Title IX, ADA, and Collegiate Athletics

titleix

Students in our Sport Leadership course looked at the following scenario and responded with an initial post and then commented to their peers. “You have just been named athletics director at a high-profile university. It comes to your attention that your institution may be in violation of Title IX  and ADA regulations. What actions would you take as the newly hired athletics director?” Discover a few of the responses below and think about how you would respond.

By: Erica Cora

Title IX ensures that women have an equal opportunity as men to participate in sports at institutions that receive federal money and was enacted by congress in 1972 (Pedersen, 2014). This is an important change in the sports industry because it pushes the acceptance of women into the community that was otherwise dominated by men. This law allows women to get equal opportunities for scholarships, Olympic chances, and health benefits (10 Key Areas of Title IX, 2017). As the Athletic Director at a high-profile university, It has come to my attention that we may be in violation of Title IX and need to correct this by allowing more participation opportunities for female student-athletes. With limited resources, I would consider cutting unnecessary funds and raising money rather than cutting another sport. After looking into what sport to add for interested athletes, I would assemble a team made up of representative from each the many teams at the university to come up brainstorm ideas of how to cut cost from their team. They come up with a list that includes, condensing travel expenses, sharing practice facilities, offering incentives to fans to increases ticket sales, and fundraisers.

Some of the athletics facilities are not compliant with ADA regulations and are outdated. The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, who consist of a vital part of our university population and will be included in our athletic facilities (Pedersen, 2014). This would also require an assemble of special volunteers willing to work with me and lead up fundraisers and sponsors to gain funds and make the necessary changes to our facilities. Something that I would consider to get students with disabilities who are not already involved with the athletic department of the university would be to host a athlete ran day event, where we open of the gyms/ pools and use adapted equipment to get any one who want to be involved. This will help to create a welcoming environment for all prosperous student athletes and potential fans that will create loyalty to the teams and athletes.

Pedersen, P. M. & Thibault, L. (Eds.). (2014). Contemporary sport management (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

10 Key Areas of Title IX. (2017). Retrieved March 30, 2017, from http://www.titleix.info/10-Key-Areas-of-Title-IX/Athletics.aspx

By: Brandon Craig

If I was the newly appointed AD the very first thing that I would do would be to have a meeting with the President, my assistant AD, and whomever else needed to be there in order to discuss the athletic department budget. I would send out an e-mail to every program and require them to submit a income/debt ratio report. I would want to know exactly what each program is costing the university annually, as well as if any program is bringing in revenue and how much. From there I would start to have some very stern discussions about how we can adjust the budget in order to add another women’s program. There are two things that I would refuse to do. First and foremost, I would never, ever ask the student body to increase what they pay each year in order to fund a program that they may or may not give one crap about. To me, that is unethical, immoral, and just wrong. I would start by asking the coaches, teachers, administrators to take a pay cut. This might not fly with many but I would still push for it before charging students. I would shift money, I would cut cost from other programs, I would look very closely at exactly where I could shave enough money to start a new program. As reported in The Washington Post, “These students are being forced to pay for something that they may or may not take advantage of, and then they have to bundle this into student loans they’ll be re-paying for 10 or 20 years,” said Natalia Abrams, executive director of the nonprofit Student Debt Crisis…“It’s a huge problem in higher education,” said David Catt, the former Kansas golfer. “You think you’re paying for a degree and you wind up as a piggy bank for a semi-professional sports team” (Rich, W. H.). The second thing that that I would refuse to do is cut a men’s program. This seems to continue to be the go to approach and I believe it is undermining the very protections that Title IV is supposed to protect. Most people see Title IV as a protection of women’s rights and opportunities, however, more and more cases are being brought forth from men’s programs citing discrimination. The New York Time ran an article on this topic. Although Title IX has typically been invoked to protect the rights of women, cases alleging discrimination against men are not unheard of, said Russlynn H. Ali, the assistant education secretary who heads the civil rights office. Of the 96 Title IX complaints related to athletics received in the 2010 fiscal year, 11 involved allegations of discrimination against men, according to the office. In the previous year, they made up 10 of the 80 athletics-related Title IX complaints. Ali noted that women now made up a majority of enrolled students at colleges and universities.“Title IX protects against sex discrimination,” Ali said. “Traditionally, the underrepresented sex in institutions of higher education has been women. That is changing” (Thomas, K.). Again I would do anything and everything I could to avoid making students pay, or making problems worse by having to eliminate programs. I would dig up whatever money I could, pay people less, cut cost somewhere until I had enough in the budget to support what needed supporting. When it comes to facilities not being compliant with ADA regulations. Again I would have a meeting as the incoming AD and start asking questions. These regulations are ones that absolutely have to be met in order to host events and practices alike. If that means the university has to shift money once again in order to cover the cost of updates so be it. To me, it sounds like my fellow administrators have some serious budget concerns that may be able to be fixed of people weren’t so lazy and/or greedy.

Rich, W. H. (2015, November 30). Why Students Foot the Bill for College Sports, and How Some Are Fighting Back. The Washington Post. Retrieved March, 2017, from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-39029092.html?refid=easy_hf

Thomas, K. (2011, May 01). Colleges Cut Men’s Programs to Satisfy Title IX. Retrieved March, 2017, from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/02/sports/02gender.html

By: Liz De Souze Ghellere

First, I would like to describe what the Title IX is, “The Title IX, law since 1972, ensures that women have the equal opportunity as man to participate in sports at institutions that receive federal money.” (Pedersen and Thibault, 2014). As a new Athletic Director, I would not do anything by myself. I would contact all the staff and coaches, have meetings, discuss options, and try to find solutions. I believe that cutting a men’s sport is not the right decision, because it would be unfair with the students-athletes of specific sport, with their coach and any employee that the sport involves. After contacting the staff and coaches, I would meet with the president or board of trustees to discuss what we came up with. Therefore, one of the best ways to deal with the problem, in my opinion, is to raise the student fees, do some fund raising with the athletic department, and try to contact as many donors as possible to ask for help, so we could fund an additional women’s sport. Also, the idea of adding more girls to the teams seems good as well. Maybe the university cannot afford scholarships, but I know for a fact that many girls would like to join the teams as walk-ons. This last idea gives opportunities to girls to join in sports, increasing the number of women participating. However, I do not know if just this last solution would be enough. That is why I believe the option of contacting the president and the board would be the best one.

Related to the ADA regulations, the first thing I would do is estimate how much money is needed for all the change necessary. Michael Williams, CMAA, coordinator of athletics of the Howard County Public School System in Ellicott City, stated that some of the implications to have a regulate facility is, “Budget – Boards of education and superintendents will be forced to increase spending to accommodate athletes with disabilities (preferred) and/or cut existing programs (discouraged). A 10-percent increase in spending can be expected if no existing programs are cut.” I agree with him, I believe cutting programs is not the best option. This is why, one more time, I believe addressing the president and trying to find different solutions is the best option, maybe a bank loan would be a good possibility, depending how much money is needed. Another option I would handle it would be by cutting some spends from each sports, such as expensive travels, new uniforms, new equipment, etc. And try to find organizations and associations related to ADA which can help to fund raise for these accommodations that need to be done.

References:

Pedersen, P. M. & Thibault, L. (Eds.). (2014). Contemporary sport management (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

Williams, M. (2014, July 27). Accommodating disabled students into athletic programs. Retrieved from https://www.nfhs.org/articles/accommodating-disabled-students-into-athletic-programs/

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