soccer, swimming or something).

        cross country and track are together.


        You probably would need to add at least 1 women's sport but considering the cost of football, the relative cost of starting soccer or swimming/diving (depending on available facilities) isn't that much.

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        • #5
          I didn't realize there were that many more womens 'ships than mens. Could we really just add soccer and get by? Would that have the scholarship numbers close enough together to not cause any Title IX problems? Heck, I might even go to a soccer game or two.

          I don't remember the number of football scholarships and don't know about soccer. But when added to the numbers already there I'd think it might be reasonable. We'd have more mens than womens but would it be drastic enough to make us add a second womens program? And if so, how many 'ships would we be talking about? Swimming/Diving can't be that expensive can it?
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          • #6
            Great research Charlie,

            Football is a crazy animal when it comes to scholarships. Since we are looking at starting fresh in FCS (IAA) Football we would only need 63 scholarships. In the FCS, those 63 scholarships can be divided up between as many players as you want, much like baseball. There is 85 scholarships in FBS (IA) and those cannot be split much like Basketball. Now with that said those scholarships do not have to be fully funded right away. I believe the Gateway requires 50 scholarships while other conferences may require 25 and still some like the Pioneer conference that Dake is in don't allow any. The catch is that if you don't sponsor 90% of the FCS maximum(56.7) over a rolling two year period then you don't count as a win for an FBS team come Bowl Bid time. (Much like the NCAA Basketball committee throwing out dII wins when placing the 65 team tournament).

            So with that said, it is in our best interest to get to 57 scholarships as soon as possible so that we can play an annual money game. These games are no longer considered body bag games. Just ask Michigan. The top 10 or 15 FCS teams are now generally on par with most of the non BCS schools.

            Nebraska is paying about 750,000K for their FCS game while YSU who is in the Gateway is getting about 1.2 million from TOSU to play in Columbus this year and next. However, the average for a non BCS school pay out would be around 200-250K.

            So with that in mind...

            There is way more that goes into Title IX then scholarships as Charlie pointed out. ONe of the problems with Football and Wichita State is that the current make up of students is 56% women to 44% men. So basically your athletic scholaships should resemble that according to the first option of Title IX. According to Charlie's numbers that means that we have 45% of our athletic scholarships that goes towards mens sports while 55% go towards womens sports. So in order to keep our 45/55 ratio we would need to add 57 mens scholarships and 57 womens scholarships out of the gate. So basically take your pick of what womens sports we could offer....

            Bowling 5
            Field Hockey 12
            Lacrosse 12
            Rowing 20
            Soccer 14
            Swimming and Diving 14

            For us it makes sense to add Swimming and Diving, Soccer, Rowing and Bowling for a total of 52. Bowling for WSU would not be a fringe sport like at most places and add an opportunity to hang additional NCAA national Championship banners. Remember, K-State has never won a national championship in anything, so don't take this lightly.

            Now with all this said there a couple things to consider, the first being that if we were to add Football at WSU there is no doubt that our male to female ratio would drastically change as more males would attend WSU. Second, most NCAA institutions don't balance their sports based on gender ratios. They use the escape clauses that Charlie mentioned. There are numerous ways to do this and it is how most schools, (ie. Arkansas) comply with Title IX. So lets say we wanted to at least balance out our scholarship offerings at 50/50. At that point we would only need to add 2 womens sports since we would only need 32 additonal womens scholarships. Rowing and Soccer give us 34. Eventually we will want to fully fund Football at 63 scholarships son we would need to add Bowling to make it all work out.

            There is a lot of infor there and most of it should be right as I quoted it from memory. The only way to make this happen is to do what Lamar University is doing. Instead of concentrating on Football, they have added the Womens sports needed. They are not planning on adding Football until the Womens sports are on stable ground and are being properly funded.

            It is a large mountain to climb, but even if it took twenty years to raise money to endow extra scholarships, wouldn't it be worth

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            • #7
              It's been reported that WSU's Athletic Department finished in the black for the eighth straight year, with a profit of approximately $100,000.

              That amount of money could easily cover the start-up costs of any women's sports we'd like to begin.

              So...all we'd have to do (as has been stated) is find a way to endow the scholarships.

              At least it's a start.

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              • #8
                My understanding is that there is a group working toward the scholarship endowments. If that group were to succeed, one of three major hurdles will have been cleared, the other two being the extra women's scholarships and facility improvements.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shockerman
                  Great research Charlie,

                  It is a large mountain to climb, but even if it took twenty years to raise money to endow extra scholarships, wouldn't it be worth [it]
                  I think that is really the heart of the question and that is exactly where there is legitimate disagreement amongs Shocker fans. Some think it would be worth it, some don't and the best arguments for or against bringing back football are ones that engage that question.
                  The fact that man is master of his actions is due to his being able to deliberate about them.-- Thomas Aquinas

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                  • #10
                    The problem with the football issue is all of the facts have not been presented and that is the issue...
                    “Losers Average Losers.” ― Paul Tudor Jones

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