Sunday, August 19, 2007

DI Schools Who Can Afford to Expand

In between the two four day sessions of the USAV Junior Olympic National Tournament held in Atlanta this past July, the AVCA and USAV held a coaches meeting on the status of men's and boy's volleyball. Several topics were discussed but I am going to focus on DI expansion during this post.

Kathy DeBoer, AVCA Executive Director shared a report with the attendees that listed all the Division IA programs and their Title IX proportionality numbers. The list highlighted schools that had the potential to "overcome" the Title IX issue because they had a higher percentage of female athletes than the percentage of total female undergraduates. For example, the University of Cincinnati has a 50.5% female to male ratio of athletes but only a 47.3% female to male undergraduates ratio. In short, Cincinnati could add male athletes at the varsity level and not fail the Title IX test.

Of course, Title IX is not the only reason for DI schools not sponsoring a varsity sport. There is always the program costs issue. However, most schools use the Title IX issue as their excuse.

The list provided to the attendees highlighted both DI schools who were "just below" the female to male ratio comparison and several that had a higher female to male ratio. The schools that had "room to spare" include:
Cincinnati
Georgia Tech
Kansas State
Maryland
Michigan
Nevada-Reno
Oklahoma State
Purdue
Toledo
U.S. Military Academy-Army

The source quoted by AVCA/USAV was the WSF article in USA Today. The list is larger if it includes those highlighted because they are near the ratio.

Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Maryland and Purdue were all at the most recent NIRSA national tournament. Do they want to upgrade to a varsity program????

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Off Season

Thank goodness the national teams are active, otherwise this would be a very slow season for men's volleyball. I don't mind watching some AVP action but I have a strong preference for the 6 man indoor version of volleyball. Maybe it is because my age has caught up with me and covering the sand court with two people is totally exhausting for me (after only 3 or 4 rallies), :)

The Men's National Team had a great World League tournament. It is good to see the USA back into the medals for an international tournament. Their "older" roster of players performed well against many of their competitors who were using younger, less-experienced players intentionally or due to injury. I think the momentum will boost their confidence as they enter the 2008 Olympic qualifying tournament rounds. It does worry me some that they still have to play some teams who will bring their experienced rosters to these tournaments and the Olympics. Only time will tell.

A couple of months ago, I noticed that the Canadian National Team website listed Anaheim as the playing location for a September tournament. I looked at the USAV and NORCECA websites and could not find any tournament listed for Anaheim. I suspected the NORCECA tournament would be the one listed on the Canadian website. This was confirmed last weeek when USAV announced the tournament will be played in Anaheim September 16th through the 21st. I know the California fans were complaining when World League didn't schedule one of the three weekends in California. It looks like USAV already knew that California was getting the NORCECA. The NORCECA tournament will provide locals to see a lot more than one team and a lot more matches than a World League event. So congratulations.

I am starting a list of "things to do" for the Middle Hitter website this upcoming collegiate season. I will share some of them on another post.

Let's see if I can keep my resolutions to post more frequently this year, at least during the off-season.

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