Title IX Enforcement and College Swimming

Over at Swimming World, Kevin Weissman, the parent of a college swimmer, is calling attention to the inequities that Title IX enforcement has created in college swimming:

The opportunity to participate also is not equitable. According to the NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report, for the 2008/2009 academic year, there were 510 women’s Swimming and Diving teams and 393 men’s teams. There were a total of 11,626 women, compared with 8,868 men on NCAA Swimming and Diving teams. At the Division I level, there were 5,298 women (up 143 from 2007/2008) and 2,823 men (down 847 from 2007/2008).

The opportunity for scholarships is not equitable. There are 249 NCAA swim teams offering scholarships to women, and 192 offering scholarships to men. The NCAA allows each D1 swimming program to offer 14 scholarships for women and 9.9 for men. Overall, there are 3,108.4 NCAA swimming scholarships for women and 1,810.8 scholarships for men. Similarly, the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) colleges with swimming programs offer 19 scholarships for women and 16 for men. (Sources: Athleticscholorships.net and Collegesportsscholarships.com)

Swimming is growing for every age group from Novice to Masters, with the exception of the men’s collegiate level. It is clear that Title IX has hurt men’s swimming.

As the College Sports Council has pointed out in the past, the inequities are not limited to swimming. For more detail, please take a look at the CSC’s 2009 study on gender symmetric sports.

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