January 15, 2006

Two Out of Seven

To follow up on last week's post about women's scholarships in the NCAA: on January 7, the division I members decided to increase the number of scholarships in women's soccer from 12 to 14, but leave the other three sports under consideration at their current limits.

There's a little more official background on the proposal here. But this article discussing the outcome of last week's vote explains the disagreement more clearly than I have seen anywhere else.

According to the article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Division I-A schools supported the increases because they are each allowed to award up to 85 football scholarships. They need more scholarships in women's sports to ensure that they are compliant with Title IX. The Division I-AA schools are limited to 63 football scholarships, and the I-AAA schools don't have football programs at all; therefore gender equity issues at those schools are qualitatively different from the issues faced in I-A.

The small schools, then, opposed the increases because they did not want the I-A schools to "solve" their unique gender equity problem by attracting female athletes who would otherwise star in I-AA.

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