Historically Black Colleges and Universities struggle with Title IX compliance

The ASC has published commentary, a study, and testified on the harm done by Title IX’s gender quota to athletic programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Because HBCUs often have enrollments that skew heavily towards female students- some schools are over 70% female- they have a very difficult time complying with Title IX’s proportionality requirement.

An article in The Undefeated, by David Squires, reports on this ongoing problem,


Juggling money and Title IX requirements often puts baseball, men’s track, golf and bowling in jeopardy’ 

Squires writes,

“Declining male college enrollment, while female enrollment increases, makes complying with Title IX more challenging.”

HBCU’s continue to cut teams.  In the article, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA) commissioner,  Jacqie McWilliams offered a very candid assessment of the situation.

“I am concerned about the men’s sports in our conference,” said McWilliams.

Tonia Walker, Athletics Director at Winston-Salem State,  was equally direct about Title IX compliance.

“Your athletics have to mirror enrollment,” she said. “If you have 70 percent women enrolled, you have to reflect that in athletics.”

Squires mentions some of the many programs dropped by HBCU’s in recent years, and the factors leading to their elimination.

“… what it mainly boils down to are two things: money and Title IX, the federal law that mandates gender equity in college athletics.

And what happened at Clark Atlanta, a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), is not much different from what has happened, particularly over the past five years, with schools in other predominantly black conferences. In the last five years, more than a dozen sports, mainly of the nonrevenue variety, have been dropped or suspended by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA) and the SIAC..”

Clark Atlanta’s enrollment of 3,500 students is 74 percent women.”

The ASC advocates for reform of Title IX compliance guidelines, so that schools like the HBCUs are not forced to limit sports participation opportunities. To deny the educational benefits of participation to male athletes in order to comply with the gender quota is in conflict with the language of the law.

HBCUs have an almost impossible task as they struggle to comply with the unreasonable guidelines for Title IX compliance. As the 2008 ASC (CSC) study of HBCU’s, ‘Historically Black Colleges and Universities struggle to meet Title IX’s proportionality test,’  points out that at the time of the study release,

“73% of the nation’s 75 HBCUs that are co-educational and have athletic programs were out of compliance with the strict proportionality standard.”

Former Howard University wrestling coach, Wade Hughes, also wrote about the problem, in his commentary published by The Root,


When will judges and politicians realize that the current Title IX guidance for athletics is blatantly discriminatory? We need athletes and administrators from HBCUs to stand up and join the ASC’s campaign to end Title IX’s gender quota, which allows schools to discriminate against boys who want to participate in sports.

Contact the ASC at https://americansportscouncil.org/join-asc/. 

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