WIU Completes Model Survey

It was last October when we first told you about how Western Illinois University (WIU) signed an agreement with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to resolve a Title IX complaint that alleged the school wasn’t providing enough athletic opportunities for women.

As part of the agreement, WIU conducted a model survey to asses the level of interest in sports the school wasn’t currently offering. The results are below:

In an effort to explore how well the current 10 men’s and 10 women’s NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics program at Western is meeting the competitive athletic interest of WIU students, all undergraduate were invited to participate in an online survey regarding their interest in competing, level of athletic ability, and willingness to commit the time and energy required to be a successful Division I student-athlete. In addition to potential intercollegiate athletic expansion, the survey results may also lead to greater intramural and competitive club team sports. Of 10,743 undergraduate students invited to participate, 831 (8%) responded to the survey. (Contact Intercollegiate Athletics for more information.)

  • Among survey respondents, 8% were current Western student-athletes, 12% were members of a Club Sport team, and 23% were currently participating in intramurals, while 70% said they were interested in participating in some sort of athletic program at Western.
  • The survey considered the 19 men’s and 20 women’s current NCAA Division I sports, 7 NCAA considered emerging women’s sports, as well as additional non-gender specific considerations to gain a fuller grasp of WIU student interest in athletic participation at any level. Students who indicated interest in participating in a currently offered WIU NCAA Division I sport were encourage to contact that sport’s head coach.
  • For the 18 sports that Western does not offer for either sex, in addition to Men’s Volleyball, the sports with the greatest NCAA Division I expansion interest were:
    • Bowling – 39 students – 11 women and 28 men, however, the NCAA only sanctions Women’s Bowling, and as an emerging sport
    • Men’s Volleyball – 38 men
    • Wrestling – 41 students – 6 women and 35 men, however, the NCAA only sanctions Men’s Wrestling
    • Ice Hockey – 34 students, 5 women and 29 men, with the NCAA sanctioning both Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey
    • Lacrosse – 34 students, 4 women and 30 men, with the NCAA, with the NCAA sanctioning both Men’s and Women’s
    • Rifle – 33 students, 3 women and 30 men, with the NCAA sanctioning Rifle as a mixed Men’s and Women’s team sport
  • Western’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, along with Campus Recreation and University Administrators will be reviewing the complete survey analysis to determine where the greatest potential for adding NCAA Division I, Club Sports, and/or Intramural Sports lies when combining student interest and ability, along with the potential for the regional competition necessary for the more competitive interests.

Very interesting. More to come.

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