The gender equity scorecard V

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Charles L. Kennedy

Senior Instructor

Political Science

Penn State York

September, 2007

The North Texas Mean Green replaced the University of Nevada Wolf Pack as the national champion on the fifth annual “Gender Equity” Scorecard. The Wolf Pack had been the national champions in the previous two years of the study. The Mean Green finished second in the ’04-’05 season. The Mean Green of the Sun Belt Conference and the Wolf Pack of the Western Athletic Conference were the only two of 115 Division 1-A colleges to receive an A+ on the scorecard. North Texas received a combined score of –0.20 and Nevada received a –4.82 on the five criteria in the study: participation, scholarship, operating expenses, recruitment budget, and coaches’ salaries.

The Buffalo Bulls, Stanford Cardinal, and Idaho Vandals also received an A grade and rounded out the Fab Five. This was the third consecutive year that Nevada, Buffalo and Stanford were in the Top Ten, while Idaho made its initial appearance.

The five schools that completed the Top Ten had grades of A–: the Eastern Michigan Eagles, Oregon State Beavers, Miami (Ohio) Redhawks, the Ball State Cardinals, and the Utah Utes. The 11th place finish of Toledo, who also had an A–, denied the Rockets their shot at three consecutive finishes in the Top Ten.

The 115 colleges included in the study were from the 11 major Division 1-A conferences. They were evaluated according to their degree of commitment to their women’s intercollegiate sports programs for the 2005-06 academic/athletic year. The scorecard was based on the criteria utilized by the Chronicle of Higher Education in its study on “gender equity” in 2007. All of the statistics were obtained from the Chronicle’s study, according to data submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, as required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act of 1994. (Note: Data was not listed for four of the colleges.)

The scorecard is the sum total of the college’s score on the five criteria. On each of the criteria, a standard or goal was established. The college received a +/– score depending on how close they came to the standard. The goals for participation and scholarship were 0.0. The goals for operating expenses, recruitment budget, and coaches’ salaries were 40%.



Participation is one of the three federal guidelines for a college to determine if they are providing enough participation opportunities for female athletes. This is the simplest approach and the one most colleges follow. In this test the percentage of female athletes should be proportional to the percentage of women in the student body. The score is based on how close the college reaches the optimal proportionality of 0.0.

For instance, at my school, Penn State, women comprised 45.49% of the total undergraduates and 41.17% of all athletes in 2005-06 for a difference of –3.72. Thus, Penn State’s score on the scorecard would be –3.72. In the Big Ten Conference, the average was –3.12.

Scholarship is actually the only purely numerical section of guidelines, issued under Title IX regulations, governing scholarship funds allocated to women athletes. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has specified that colleges must award the same proportions of aid to female athletes as there are women participating in varsity sports. The proportion is to be within one percentage point. The score is based on the “same proportion” principle, so it would be 0.0.

Penn State’s proportion of female athletes was 38.93% and the women’s proportion of the scholarship budget was 41.92% for a score of +2.99 on the scorecard. The average for the Big Ten was –1.19.

Operating Budget is also not included in any specific guidelines. Interestingly, however, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act does chart how much of athletic departments’ budgets are allocated to women’s teams. A standard of 40% was established as the goal to be achieved. This is based on the findings by The Chronicle of Higher Education that the median for operating expenses for women’s teams for 2003-04 was 38% for all Division I teams. It should be emphasized that although schools are not required to spend the same amount of money on their male and female athletes, they are legally required to provide male and female athletes with equal benefits and services.

At Penn State the women’s share of the operating budget was 30.37%. This would give the Nittany Lions a score of –9.63. The Big Ten average was –10.24.


Recruiting Budget is not mandated by Title IX regulations. If equal treatment for men’s and women’s sports is the goal, then the recruiting budget for women’s teams should be equivalent to the recruiting budget for men’s teams. Again, the 40% standard was selected as the goal. It should be noted that “Check It Out,” the National Women’s Law Center’s booklet about Title IX, recommends that the recruiting budget should be roughly equal to participation rates. I would suggest that the 40% goal is more than reasonable.

The women’s share of the recruiting budget at Penn State was 32.77% for a score

of –7.23. The average for the Big Ten was –8.78.

Coaching Salaries. While Title IX does not require that coaches of male and female teams be paid the same amount of money, it doses require fairness in the assigning of quality coaches. The 40% standard is again used for the Index. In light of the extremely high expenses in Division 1-A football, as well as the potential huge profits that can be made in both Division 1-A football with the BCS bowl games and Division 1-A basketball with March Madness and the NCAA tournament, I would propose that both advocates and opponents of Title IX could accept the 40% standard as a reasonable, initial goal.

The women’s proportion of the coaches’ salaries for the Nittany Lions was 35.20% for a score of –4.80. The Big Ten average was –10.91.

Penn State’s combined scores would equal –22.39. The Big Ten average was –34.22. This gave the Nittany Lions a grade of B+ and a rank of 16th among the 115 Division 1-A schools. The Lions also were crowned Gender Equity Champions of the Big Ten for the second time in the last three years. The score of the Lions per category:
Participation –3.72

Scholarship +2.99

Operating Budget –9.63

Recruiting Budget –7.23

Coaching Salaries –4.80

Total = –22.39
The As & The Fs

The colleges were graded on a scale of A to F–:

# of Colleges

A= 0 to –19.99 11

B= –20 to –29.99 28

C = –30 to –39.99 30

D = –40 to –49.99 27

F = –50 & –50.99 8

F– = –60 & below 11
There were 11 schools with an A. Five of these schools were from the Mid-American Conference (MAC): Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Ball State, and Toledo.
The 11 A colleges, their rank, and score:

Rank College Score Grade
1 North Texas –0.20 A+

2 Nevada –4.82 A+

3 Buffalo –11.92 A

4 Stanford –12.71 A

5 Idaho –14.93 A

6 Eastern Michigan –15.02 A–

7 Oregon State –16.05 A–

8 Miami, Ohio –17.61 A–

9 Ball State –18.05 A–

10 Utah –19.20 A–

11 Toledo –19.58 A–
(The complete rankings from 1-115 and the Grades are in the Appendix.)
North Texas, Nevada, Buffalo, Stanford, and Toledo are repeat A performers. The others are newcomers to the list.

Nineteen of the colleges received an F for Failure with a score below –50.0. Eight of these schools received an F–, since their scores were even below –60.0. The schools with an F and their ranking are:


Rank College Score
97 Oregon –50.17

98 UNLV –50.52

99 Cincinnati –51.56

100 Arkansas State –53.31

101 Mississippi State –53.43

102 Vanderbilt –53.60

103 Kansas State –54.26

104 Clemson –54.78

105 Michigan State –56.11

106 Wake Forest –57.13

107 Texas Christian –57.71
The schools with a grade of F– and their ranking are:
Rank College Score
108 West Virginia –60.05

109 Memphis –61.89

110 Southern Mississippi –62.61

111 Virginia Tech –63.71

112 East Carolina –65.78

113 Tulane –66.70

114 Oklahoma State –69.32

115 Louisiana-Lafayette –71.19

There are several interesting features about these rankings:

  • The number of F/F– has actually increased to 19 from 12 in ’04-’05 and

10 in ’03-’04.

  • This is the third consecutive year that six of the schools received an F or F–. They are: Vanderbilt Commodores, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Memphis Tigers, Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, East Carolina Pirates, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

  • Five of the schools have received an F or F– in two of the past three athletic/academic years: Oregon Ducks, Arkansas State Indians, Clemson Tigers, Texas Christian Horned Frogs, and the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

  • Three of the schools have received an F– for three consecutive seasons: Memphis, East Carolina, and Oklahoma State.


  • Four of the schools have received an F– in two of the past three seasons: Oregon, Texas Christian, Southern Mississippi, and Louisiana-Lafayette.

  • Louisiana-Lafayette dethroned Memphis, the chief cellar-dweller in ’04-’05. The Tigers had previously dethroned East Carolina, who ruled the bottom of the basement in ’03-’04.


Special recognition should go to the Stanford Cardinal and Georgia Bulldogs, who won their 5th consecutive conference championship. Nevada also won its 4th consecutive championship. The complete list of conference champions:

Conference College Score Grade

Western Athletic (WAC) Nevada –4.82 A+

Mid-American (MAC) Buffalo –11.92 A

Pacific-10 (PAC-10) Stanford –12.71 A

Big Ten Penn State –22.39 B+

Mountain West Utah –19.20 A–

Big 12 Oklahoma –24.68 B

Southeastern (SEC) Georgia –25.40 B

Atlantic Coast (ACC) Florida State –23.76 B

Big East Connecticut –22.30 B+

Conference USA Tulsa –22.32 B+

Sun Belt North Texas –0.20 A+

The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes and the North Texas Mean Green were repeat champions.

The Florida State Seminoles, a newcomer to the list, denied the Maryland Terrapins their bid for a 5th consecutive Gender Equity championship of the ACC. Likewise, the Buffalo Bulls and the Utah Utes denied the Toledo Rockets and the San Diego State Aztecs their shot at a third consecutive conference championship. The Oklahoma Sooners were newcomers to the championship table and the Connecticut Huskies returned after a one year hiatus. Additionally, all of the conference champions actually improved their score on the Gender Equity Scorecard from the ’04-’05 athletic/academic year to ’05-’06 except for the Georgia Bulldogs.

The dubious achievement awards should also be directed to the colleges that finished in the basement of their conferences. The bottom of the barrel list:

Conference College Score Grade

WAC Boise State –45.56 D

MAC Northern Illinois –42.77 D+

PAC-10 Oregon –50.17 F

Big Ten Michigan State –56.11 F

Mountain West Texas Christian –57.71 F

Big 12 Oklahoma State –69.32 F–

SEC Vanderbilt –53.60 F

ACC Virginia Tech –63.71 F–

Big East West Virginia –60.05 F–

Conference USA Tulane –66.70 F–

Sun Belt Louisiana-Lafayette –71.19 F–

Several points of interest should be emphasized. This is the third consecutive year in the basement of their conference for the Boise State Broncos, the Oregon Ducks, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Northern Illinois Huskies and the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns were repeat offenders in the basement. The Michigan State Spartans and the West Virginia Mountaineers returned to the basement after a one year absence. The newcomers to the back of the pack list were the Texas Christian Horned Frogs, the Virginia Tech Hokies, and the Tulane Green Wave. It also must be emphasized that of all the cellar dwellers, only Louisiana-Lafayette increased their score, and that was a miniscule rise from –71.99 to –71.19.
It should also be noted that only Boise State and Northern Illinois did not receive an F. Five of the schools actually received an F– (Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Tulane, and Louisiana-Lafayette.) The ranking of these colleges on the Gender Equity Scorecard indicates how far behind these colleges actually are.



National Rank


National Rank

Boise State




Northern Illinois


Virginia Tech




West Virginia


Michigan State




Texas Christian




Oklahoma State



Three of the conference cellar dwellers were also the lowest ranking in Division 1-A: respectively, Tulane (113), Oklahoma State (114), and Louisiana-Lafayette (115).

In ranking the conferences, the MAC edged the WAC by an average score of –28.01 to

–28.78 to return as Champion of the Conferences in the Gender Equity Scorecard. The MAC had been champions for the ’02-‘03 and ’03-’04 seasons, until dethroned by the

WAC in the ’04-’05 campaign. The MAC was paced by strong performances by five colleges, who finished in the Top Eleven: Buffalo with an A and Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Ball State, and Toledo with A– grades. The MAC was also aided by Kent State, Ohio, and Western Michigan, who respectively ranked 12th, 17th, and 21st, nationally.
In addition to the Nevada Wolf Pack, the WAC was also paced by the Idaho Vandals, who received an A and ranked 5th in the country.
For the 2nd consecutive year, the Pacific-10, paced by Stanford and Oregon State, finished 3rd among the conferences.
The ranking, score, and average grade for the conferences is contained in the following chart.

Average Average

Rank Conference Score Grade
1 MAC –28.01 B–

2 WAC –28.78 B–

3 Pacific-10 –32.53 C+

4 Big Ten –34.22 C

5 Mountain West –35.51 C

6 Big 12 –36.09 C–

7 SEC –41.03 D+

8 ACC –42.24 D+

9 Sun Belt –42.98 D+

10 C-USA –43.33 D

11 Big East –44.15 D

At the other end of the spectrum, the Big East dropped into last place, as seven of the nine Big East schools had Ds and Fs. In Conference USA six of the twelve schools had Ds or Fs. However, three of its members scored a B. In the Sun Belt six of the eight members had a D or F.

There were several interesting and sometimes startling points revealed on the scorecard. For instance, only 18 colleges scored positive, above 0.0 on the participation criteria. These were North Texas, Nevada, Central Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, Purdue, USC, Oregon State, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Fresno State, Utah, San Diego State, Toledo, West Virginia, and Cincinnati. The 18 schools with a + score constituted an increase of four from the previous year. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were highest with +8.07. It should also be noted that only 22 colleges, or 19%, were within the +/– one percent guidelines.
On the scholarship criteria, there were 48 schools, an increase of one, with a positive score. Eight were from the Southeastern Conference. The Eastern Michigan Eagles were the highest with +12.96. This is the area where the colleges do best, as 62, or 53.9%, were within +/– one percent.
However, on the other three criteria, the schools do quite poorly. On the operating expenses criteria, only two schools, Eastern Michigan (+1.25) and North Texas (+0.57) exceeded the 40% standard. This is an increase of one, as only the Eagles were above 40% in ’04-’05. Only 30 of the colleges, or 26.01%, allocated over a third of their operating expenses to women’s sports. This included 11 of 12 schools from the MAC and 5 of 9 colleges from the WAC.
Only five schools exceeded the 40% standard on coaches salaries. This was an increase of one from ’04-’05. These were Stanford, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Utah, and New Mexico. The Utes of Utah were highest at +1.17. Additionally, the salaries for coaches


of women’s teams exceeded 33.33% at 32 colleges, or 27.83%. Ten of these colleges were from the MAC and four each from the WAC and Mountain West.

Four schools, a decrease of one from ’04-‘5, exceeded the 40% standard on recruiting budget. These were Nevada, Houston, Alabama, Birmingham, and North Texas. The Houston Cougars were highest at +3.06. At 33 colleges, or 28.7%, the women’s teams share of the recruiting budget exceeded 33.33%. Five of these colleges were from the Pacific-10.
Thirty-five years after the passage of Title IX, it is hardly unreasonable to expect that colleges and universities should be in the forefront of gender equity. There are many bright spots, such as Nevada, North Texas, Stanford, Buffalo and Idaho. All of the schools with A and B+ grades should be highly commended, as well as all of the conference champions. Several conferences, such as the MAC and the WAC, are emerging as the pacesetters for gender equity in athletics.
However, the fact that there are still 27 schools with a D and 19 with an F on the scorecard indicates there are still many miles to go before we reach positive gender equity on our college playing fields. The sad fact is that the overall situation is not improving, but actually getting worse. In the Gender Equity Scorecard IV, there were

24 schools with a D and 12 with an F, and there were only four conferences with a

D average. These numbers would simply not be accepted in any other field covered by Title IX. It seems we are more willing to accept women as doctors and lawyers than we are as pitchers and power forwards.

Grade A


1 North Texas -0.20

2 Nevada -4.82


3 Buffalo -11.92

4 Stanford -12.71

5 Idaho -14.93


6 Eastern Michigan -15.02

7 Oregon State -16.05

8 Miami, OH -17.61

9 Ball State -18.05

10 Utah -19.20

11 Toledo -19.58

Grade B


12 Kent State -22.00

13 San Diego State -22.17

14 Connecticut -22.30

15 Tulsa -22.32

16 Penn State -22.39


17 Ohio -23.29

18 Florida State -23.76

19 Purdue -24.05

20 Washington State -24.12

21 Western Michigan -24.41

22 Louisiana Tech -24.49

23 Oklahoma -24.68

24 Hawaii -24.71

25 Central Florida -25.05

26 Georgia -25.40


27 Maryland -26.06

28 Houston -26.07

29 Colorado State -26.12

30 Iowa State -26.23

31 Baylor -26.24

32 Utah State -26.72

33 UCLA -27.11

34 Missouri -27.16

35 Michigan -27.81

36 California -28.88

37 Minnesota -29.07

37 BYU -29.67

39 Texas A&M -29.74

Grade C


40 Central Michigan -30.49

C+ (continued)

41 Marshall -30.58

42 Bowling Green -30.84

43 Akron -31.32

44 Texas El Paso -31.34

45 Texas -31.69

46 North Carolina State -31.71

47 Wisconsin -31.77

48 Nebraska -32.12


49 Indiana -33.26

50 Kansas -33.30

51 Arkansas -33.36

52 Florida Atlantic -34.02

53 Arizona -34.07

54 SMU -34.24

55 New Mexico -34.27

56 Illinois -34.86

57 Texas Tech -35.01


58 Northwestern -36.01

59 San Jose State -36.11

60 Virginia -36.18

61 Louisiana State -37.04

62 Fresno State -37.32

63 Alabama -37.33

64 Florida -37.91

65 Rutgers -37.94

66 Ohio State -38.28

67 North Carolina -38.46

68 South Carolina -39.38

69 Mississippi -39.97

Grade D


70 Boston College -40.40

71 Duke -40.69

72 Tennessee -41.01

73 Washington -41.85

74 Iowa -41.95

75 Northern Illinois -42.77


76 Colorado -43.36

77 Louisville -43.88

78 Pitt -43.98

79 New Mexico State -44.33

80 Wyoming -44.43

81 Kentucky -44.52

82 Arizona State -44.62

83 Miami, FL -44.93

84 Middle Tennessee State -45.06

D (continued)

85 South Florida -45.39

86 Troy -45.46

87 Rice -45.49

88 Boise State -45.56

89 USC -45.66

90 Florida International -45.67

91 Syracuse -45.92


92 Notre Dame -46.37

93 Alabama Birmingham -48.07

94 Louisiana - Monroe -48.90

95 Auburn -49.05

96 Georgia Tech -49.09

Grade F


97 Oregon -50.17

98 UNLV -50.52

99 Cincinnati -51.56

100 Arkansas State -53.31

101 Mississippi State -53.43

102 Vanderbilt -53.60

103 Kansas State -54.26

104 Clemson -54.78


105 Michigan State -56.11

106 Wake Forest -57.13

107 TCU -57.71

108 WVU -60.05

109 Memphis -61.89

110 Southern Mississippi -62.61

111 Virginia Tech -63.71

112 East Carolina -65.78

113 Tulane -66.70

114 Oklahoma State -69.32

115 Louisiana-Lafayette -71.19

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