The gender equity scorecard IV

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Charles L. Kennedy

Senior Instructor

Political Science

Penn State York

January, 2007

The University of Nevada Wolfpack was the repeat national champion for Division 1-A colleges in the 4th Annual “Gender Equity” Scorecard. The Wolfpack edged out the North Texas Mean Green and the Toledo Rockets to capture the title. The Wolfpack also notched their third consecutive WAC championship on the gender equity scorecard. The Georgia Bulldogs, the Maryland Terrapins, and the Stanford Cardinal won their fourth consecutive conference championships on the scorecard.

The scorecard grades the major Division 1-A colleges according to their degree of commitment to their women’s intercollegiate sports programs for the 2004-05 academic /sports year. The scorecard was based on the criteria utilized by the Chronicle of Higher Education in its study on “gender equity” in 2006.

The criteria are participation, scholarship, coaches’ salaries, recruitment budget, and operating expenses. 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.

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 it has enough 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 46.41% of the total undergraduates and 43.38% of all athletes in 2004-05 for a difference of –3.03. Thus, Penn State’s score on the scorecard would be –3.03.

Scholarship is actually the only purely numerical section of guidelines, issued under Title IX regulations, governing scholarship funds allocated to women athletes. The 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 40.35% and the women’s proportion of the scholarship budget was 40.70% for a score of +0.35 on the scorecard.

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.

At Penn State the operating budget was 32.83%. This would give the Nittany Lions a score of –7.17.

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.

The women’s share of the recruiting budget at Penn State was 27.46% for a score

of –12.54.

Coaching Salaries are not mandated by Title IX regulations. Equity in salaries, however, should strongly indicate that the salary for coaches of women’s teams should be equivalent to the salary of coaches of men’s teams. The 40% standard is again used for the Index.

The women’s proportion of the coaches’ salaries for the Nittany Lions was 36.39% for a score of –3.61.

Penn State’s combined scores would equal –26.0 which enabled the Lions to finish 2nd in the Big Ten, behind the Michigan Wolverines. The score of the Lions per category:
Participation –3.03

Scholarship +0.35

Operating Budget –7.17

Recruiting Budget –12.54

Coaching Salaries –3.61

Total = –26.00
There were 113 colleges included in the study from the 11 major Division 1-A conferences. There were several interesting, and sometimes, startling points on the scorecard. For instance, only 14 colleges scored positive (above 0.0) on the


participation criteria. These were Central Florida, Michigan, Purdue, Washington State, Oregon State, Kansas State, Clemson, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Fresno State, Nevada, Toledo, Buffalo, and Cincinnati. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were highest at +9.88. The 14 colleges with a + score constituted an increase of two from the previous year.

On the scholarship criteria, there were 47 schools, an increase of one, with a positive score. Nine were from the Southeastern Conference. The Florida Atlantic Owls were the highest with +12.57.

On the operating budget criteria, only one school, the Eastern Michigan Eagles, exceeded the 40% standard. This is a decrease of two from the previous year. The Eagles had a score of +2.25.

Four schools exceeded the 40% standard on salaries. This was also a decrease of one. The four colleges were Georgia, Ball State, Toledo, and New Mexico. The Bulldogs of Georgia were highest with a score of +1.58%.

Six schools (an increase of one) exceeded the 40% standard on the recruiting budget factor. They were Louisiana-Monroe, Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, Nevada, and Kent State. The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks with a score of +5.82 edged out the Nevada Wolfpack with a score of +5.65 for high score in this category.

The A’s & The F’s

The colleges were then graded on a scale of A-F. A= 0 to –19.99; B= –20 to –29.99; C = –30 to –39.99; D = –40 to –49.99; and F = below –50. The distribution of grades was as follows: A = 11; B = 24; C = 32; D = 24; and F = 12.

The 11 schools with an A were Nevada, North Texas, Toledo, Buffalo, Maryland, Hawaii, Stanford, Utah State, Washington State, Western Michigan, and San Diego State.

The 12 colleges with an F were: University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB), Duke, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Southern Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Memphis. I’m not sure of the significance, but it certainly stands out that 11 of the 12 are southern schools.

Three of the colleges finished with scores below –70: the East Carolina Pirates


(–70.79), the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (–71.99), and the Memphis Tigers

(–73.25). The Tigers returned to last place (also in the 2002-03 season) by edging out the Ragin’ Cajuns and the Pirates, last year’s cellar dweller. (The scores for all 113 teams in the study are contained in the appendix. Only 113 of the 119 teams in Division 1-A were studied, since data was either incomplete or not available for the other six colleges.)

As previously indicated, there were three teams who won their 4th consecutive championships: Georgia, Maryland, and Stanford. Nevada also won its 3rd consecutive championship. The complete list of conference champions:

Conference College Score Grade

Western Athletic (WAC) Nevada –5.17 A

Mid-American (MAC) Toledo –13.01 A

Pacific-10 (PAC-10) Stanford –18.69 A

Big Ten Michigan –24.98 B

Mountain West San Diego State –19.97 A

Big 12 Kansas –22.69 B

Southeastern (SEC) Georgia –21.04 B

Atlantic Coast (ACC) Maryland –16.17 A

Big East Rutgers –31.23 C

Conference USA Tulsa –22.12 B

Sun Belt North Texas –9.73 A

The Toledo Rockets and the San Diego State Aztecs were repeat champions. The newcomers to the championship table were the Michigan Wolverines, Kansas Jayhawks, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, and the North Texas Mean Green.

(Note: Michigan not only defeated my school, Penn State, in football, but also dethroned the Nittany Lions, as conference champs of gender equity in the Big Ten.)

A dubious distinction notice should also be directed toward the colleges that finished in the basement of their conferences.


Conference College Score Grade

WAC Boise State –37.39 C

MAC Northern Illinois –39.36 C

PAC-10 Oregon –48.87 D

Big Ten Wisconsin –38.29 C

Mountain West Utah –49.51 D

Big 12 Oklahoma State –68.54 F

SEC Vanderbilt –51.41 F

ACC North Carolina –51.60 F

Big East Pitt –46.72 D

Conference USA Memphis –73.25 F

Sun Belt Louisiana-Lafayette –71.99 F
The strength of the WAC, MAC and Big Ten conferences are underscored by the fact that their basement dwellers (Boise State Broncos, Northern Illinois Huskies, and Wisconsin Badgers (received C grades, whereas the others received a D or an F.

In ranking the conferences, the MAC had been the champions for the 2002-03 and the 2003-04 seasons. The WAC and the Mountain West finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in both the previous seasons. The WAC, however, won the award for Top Conference on the Gender Equity Scorecard for the 2004-05 season. The WAC was paced by the strong performances of not only the national champion, Nevada, but also the Hawaii Warriors, Utah State Aggies, and the Idaho Vandals. Hawaii and Utah State both received A’s on the gender equity scorecard and ranked 6th and 8th of the 113 colleges. Idaho received a B+ and ranked 14th.

The Mountain West was defeated for 3rd place for 2004-05 by the Pacific-10. The PAC-10 was paced by the Cardinals of Stanford and the Cougars of Washington State, who finished with an A grade and ranked 7th and 9th, respectively. They were assisted by the UCLA Bruins and the Oregon State Beavers, who received a B on the scorecard, and ranked 25th and 30th, respectively.

It should also be emphasized that both the WAC and MAC had three schools that received an A: WAC = Nevada, Hawaii, and Utah State; and MAC = Toledo, Buffalo, and Western Michigan. The MAC also had five schools with a B grade: Ball State, Kent State, Miami (OH), Ohio, and Bowling Green. The WAC had three schools with a B: Idaho, Louisiana Tech, and Fresno State.


At the other end of the gender equity spectrum, Conference USA and the Sun Belt had the poorest scores. Conference USA had four schools with an F and the Sun Belt had three schools with an F. The SEC and the Big East had the most D grades—seven and six, respectively. It should also be emphasized that none of the colleges in the MAC, WAC, and Big Ten received a D or an F. The ranking and score for the conferences is contained in the following chart.

Conference Conference

Rank Conference Average Grade
1 WAC –24.61 B

2 MAC –25.39 B

3 Pacific-10 –32.97 C

4 Big Ten –33.95 C

5 Mountain West –34.62 C

6 Big 12 –37.02 C

7 Southeastern –39.67 C

8 ACC –40.18 D

9 Big East –40.68 D

10 Conference USA –40.74 D

11 Sun Belt –42.00 D
From even a cursory examination of the above chart, only two conferences have a B average, it is obvious that there is still a long and hilly road ahead on the playing fields of gender equity in intercollegiate athletics. (Author’s note: The curve to classify the colleges according to a grade is arguably very lenient.)

There are, however, certainly many shining stars that stand out in the forefront of gender equity in intercollegiate athletics. With two consecutive championships the Wolfpack of Nevada is clearly the pacesetter. The other ten colleges that received an A


are to be highly commended and the twenty-four colleges that received a B are to be commended. It should also be noted that Maryland and North Texas, the conference champs of the ACC and Sun Belt, finished significantly ahead of their conference’s average. North Texas scored 32.27 ahead of the conference average and Maryland was 24.01.

However, the twenty-four schools with a D and the twelve schools with an F, as well as the two conferences with a D, indicate that much more progress is needed in the realm of gender equity in intercollegiate sports to bring us closer to the ideal of equality, which is our heritage and our hope for America’s future.

In their 2001 study on gender equity, the Women’s Sports Foundation concluded, “While women can no longer be considered token student-athletes … they are far from being full partners in … intercollegiate sports.”



Grade A

1 Nevada -5.17

2 North Texas -9.73

3 Toledo -13.01

4 (SUNY) Buffalo -14.21

5 Maryland -16.17

6 Hawaii -18.14

7 Stanford -18.69

8 Utah State -18.78

9 Washington State -18.83

10 Western Michigan -19.48

11 San Diego State -19.97

Grade B

12 Georgia -21.04

13 Ball State -21.22

14 Idaho -21.93

15 Tulsa -22.88

16 Kansas -22.69

17 Kent State -22.88

18 Colorado State -22.93

19 Marshall -23.24

20 Miami, Ohio -24.02

21 Ohio -24.21

22 Michigan -24.98

23 Bowling Green -25.14

24 Iowa State -25.32

25 UCLA -25.76

26 Penn State -26.00

27 Louisiana Tech -26.49

28 Fresno State -26.71

29 Arkansas -26.82

30 Oregon State -27.19

31 Troy -27.39

32 Rice -27.44

33 Central Florida -28.02

34 Missouri -29.36

35 Houston -29.43

Grade C

36 BYU -30.41

37 SMU -30.69

38 Minnesota -30.71

39 New Mexico State -30.79

40 Rutgers -31.23

41 Eastern Michigan -31.37

42 Washington -31.90

43 Miami -32.49

44 UTEP -32.50

45 Akron -32.86

46 Arizona -33.08

47 Texas Tech -33.59

48 Florida -33.70

49 Purdue -33.83

50 North Carolina State -34.22

51 Florida State -34.92

52 Boston College -35.02

53 Baylor -35.09

54 Northwestern -35.28

55 Florida-Atlantic -35.31

56 Iowa -35.34

57 Texas -35.38

58 Indiana -35.88

59 New Mexico -35.94

60 Texas A&M -36.10

61 San Diego State -36.12

62 Connecticut -36.34

63 Central Michigan -36.88

64 Ohio State -36.91

65 Wyoming -36.93

66 Oklahoma -36.96

67 Georgia Tech -37.27

68 Boise State -37.39

69 Alabama -37.51

70 Nebraska -37.75

71 Notre Dame -37.76

72 Michigan State -38.00

73 Illinois -38.25

74 Wisconsin -38.29

75 Northern Illinois -39.36

76 UNLV -39.37

77 Florida Int’l. -39.88

Grade D

78 California -40.55

79 South Florida -40.76

80 Kansas State -41.02

81 Arizona State -41.67

82 TCU -41.89

83 Auburn -42.19

84 Kentucky -42.03

85 Mississippi State -42.07

86 Louisville -42.82

87 Cincinnati -43.01

88 Virginia -43.07

89 West Virginia -43.19

90 USC -43.20

90 South Carolina -43.20

92 Mississippi -43.77

93 Colorado -44.63

94 Middle Tennessee State -45.16

95 LSU -45.23

96 Tennessee -45.87

97 Pitt -46.72

98 Virginia Tech -47.49

99 Oregon -48.47

100 Clemson -49.06

101 Utah -49.51

Grade F

102 Alabama-Birmingham -50.21

102 Duke -50.21

104 Wake Forest -50.09

105 Vanderbilt -51.41

106 North Carolina -51.60

107 Arkansas State -51.96

108 Louisiana-Monroe -54.60

109 Southern Mississippi -60.18

110 Oklahoma State -68.54

111 East Carolina -70.79

112 Louisiana-Lafayette -71.99

113 Memphis -73.25

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