How Title IX is Ruining Men’s College Athletics
By Madison Hayden
In 1972, Title 9 was enacted with the intent to equalize opportunities in men’s and women’s collegiate athletics. Subject to much praise and attention over the past forty years, Title 9 is hailed as one of the key advances in gender equality, and it should be. The accomplishments of Title 9 are numerous. Women who were previously overlooked in college athletics were given the same equipment, finances, and scholarships as men. Unfortunately, these benefits to women athletes come at the expense of many of their male counterparts.
The issue with Title 9 is that it applies broad rules to both men’s and women’s sports without considering the differences between the two. The main problems this causes is in regard to scholarship allocations. Title 9 says that equal scholarships must be awarded to both men’s and women’s sports, and these scholarships are allocated by the NCAA.
Every Division 1 school is allowed roughly 200 scholarships for each gender, depending on what sports the school offers. For women, these 200 scholarships are divided up pretty evenly and fairly for each sport. The larger the team, the more scholarships are offered. No team gets more than 20, and no team gets less than 6. Men’s sports would follow nearly the exact same distribution if it weren’t for the college sport that is football.
Football takes up a whopping 85 scholarships out of the 200 allocated for men’s sports. Non-football male athletes are being punished for having a sport that has no female equivalent. All these other sports suffer, and are given significantly less scholarships than their female counterparts. Men’s track & field offers 12.6 scholarships to women’s 18, gymnastics offer 6.3 to women’s 12, and men’s volleyball 4.5 scholarships to women’s 12. Rowing, a sport that offers 20 scholarships to women, does not offer any to men.
The disparity between scholarships offered to men and women greatly impacts how a school chooses what sports to offer. With less scholarships to offer, many men’s sports have far less collegiate Division 1 teams than their women counterparts, despite similar participation rates in high schools.
While the culprit here may seem to be football, the real problem is in how the system is set up. Football brings in so much revenue, and has such a big team that 85 scholarships actually seems to be a pretty fair amount. The change that needs to be made is that football can’t be counted with other male sports when dividing up scholarships, since females do not have an equivalent sport taking up 85 scholarships. The revenue made from football at most schools is more than enough to cover additional scholarships for other men’s sports.