NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Title IX Costly to Low Profile Men's Sports

May 10, 2002

Fewer women than men in colleges and universities go out for sports competition. But since the passage 30 years ago of a law known as Title IX, college administrators have been bound to assure that sports participation by women and funding for their teams is on par with those of men. That means that if female participants can't coax greater numbers of their sex to come out onto the field, or pool or stadium, fewer men can participate in their own activities.

  • Since the law was passed, more than 170 wrestling programs, 80 men's tennis teams, 70 men's gymnastics teams and 45 men's track teams have been eliminated.
  • The effort to achieve athletic equality for women is often perceived as a survival struggle between low-profile men's sports and their women's counterparts.
  • Colleges generally try to comply with Title IX by ensuring that the ratio of male and female athletes is roughly equivalent to the overall proportion of male and female students.
  • A sport like football -- with rosters of as many as 110 players, nearly four times the size of a wrestling team -- distorts the ledger on the men's side.

While the lower-profile men's sports have been disappearing in recent years, 39 colleges have added football in the last 10 years.

Source: Bill Pennington, "More Men's Teams Benched, As Colleges Level the Field," New York Times, May 9, 2002.


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