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????

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