Butler U.’s Title IX Investigation Has Wrapped, but Its Story Is Just Beginning

A U.S. Department of Education press release announced today, “U.S. Education Department Reaches Agreement with Butler University to Resolve Title IX Athletics Compliance Review.”

The investigation, which began last summer to assess the number of opportunities offered to female students and whether scholarships are allocated according to athletic enrollment, found the University has discriminated.

This outcome comes as no surprise given the numbers-centric analysis, which the press release posts:

“According to data provided by Butler, during the 2010-11 school year women made up 2,267, or 59.6 percent, of the university’s full-time undergraduate students.  But, the institution’s 164 female athletes comprised only 36.5 percent of its 449 athletes. Butler’s 285 male athletes represented 63.5 percent of its athletes. During the 2010-11 academic year, the university distributed more than $3.8 million in athletic scholarships to male and female athletes. Women received 53.4 percent of this amount and men 46.6 percent.”

The agreement holds that Butler has until September 1 to:

” demonstrate that it is accommodating effectively the interests and abilities of female students in order to provide them an equal opportunity to participate in sports or, if unable to demonstrate current compliance, submit a detailed plan to OCR to accommodate effectively the interests and abilities of female students in its athletics program over the next three academic years. The plan must include a description of interim steps that the university will take during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years to increase athletic participation opportunities for women.

“With respect to scholarships, by Sept. 1, Butler must also demonstrate that during the 2011-2012 school year equal opportunities are being provided in awarding athletic scholarships to male and female athletes.  Or, if the university is unable to demonstrate this, it must submit a detailed plan to ensure that by the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year, Butler is in full compliance with its Title IX obligation to provide athletic scholarships in a non-discriminatory manner.”

And then the disclaimer:

“The agreement makes clear that OCR does not require or encourage the elimination of any university athletic teams and that it is seeking action from the university that does not involve the elimination of athletic opportunities. The agreement also states that nothing in the agreement requires Butler to cut the amounts of athletic scholarships it offers to either sex, and that any such cuts are discouraged.”

Of course, statements like that are used as proof to show schools are not forced to cut men’s teams. But we all know that while the OCR, DOE, activists, et. al. say men’s cuts aren’t required, it’s the policies they champion that are causing schools to do it. So let’s regroup on September 1, or whenever Butler University announces its action plan, and see how they restructure its athletics department. The winning (but not desired) bet? Men’s cuts.
*Update: There’s also this.

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