Inefficiency Caused by Title IX Law in Troy University Athletics
Gender equity has been one of the subjects of discussion both in the education sector and beyond. In education for instance, gender inequality was prevalent in the periods prior to 1972 (Brooke, 1979). With the introduction of Title IX however, the educational institutions have been made to comply with certain regulations which require a given minimum level of gender equality in all aspects. The law requires academic institutions to enhance gender equality through equitable provision of access to education as well as enhancement of equitable employment and career education. From this perspective, developments in the education sector following the inception of the law have been towards achievement of gender equity. One of the areas that has benefitted mostly in this regard is the sports sector. Title IX law requires educational institutions to practice gender equity in the sports segment through equal participation of men and women in various sports, especially in athletics.
The focus on athletics by the law is founded on the basis that female participation in sports is mainly through athletics. This implies that such participation has to be encouraged to increase the overall female participation in collegiate sports. Through Title IX, educational institutions such as colleges and universities are constantly pushed to have more females participating in athletics (Irons, 2003). However, achievement of this is significantly difficult due to social constructions that limit the participation of females in athletics. In order to have equal participation for women and men, some institutions have opted for the reduction of male participants in various sports since they cannot manage to increase female participation either due to financial constraints or due to social limitations. Because of this, there have been complaints from anti- Title IX campaigners that the law results in the reduction of male participation in sports as well as limitation of budgetary allocations for the same.
The economic impacts of Title IX law on male sports are considered significant. As such, this has been the point of discussion among many authors. This does not however mean that the subject has been sufficiently addressed. On the contrary, there is still need to explore the impacts of Title IX particularly in university financial performance. The purpose of the present study therefore, was to determine the inefficiencies that have been associated with Title IX law with regards to Troy University. To effectively understand the phenomenon under discussion, the study was guided by the following key questions:
- What have been the impacts of Title IX on university athletics participation?
- To what extent has Title IX impacted budgetary allocations in University sports department?
Title IX Components
The Title IX law is described by various authors through its roles in the educational sector. According to a study conducted by Bracken and Irick (2011), Title IX law requires that both females and males be treated equally with regards to participation in sports. The sports aspect was added to the law between 1975 and 1977 where educational institutions were expected to have equal participation in sports during collegiate sports. This law has been connected to various positive outcomes in the education sector in general and in sports in particular. Irick (2012) describes the impacts of the Title IX law as being both on the long-term level of participation in sports and also in the short-term level.
As in the days before Title IX, most of the celebrated teams were male. The females participated less in sports and female sports were considered less rewarding. The expenditures in female sports were also lower than those used in male dominated sports (Parnther et al., 2014). The impacts of Title IX law extend from the education sector to the general lives of women as well. Traditionally, women sought to learn aspects such as discipline and marital efficiency from the education sector.
Title IX and Female Participation in Athletics
Bracken and Irick assert that Title IX law has led to the increased participation of women’s in athletics as in other sports. From the reports given by Bracken and Irick, the number of women participating in athletics as at 2009- 2010 was six times more than the number that participated in 1971- 1972 before the inception of the Title IX law. This implies that statistically, the law has led to increased participation of women in athletics. While the law focused mainly on athletics, similar improvements have been observed in other sports where women did not initially participate much (Parnther et al., 2014). Other studies have also shown that Title IX has led to incremental participation in sports such as rowing and soccer. Despite pressures placed on academic institutions to comply with Title IX requirements for equal participation in sports, there have been significant challenges in achieving this fete. For instance, Cheslock and Anderson (2005) reported that increasing the female participation in athletics comes with the need to challenge previously existing social constructions. Such constructions limit females from participating in various sports. As such, universities intending to achieve statistical equality between males and females may at times reduce the percentage of males participating in athletics in order to comply with the law (Guttman, 1991).
From another study conducted by Sabo (1980), the increase in the number of athletics participants among females has been in comparison to the number that participated previously but is yet to be equal to the number of participating males. This opinion is also presented by Acosta and Carpenter (2010) who posit that while 57% of collegiate students are females, the participation of females in intercollegiate sports still lies at 42%. This means that a lot still has to be done to ensure that at least the percentage participation equals the percentage of female students in colleges and universities. As the participation increases in various institutions, it has also been realized that coaching participation is also increasing due to compliance with Title IX law. For instance, Dean et al (2009) reported that in the 1970s, the percentage of female coaches was only 10%. In the present days however, based on the reports of the year 2006-2007, female coaches comprise of approximately 42% of all the coaches. This means that almost all female teams are coached by fellow females. On the other hand, Acosta and Carpenter argue that females only coach light sports while the more intensive sports such as athletics are coached by men.
The increases in female participation notwithstanding, there have been complaints regarding Title IX. Gavora (2002) reports that while females are increasing; this increase has come with negative impacts on the number of male participants in various sports. Irick reports that most of the complaints leveled against the impacts of Title IX have to do with the involuntary reduction of male participants. From the arguments developed by Straurowsky, many educational institutions are reducing the number of male participants in other sports in order for female numbers to match the number of males in athletics because they cannot get more females to participate (2003). Other complaints have been on the impacts of Title IX on leadership in athletics. Goss (2012) opines that the prevalence of male coaching in female athletics poses significant barriers to female leadership in athletics. Apart from this, the subject of increased female participation in athletics following Title IX has also resulted in numerous other complaints regarding ramifications that it is considered a contentious subject.
Title IX and Budget Factors
One of the key bases used for argument against Title IX is the misconception that increasing female participation in athletics has resulted in reduced funding of male sports. Irick (2012) reports that although many opponents of Title IX argue that it results in lower funding for male sports, this is generally a misconception as some of the male sports are more economically straining. The rationale for this argument by opponents of the law is that initially, females were less likely to be offered athletics scholarships (Matthew, 1977). This has since changed with the law requiring that female athletes who perform exemplarily well should be offered athletics scholarships to advance their studies (Sabo, 1980). According to NCWGE (2012), the increase in female participation in athletics has come with increased financial allocations to female athletics. For instance, in the report produced by NCWGE, budgetary allocations for female athletics in 1972 were 2% of the total athletics allocations. In 2009 – 2010 however, the allocations had risen to 40% of the total while the scholarship allocations were 48% for the institutions in the sports division 1. While computing the budget increments, consideration is only made of the expenditure of participants such as accommodation, food and transport fee (NCWGE, 2012). Other expenses such as allowances are not included in the budgetary approximations.
Despite the inception of Title IX and the mandatory compliance required from schools, there have been issues with the allocation of funds. This has come amid claims that pressures for educational institutions to comply with Title IX have led to budget increments in some schools (Richards, 1977). This was inevitable since increased female participation implies that more athletes have to be recruited and paid allowances. Staurowsky (2003) reported in Oregon University, the total budgetary allocations for female athletes in 1976- 1977 were one thirteenth of the allocations for males. In the present day, this has since changed with the increasing number of female athletes. The international sports community has found it challenging to provide funds to sustain the increasing number of female athletics participants (Richards, 1977). The failure of the International sports community to provide funds is the driving factor behind efforts by various universities such as Oregon, whose budgetary allocations cannot sustain the mandatory increase in participation. Goss explains that the law has forced universities to cut out costs in non- revenue sports (2012). This could explain why there have been complaints that universities are deducting allocations for essential sports such as football and soccer to cater for female athletics.
Irick (2012) holds an opinion that opposes the suggestions that Title IX has led to decreased financial allocation for male sports. To expound further on this, Irick suggests that male programs such as basketball and football does not subsidize female sports since they are unable to fully cater for themselves. Irick, commenting on the financial reports of NCAA asserts that such recognized sports like male football and basketball are themselves subsidized through scholarships and grants. For instance, expenditures on football alone can take up to $12 million while expenditures on all female sports take approximately $ 8 million (Irick, 2012). This means that female athletics takes an insignificant percentage of the total expenditures on football alone. This could also explain the perception that increased female participation in athletics results in cutting expenditures in beneficial male sports.
The report generated by South Alabama University indicates the percentage participation of females in various sports (Equity in Athletics, 2014). From the results however, it is difficult to predict the financial changes that may result from changes in participation since the results are for a specific time. From the report, the participation of females in athletics is found to be slightly lower than that of males in similar sports. In some instance such as in Tennis, statistical differences of about three people observed. however, in football, the number of males participating was reported to be 125 while no females participated. Other sports like tennis, indoor and outdoor track games as well as cross country showed differences ranging from three people to 10 people. Most of the coaches and assistant coaches in both male and female sports were also reported to be male. This in turn gives salaries for the females to be less than the salaries for the male coaches and participants. The salaries for female were approximately 85,000 while those for the males were more than 192,000 which are greater than twice the salary expenditures on female head coaches.
The expenses incurred in each of the categories also varied significantly, with most of female sports reporting fewer expenses in comparison to male sports. Only female tennis and golf incurred higher expenses than the male costs. The expenses herein were computed on a participant basis hence it can be assumed that the overall expenditures were in a similar trend. The revenues on the contrary showed significant differences with most of the female sports reporting higher revenues in comparison to the males. Only football reported higher revenues since the females did not participate. In spite of this, deeper evaluation indicates that the football expenditures were higher than revenues obtained from football. This should help in clarification of certain findings based on past literature.
Discussion: Research Questions in Details
From the findings obtained through literature review and the findings from the South Alabama University sports reports, various deductions can be made. These can help to explain the research questions from the perspectives provided by the different pieces of literature presented.
Q1: What have been the impacts of Title IX on university athletics participation?
The results obtained from various studies indicate that Title IX law has led to increased participation of women in athletics. The reports from South Alabama University provide results similar to this in that the number of female participants in athletic sports is almost equal to that of male participants. Similarly, the lower number of female participants in comparison to male participants explains the limitations imposed by social constructions on female participation in athletics. By understanding the trends in female participation in athletics, it is possible to determine the need for universities to reduce the number of male participants in various athletic sports. Social constructions are beyond the control of universities yet the law requires mandatory compliance. The consequences of failing to comply with the law being higher than consequences of eliminating some male participants, the universities opt to reduce male participation in sports such as football in order to match statistical requisitions.
Q2: To what extent has Title IX impacted budgetary allocations in University sports department?
Contrary to the pre-Title IX times when budgetary allocations to female athletics were minimal, the allocations have also increased significantly. Reports obtained from various pieces of literature correspond to the findings from the South Alabama University which indicates that the budgetary allocations for female sports almost match those for male sports as opposed to the early days when they would be as low as one thirteenth of male allocations. In addition to this, the presumed deductions from the allocations for football and basketball have been shown to be non-existent since these sports actually result in expenditures higher than the revenues they generate. The expenditures incurred by each participant in female athletics are also lower in comparison to male expenditures. While this indicates that the increase in expenses as a result of female participation is lower than the potential increase that would result from an increase in the number of male participants, it also indicates a pay gap between males and females participating in similar sports.
Title IX has been previously blamed for certain issues in sports. From the findings presented by various authors and those obtained from school reports, it is clear that issues such as reduced budgetary allocations for male sports should not be blamed in Title IX. Instead, the impacts that can be linked to Impact IX such as increased female participation and breaking of social constructs should be applauded. On the other hand, it is still evident that despite the push for gender equality in sports participation by Title IX, an increase in female participation does not come with equal pay in similar sports. It is therefore crucial that while the law enforcement agencies follow up with universities to ensure compliance with the law, they also follow up on full equality. In addition to this, it is also recommended that funding be provided for male sports that are financially intensive to ensure that other students’ talents are not hampered by elimination from sports to achieve statistical balance.
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