CSC Statement on WSF Study on Athletic Participation Rates

The College Sports Council released the following statement earlier today:

Washington, D.C., September 26, 2008 – The College Sports Council (CSC), a national coalition of coaches, parents, athletes, and alumni, calls attention to unverifiable source data collected by the WSF and NCAA used in a recently released Women’s Sports Foundation study titled ‘Who’s Playing College Sports? Money, Race and Gender.”

“This report includes aggregate unverifiable data compiled by biased entities. It’s impossible to authenticate their numbers, which therefore calls into question the accuracy of their findings,” said Eric Pearson, Chairman of the CSC.

Following are three examples of problems with the WSF study:

1. WSF led reporters to believe that all numbers labeled “EADA” were from government sources. The data labeled as ‘1995-96 EADA’ were in fact collected by the WSF in a survey conducted in 1995. These numbers are not posted on the US Department of Education website with other EADA data and cannot be verified by the general public by reference to any governmental source.

Specifically, the “new” WSF study referred to source data in their 2007 study by Dr. Cheslock. On page 24, paragraph 1 of the 2007 study, it reveals that the WSF collected the data themselves using an EADA form, thus factually that data was not collected by the government. It was a WSF survey.

2. There are over 1,000 member schools in the NCAA. The WSF used data from only 738 schools, omitting 29% of NCAA member schools from the study.

3. The NCAA refuses to provide school by school data making their aggregate numbers unverifiable and therefore unreliable.

Further, the NCAA cannot be considered an objective source. The NCAA leadership is on record as being closely aligned with groups fighting all forms of Title IX reform and has attempted to quash any debate about the effect of Title IX on decreasing collegiate participation opportunities in the Olympic sports.

For example, in response to a question about the 2005 Title IX policy clarification issued by the U.S. Office of Civil Rights, NCAA President Myles Brand said, “we’re waiting to see what the Women’s Law Center and others might do. We’re supportive of their actions” (Reported by the Washington Post, and referring to the National Women’s Law Center, a leading gender quota advocacy group based in Washington, DC.).

In 2007, the CSC released a longitudinal study of NCAA Participation Data that revealed the following findings:

o More than 2,200 men’s athletic teams were eliminated since 1981– a consistent, declining trend of 17 percent.

o The total number of women’s teams has outstripped the number of men’s teams since 1995. The number of men’s teams per school is dropping to less than 7.8 per school while the number of women’s teams per school has risen to more than 8.7 per school.

o Some of the sports that have been hardest hit include swimming, wrestling and tennis. Men’s gymnastics is now on the verge of extinction, with only 19 teams remaining in the country and falling.

For the complete study, see:

Additional Background and Sources:

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