Sunday, August 15, 2010

Despite Title IX, female athletes trail in aid

Title IX, China style.
Update below:

Get on the bus, Gus.

Despite Title IX, female athletes trail in aid: "Thirty-eight years after Congress passed Title IX, women fill fewer roster spots and earn fewer athletic scholarship dollars than men both locally and nationwide.
At the five Division I schools in the area -- the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, West Virginia, Duquesne and Robert Morris universities -- 46.9 percent of all undergraduate students in 2008-09 were women, but just 41.2 percent of all athletes were women, according to Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act filings. At each school, women accounted for a smaller percentage of athletes than they do undergraduate students."
This answer from E.J. Borghetti sucks. Pitt can't get away with that type of blow-off answer. They're talking to 'watchdogs' -- right?

'That information is complicated,' Pitt athletic spokesman E.J. Borghetti wrote in an e-mail, 'and because of the press of other business, we simply are not in a position to continue to compile and explain data.'
Let me hold your hand and help you with the big words. Let me get to the real work here. By the way, let's get your help so we can put the big P-G sign up at the next athletic event and give you a bigger sponsorship presence too.
I'm reading between the lines a bit. But, the P-G didn't bat an eye when Pitt Stadium came down, despite the big green P-G sign in the endzone.

Furthermore, the next part of the article reveals more suckage. The last available data came from 2003-2004! This is 2010! The folks in the last available data are long gone. That's not good enough.
Pitt was the only one of the five schools, according to Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act figures, where women earned a smaller portion of athletic financial aid than they accounted for total athletes in every year dating to the 2003-04 academic year -- the last available data."
Let's do the math. If it would take Pitt about 23 more female athletes to bridge the gap, according to Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act figures, then it would make GREAT SENSE to begin a women's water polo team and be even. That would fix everything. Get 23 women on the team and Pitt would be made in the shade.

Furthermore, Pitt has the water polo facilities. It has the capital cost covered. And, the expense of a few balls and swim caps are peanuts. Plus, there might be a way to double count some of the women on the swim team as also on the water polo team. But, as the program grows and develops, the team would have water polo players who are NOT the same as the swimmers.

At the University of Michigan, the women's water polo team has four goalies. Not a single water polo player at Michigan is also on the swim team. So, there are dozens of students walking around Ann Arbor because of the water polo team. These kids would not be there if water polo wasn't offered.

Western PA has a ton of high school swimmers. Many of those could jump to water polo to play a sport in college.

Furthermore, the men's water polo team can still stay as a club sport. And, today, there is a women's water polo team at Pitt -- but it is not a VARSITY sport. So, the overhead at Pitt would be easy to cover.

Pitt could also play some varsity games with Chatham University, a local VARSITY water polo program. Perhaps the teams could even travel together to some tournaments and host other tournaments in partnerships. Chatham has been playing varsity water polo, with its great facility in use, for a few years now. And, Chatham Cougars grew the sport from the ranks of a club team. And, Chatham does not need to worry about Title IX issues, as it is women's university.

Varsity Women's Water Polo team at Indiana University, Bloomington. The IU rivals are the U of M.

This is funny: Mr. Pederson used Pitt's women's basketball team as an example of the school's commitment to equality. When the university sought a new radio partner for its football and men's basketball teams, Mr. Pederson said any deal had to include a broadcast deal for Pitt's women's basketball games. Pitt football and men's basketball games will air live on 93.7 The Fan while Pitt women's basketball games will air live on 1320 WJAS-AM.

Let's do the math.

Radio partner for MEN's FOOTBALL + MEN's BASKETBALL = 2. Hence balance = 1 = Women's basketball. Mr. Pederson, 2 > 1. That's NOT equal.

Finally, I want to know more about the local universities. There is more to college than just the scholarships. What about CMU, W&J, Slippery Rock, IUP and PSU-Allegheny? What about CCAC too? If the P-G really cares about college sports in the region and women's participation, cover all the institutions at all the levels.


I just wanted to clarify one point in your blog -- we used data from 2003-2009. When we reported that the 2003-04 academic year was the last data available, that meant we could not go beyond that (in the past). The most recent data is from 2008-09 -- the 09-10 school year will not be available until October.

Thanks for the insights and clarity. Makes sense. Not much need to look back past 2003 in my humble opinion.

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