Doug McShuler / AP
The number of women competing at the highest level of the College of Athletics continues to grow along with the growing funding gap between men’s and women’s sports programs, according to an NCAA report examining the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
The report, published on Thursday and entitled “The Status of Women in College Sport”, found that 47.1% of the opportunities for participation were for women in Division I in 2020, compared to 26.4% in 1982.
Yet, against the background of this growth, men’s programs received more than twice as many as women’s programs in allocated resources in 2020 – and this difference was even more pronounced when we look at the home of the most profitable sports, revenue-generating: the Football Bowl division, the highest level in Division I, which includes the states of Alabama, Ohio and Southern California from the world of sports.
“This tells you that schools are investing huge amounts of money in money makers,” NCAA Managing Director for the Inclusion Office and lead author of the report, Amy Wilson, told the Associated Press, citing football as a major revenue-generating sport along with men’s. basketball.
“That speaks to the business side of what college sports have become.”
The gender gap in funding has approached almost a 3 to 1 ratio when considering recruitment costs, as well as compensation for senior coaches and assistant coaches. And this difference is not new, even with the increased costs for women in all three divisions.
The gap between the average total cost of programs for men and women in FBS schools, in particular, increased from $ 12.7 million in 2009 to $ 25.6 million in 2019.
Wilson said these discrepancies did not automatically violate Title IX, which guarantees equality between men and women in education and prohibits gender discrimination in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. But they are a concern when assessing whether schools provide fair opportunities for and treatment of male and female athletes and how they spend to achieve these goals.
“Yes, the numbers are clear. It’s not a small difference, it’s a big one, “she said. “This jubilee anniversary of Title IX is an opportune time to reaffirm a commitment to fund equitable opportunities for participation, experience and financial assistance for student-athletes in men’s and women’s athletics programs.”
Eric Gay / AP
Compliance with Title IX can be measured in a number of ways, including whether the overall gender breakdown of the program is proportional to that of the overall student body. However, the study found that Division I athletics could not meet this standard when looking at 2020 data; women make up 54% of the student body in Division I compared to the aforementioned percentage of 47.1%.
“I think there is enough gap that we have to ask ourselves: … are there opportunities that can be created and more teams that can be formed?” Said Wilson.
On Thursday, the anniversary of Title IX comes at a time when the governing body of college sports has recently updated its policy on transgender people, and faces criticism for failing to ensure a level playing field for last year’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments following a scathing external review.
Other conclusions from the report:
Lack of women in the leadership
Fewer women have held senior coaching roles since President Nixon signed Title IX into the law.
The percentage of women’s teams led by women coaches decreased from better than 90% in 1972 to 41% in 2020 in all three divisions. There were fewer women’s teams at the time, and the study attributed the decline to more men coaching women’s teams, enough to outnumber female coaches by the late 1980s, with no corresponding increase in women coaching men’s programs.
This low number of women coaches does not surprise Richard Lapczyk, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports in Central Florida. TIDES annually compiles reporting cards examining the diversity of hiring for college sports and professional leagues, with its latest report on FBS schools published in January.
“No movement,” Lapchik told the AP. “It’s as confusing as any statistics we report. There’s usually some slight improvement on some issues. And this one barely moves.”
As for sports directors, women accounted for approximately 20% or less of advertising since 1980, after declining “dramatically” and 23.9% in 2020, according to the survey.
Exclusive among women in leadership roles are conference commissioners, with women ahead of men in gaining these positions over the past five years and representing 31% of these roles for 2019-2020, according to the survey.
Concern for diversity
The report also notes the lack of colored women in these leadership roles.
The report found that approximately 16% of women working as head coaches of women’s teams and 16% of female directors of athletics in all divisions were minorities in 2019-2020. These percentages increased “slightly” from five years ago. years.
Dropping out of high school
Returning to the high school in athletics, the report found that the number of girls had not yet reached that of boys in the 1971-72 school year, leading to law enforcement.
At that time, the opportunities for participation for boys amounted to nearly 3.7 million, which is more than 264,000 more than girls in 2019.
“I think this is a reminder that for those who say, ‘Girls and women can play any sport they want, it’s 50 years after Title IX,’ college and high school data show that there are still quite large omissions in participation, “Wilson said. . “And I don’t think they don’t want to play. I think we need to think more about: what are the barriers to that access?”