Many Division I schools are distorting the number of students participating
in sports so they can comply with Title IX, The New York Times reported
Tuesday. Among the tactics is to pad rosters of women’s teams with
unqualified players or even men.
The newspaper found schools counted athletes who no longer wanted to compete
or never played for that team, listing male practice players as women and
trimming the rosters of men’s teams.
The Times analyzed public records from more than 20 colleges and
universities and federal participation statistics from all 345 institutions
at the NCAA’s highest level.
“Those of us in the business know that universities have been end-running
Title IX for a long time, and they do it until they get caught,” University
of Miami President Donna Shalala told the paper.
National champion Texas A&M and Duke are among the elite women’s basketball
teams that take advantage of a federal loophole that allows them to report
male practice players as female participants, the report said.
Passed in 1972, Title IX is the federal law that bans sex discrimination in
schools and opened academic and sports opportunities for women.
Schools can comply in one of three ways:
— show proportionality of female athletes to female students on campus.
—demonstrate a history of increasing sports for women.
—prove it has met the interest and ability of the underrepresented group.
Women have grown to 57 percent of enrollment at U.S. colleges.
Instead of putting money into new women’s teams or trimming the rosters of
football, which can have 111 players, some schools are engaging in “roster
management,” the Times said.
Shrinking budgets can prompt such an approach.
“It’s easier to add more people on a roster than it is to start a new
sport,” said Jake Crouthamel, a former Syracuse athletic director.