College Sports Council s new study shows significant disparity in Div I athletic opportunities

By College Sports | June 26, 2009, 9:47 a.m. (ET)
New study of Gender Symmetric Teams reveals Significant Disparity in Athletic Opportunities at Division I Level

37 Years After Passage of Title IX, the College Sports Council Calls on NCAA to Equalize Scholarship Limits

WASHINGTON, D.C. - June 23, 2009 - The preliminary findings of a study of NCAA participation and scholarship data conducted by the College Sports Council (CSC) shows that in gender symmetrical sports, which have teams for both male and female athletes, women are accorded far more opportunities to compete and earn scholarships at NCAA Division 1 schools, the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.

"After nearly four decades after the passage of Title IX, it's time to erase all institutional gender discrimination, and that includes bias against boys," said CSC Chairman Eric Pearson.

"Current NCAA policies cultivate the disparity between male and female scholarship opportunities. In sports where there are symmetric teams the scholarship limits should be the same. The CSC calls on the NCAA to equalize scholarship limits in all sports which have teams for both male and female athletes."

Later this Summer, the CSC will release a comprehensive study on athletic opportunity in NCAA Division I in "gender symmetric" sports where both men and women compete. Preliminary findings of this study include:

* At the NCAA Division I level, there are far more womens teams (2,653) than mens teams (2,097), denying thousands of male athletes the opportunity to compete.

* Overall in "gender symmetric" sports, there are far more scholarships available for women (32,656) than for men (20,206).

* By far, the most difficult athletic scholarship to obtain at the Division I level is in men's volleyball, where there are 489 high school athletes for every full NCAA scholarship.

Click to see research charts from the College Sports Council

Research Note: The underlying data from this study was obtained from the NCAA ("1981-82-2006-07 NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rate Report" and "2006-07 NCAA Division I Manual") and the National Federation of State High School Associations using the 2006-07 academic year as a common baseline. The figure for maximum number of scholarships available was obtained by multiplying the number of Division I teams in which both men and women compete ("gender symmetric") by the scholarship limits set out by the NCAA in the 2006-07 Division I Manual. Please note, not all NCAA institutions fully fund their programs to the NCAA scholarship limit, so this number is a theoretical maximum. For example, Ivy League institutions do not award athletic scholarships, though most athletes at those institutions do receive some form of financial aid. The final chart, "The Long Odds Against Athletic Scholarships," was calculated by dividing the number of high school participants by the maximum number of scholarships available.

The College Sports Council is a national coalition of coaches, parents, athletes and alumni.

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