Title IX in reverse

What if the problem isn’t that Title IX hamstrings schools from complying with funding equality between the sexes, but that the NCAA hamstrings Title IX?

The NCAA limits the number of scholarships schools can award in each sport. For example, men’s basketball teams in Division I can only award 13 scholarships per year, while women’s teams can award 15. Under Title IX, schools are supposed to spend athletic aid dollars in proportion to each gender’s participation; an unexplained disparity of more than one percentage point indicates a possible violation of the law. If a school sees that it’s underfunding women’s athletic aid, however, it can’t just freely hand out more scholarships to female athletes—that would exceed the NCAA’s per-sport scholarship caps, which would result in association sanctions, including the possible loss of more scholarships in the future.

In other words: the NCAA is potentially limiting opportunities for female athletes, and making it harder for schools to follow federal law.

Take Notre Dame, which says it is “fully funded” in women’s sports, meaning that it is giving out all of the scholarships it possibly can under the association’s caps. Nevertheless, the school has a three percent equity gap—that is, there is a three-point difference between the rate of women’s participation in sports and the rate they are awarded athletic scholarship dollars.

If Notre Dame didn’t have to follow NCAA rules, the school says, it would offer more scholarships to female athletes.

“With respect to financial aid, all 13 of our women’s intercollegiate athletic programs receive the NCAA maximum number of scholarship dollars,” Notre Dame senior associate athletic director for business Jill Bodensteiner wrote to VICE Sports in an email. In a follow-up email, she wrote, “The NCAA limits do have an impact. And yes, we would try to be ‘fully funded’ in all sports if they were increased”—as long as increases didn’t further give an advantage to Notre Dame’s sponsored men’s sports.

It’s not just Notre Dame. In 2013-14, Florida State had an 8.5-point equity gap. It would have cost the Seminoles roughly $681,000 more in women’s athletic scholarships to make things even—an amount the school’s athletic department almost certainly could have afforded.

Tough luck, ladies.  Sure helps the schools’ bank accounts, though.  Which is the point, of course.



Filed under The NCAA

20 responses to “Title IX in reverse

  1. Macallanlover

    Title IX…..ugh!


  2. I'm right, You're wrong

    Absolutely NO ONE cares.


  3. Normaltown Mike

    I think the author (and some of the schools) are parsing words to claim to be victims of the evil NCAA. If Flaw State and Notre Dame have fully funded their scholarships for female sports and need to award more, they need to start another female sports team.

    The reason UGA added an Equestrian team is that there are so many participants, more than any other female sport I would imagine.



    • DawgPhan

      But you can’t just start a sport if there isnt anyone else to play.

      But everyone plays softball. There are currently 17 players on the UGA softball team, but there are only 12 scholarships. Seems easy peasy to raise the limit to 17 to cover each person on the team.

      There are actually more scholarships for equestrian than there is for softball.


  4. ASEF

    Women now comprise as much as 60% of the student bodies at Flagship State Us. When Title IX was passed, I doubt anyone saw that coming.


  5. Don in Mar-a-Lago

    Title IX in reverse is not a practical application. The NCAA needs to be like me and ban both Arabic and Roman numbers..


  6. a government law/rule/regulation distorts a free market …I’m shocked ……here are your winnings sir.. Title IX administered by the Federal Department of Education a bloated, byzantine, bureaucracy that helps another bloated, byzantine, bureaucracy (NCAA)make more money…..I can’t tell you how truly SHOCKED I am. Get rid of the DoE and Title IX and everything will be fine if not better. The market will find its own level on the relative need and market for female sports or better yet have just one basketball team and may the best man or woman win. If our daughters are registering for the draft and going to be killed in combat surely they can play any game with boys. If you want to be equal be equal .


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Not exactly the center of attention on Ladies night, are ya?


    • Savdog

      What if a male “identifies” as a female and wants to compete in women’s collegiate basketball or tennis or swimming? Shouldn’t he get the female team scholarship if he is the better player? Who should have the power to tell him it is okay to go into the ladies bathroom if he identifies but that he cannot play sports with the gender with which he identifies?


    • ASEF

      Yes, the free market totally took care of my mother, who graduated number 1 in her high school and number 1 at a major southern university in 1955: couldn’t get into med school because she was, you know, a woman.

      But hey y’all! It’s all good. We’re past all of that now. Discrimination of all forms ceased to exist about 2 decades ago. The only people discriminated against these days are Christians, white people, and males. God knows that as a white Christian male myself, I would be worth 8 figures instead of 7 if I was just a black gay female. Those chicks have it made.


      • AthensHomerDawg

        It ain’t always ’bout the grades or the gender my man.
        “Lacking clinical experience. You are applying to medical school, right? Then you must be able to demonstrate to the admissions committee that your experience fits this career decision. Many medical school applicants are interested in science and, while research is important, it cannot substitute for clinical exposure. Some medical school applicants submit applications with an impressive list of accomplishments and experiences but don’t demonstrate any clinical exposure, which comes in many forms: You can shadow your own family physician, volunteer in a free clinic or a hospital, or participate in a formal premedical program that includes time spent with physicians. It is very tough to convince an admissions committee via your written documents or during interviews that you want to pursue a career in medicine if you have never spent time in a clinical arena.”


        • ASEF

          She was in nursing, the only program available at that time at that U for women to enter as freshmen (otherwise you transferred in as a junior). She took a statewide exit examination given to all nursing and pre-med undergrads and tied for the highest score in the state.

          The male faculty resentment was palpable. The situation was about as cut-and-dried as it gets.

          To return to the original point: markets do not fix all problems, especially biases.


  7. Savdog

    ’55 was a long time ago. Now women make up half of the Medical school student population. A woman is now the front runner for the Presidency. Women have served as Sec. of State, Attorney General, Supreme Court Justice, etc. A black man has served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as Secretary of State and one has twice been elected President by a majority of voters. A black woman now serves as Attorney General. Gay marriage is legal. Affirmative action for college admission based on race has just been upheld as legal by the Supreme Court.
    Back to the subject at hand, anyone care to tackle the question of whether it is consistent to allow/require women to serve in combat but require separate(but equal) sports? How about saying a male who identifies as a female can use the ladies’ room but he can’t play on the girls’ team?


  8. savdawg

    Fifty percent of US med school students are now female. A woman is now the front runner for the Presidency. Women (white and black) have served as Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Supreme Court Justice. Black men have served as Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and twice as President of the United States by a majority of the voters.

    To the Title IX issue, anyone care to address the discrepancy between allowing/requiring women to serve in ground combat and having separate (but equal?) sports teams? How about between allowing a man to use the restroom with which he identifies but not allowing him to play on the sports team with which he identifies?


  9. Savdog

    Trouble getting it through. Nice response. Thanks.