CSC Study on NCAA Tennis Shows Title IX Enforcement Has Failed to Boost Opportunities for Women While Eliminating Men’s Teams

A few moments ago, the College Sports Council published the following press release.

Double Fault: Tennis not helped by Title IX Enforcement; Fails to boost opportunities for women and eliminates men’s teams.
College Sports Council analysis of NCAA Division I data charts tennis team sponsorship since 1996 Title IX policy clarification.

August 31, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 31, 2010 – As the attention of sports fans turns to the U.S. Open, a new report reveals tennis opportunities shrinking at the highest levels of the college game, NCAA Division I.

Contrary to popular perception, Title IX’s gender quota has failed to boost women’s tennis while it has stripped away men’s tennis teams, according to analysis of NCAA data by the College Sports Council (CSC).

“This new analysis reveals that women’s college tennis is similar to women’s gymnastics in that it hasn’t benefited from the proportionality compliance test for Title IX,” said Eric Pearson, Chairman of the CSC. “Gender quota advocates always profess that Title IX has unquestionably benefitted all women s sports, but when you break it down sport by sport frequently the data tells a different story,” Pearson said.

In 1996, the US Department of Education issued a clarification of Title IX’s regulations that declared the proportionality prong of the three-part test to be a ‘safe harbor.’ The CSC’s analysis tracks the percentage of tennis teams sponsored by NCAA Division I schools since 1996.

Women tennis players have more teams (311) to compete for than male tennis players (258) in NCAA Division I, but the percentage of NCAA schools sponsoring women’s teams has not increased since the 1996 policy clarification (96.4% in 1996 vs. 93.4% in 2009) and the percentage of NCAA Division I schools sponsoring men s tennis teams has declined by more than 14 percent (91.8% in 1996 vs. 77.5% in 2009).

Click here for charts and supporting data as PDF.

Click here for charts and supporting data as XLS.

The new analysis is the fifth in a series the CSC has published since 2007:

* Decline in Men’s Teams: In 2007, a CSC analysis discovered an ongoing pattern of male college athletic teams eliminated over a 25-year period;

* Uneven School Compliance: In 2008, another CSC study revealed that virtually all of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) failed to meet Title IX’s proportionality test;

* NCAA Limiting Men’s Scholarships: In 2009, a first-of-a-kind CSC study found that women are offered far more opportunities to compete and win scholarships in gender symmetric sports, which accommodate both men and women; and

* Soccer Gap for Men: Earlier this year, a CSC study revealed apparent disparate treatment of male soccer players by NCAA Division I schools.

Research Note: The source data for this study was obtained from the NCAA’s 1981-82 to 2008-09 NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rate Report.

The College Sports Council is a national coalition of coaches, parents, athletes and alumni. Follow us on our blog, our Twitter feed or Facebook.

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