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Betting on a sports scholarship to pay for kids' college? Don't

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Replies to: Betting on a sports scholarship to pay for kids' college? Don't

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22424 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think if Harvard dropped football, it would have 39 varsity sports, not 20. Harvard supports 40 sports because it wants to. Most of the big universities have about 20 sports because that's what they can comfortably support, what fits in their conferences, and what is appropriate for their students (some have bass fishing, which might not work as well in NJ as in Texas). Harvard has a squash team because it wants to. It has a lot of varsity teams that are club teams at other schools because it can easily support those teams rather than having the players support them. That fits the Harvard goal of making everything available to all students. Playing on a club team can be very expensive and exclude low income students from participating.

    Basketball teams were started in many urban schools, especially Catholic schools, because they were so cheap to start and because the schools wanted to involve/attract the kids from the neighborhood the school where the school was located. Villanova, Xavier, Dayton. All they needed was 10 guys and a ball to start a team and so they did. Football was a rich school's game because they needed a field (often not available in a city school), a huge group of players, and had to travel.

    I don't think football is going anywhere. Have you seen some of the stadiums in Texas for high school teams?

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  • anon145anon145 610 replies7 postsRegistered User Member
    edited May 28
    my impression is the schools by title 9 balance out the number of participants and number of scholarships. So if harvard "lost" 80 participants in football they could either keep all the womens sports or lose 80 female participants across sports if they wanted. I didn't count all the numbers, but Harvards womens teams (not every one) has more players then mens). e.g. sailing , golf etc... since I think the total of number of participants has to be similar. most schools (e.g. NESCAC and FBS) tend to have more female teams (not Harvard though).

    e.g. Alabama (that football school) has female only volleyball, gymnastics, and rowing to partially offset football numbers.
    edited May 28
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22424 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Many schools have 2-3 more female teams to offset the size of the men's teams, especially football. There are 4 women's headcount sports (basketball, volleyball, tennis, gymnastics) and only 2 men's (football and basketball). At my daughter's school, the men's lacrosse team had about 45 members while the women's team only about 22. Men have a limit of 10.8 scholarships but the women have only 9.9; women's scholarships tended to be larger. I wasn't sad about that and said a little 'thank you' prayer to the NCAA and Title IX every time the tuition bill was due.

    But Harvard doesn't give scholarships, so only 'opportunities' have to be equal. Or Harvard could just drop football and admit more women to the school to keep the sports in balance.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 281 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Couldn't Harvard drop football, keep the women's sports as they are, and admit more male athletes? Number of male and female athletes overall would not change; just the type of male athlete would. Or do I misunderstand?
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  • anon145anon145 610 replies7 postsRegistered User Member
    @cinnamon1212 as someone upthread noted title 9 applies to admissions (education) and athletics; although I believe it is written gender neutral. and the bottom vague line is no discrimination based on sex. So yes, I think you are correct. D1 big time sports schools generally match 1:1 total scholarships by gender (but some sports are fractional and some head count). I'd guess the Ivy league would try really hard to match likely letters 1:1 by gender but am not sure. I think the bias is to err on the side of more females than males if there is an imbalance since that was the origin of title 9 when women's enrollment numbers were much lower.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2011 replies28 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    So if harvard "lost" 80 participants in football they could either keep all the womens sports or lose 80 female participants across sports if they wanted.
    Couldn't Harvard drop football, keep the women's sports as they are, and admit more male athletes?
    D1 big time sports schools generally match 1:1 total scholarships by gender (but some sports are fractional and some head count)

    Or Harvard could invest the football expenses in other sports, either existing or new ones. Or invest those dollars in a non-athletic area.

    Title IX does not require schools to have the same number of M/F athletes, they just have to offer equitable opportunities to participate in sports....no matter the NCAA division, or NAIA or NJCAA. Scholarships do not have to be equal by gender, only proportional to participation. Everything else for athletes has to be equitable too---e.g., same quality equipment, access to trainers, same cafeteria/food. Title IX also requires equity in non-athletic areas like course offerings, support services, housing, etc.

    Here is a resource to look up athletic department data at every school (more of those nasty reporting requirements that each school has an army of administrative staff crunching): https://ope.ed.gov/athletics/#/institution/search

    If you look at Harvard there are 702 male athletes, and 529 female (637/478 unduplicated athletes). Duke has 442M and 334F (378/281 unduplicated). Bowdoin 442M/362F (363/290 undup). Clearly none are balanced by gender. There is also data on coach salaries, and revenues and costs by sport, although schools take many liberties in the reporting of those numbers.

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  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 2458 replies41 postsForum Champion Athletic Recruits Forum Champion
    One of the things to remember is that football eats a lot of the general expenses of athletic departments. Weight rooms and staff, training facilities and staff, the stadium, etc. In D1 at least most of those expenses are “charged” to the football program, even though the facilities are used by a number of different programs. This way, programs that generate millions of dollars with minimal labor costs can be shown to “lose” money. To a lesser extent, this same type of accounting gimmicks apply to men’s basketball. It is one of the primary ways the NCAA has traditionally combated the arguments for paying players. That is not to say that all football programs make money, far from it. But more do than the NCAA will admit, and without football, the non revenue sports would run deeper in the red.

    Someone up the thread mentioned CTE, and the potential that the NCAA and/or its member schools could be sued, similarly to what is going on between the NFL and the NFLPA. I am aware of a few efforts to collect former players for class action suits, mostly because I have received a couple of solicitations over the last few years. Whether any of those go anywhere, who knows. The NCAA is paying for life time CTE evaluations for former players (in D1 at least).

    Also, fwiw, @Mwfan1921 is right, Title IX doesn’t require strict equality, it requires “equitable access” to athletic opportunity. Here again though, football really distorts the picture. No sport comes anywhere close to the number of participants, and few if any (crew, maybe) have the equipment costs. Then too, at every level football is the most popular spectator sport, and the expenses associated with maintaining and running facilities and events attended by 10 or 20 times (or more) the number of spectators far out strip those of other sports. All of that needs to be accounted for in some fashion under Title IX
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  • anon145anon145 610 replies7 postsRegistered User Member
    edited May 29
    although the exact scholarship numbers (meaning slots not players) don't have to be exact between genders, a simple way to argue compliance is making them as close to each other as possible , that is why woman's sports generally get more "slots" than the mens

    D1 athletic scholarships available Men vs Women

    basketball 13 vs 15 (w)
    baseball 11.7 vs 12 (softball
    Soccer 9.9 vs 14
    Golf 4.5 vs 6
    fencing 4.5 vs 5
    skiing 6.3 vs 7
    swimming and diving 9.9 vs 14
    Tennis 4.5 vs 8
    water polo 4.5 vs 8
    volleyball 4.5 vs 12
    track field 12.6 18
    the only sport w/more for men is lacrosse but barely 12.6 men vs 12.0 women.

    so clearly the D1 scholarship schools are trying to balance out scholarship numbers since as mentioned typically D1 non-ivy have more sports on the womens side with more scholarships per sport.
    Typically the D1 scholarship schools have volleyball (12 scholarships), field hockey (12) and no male equivalent that already nets back 24 scholarships from football. (things like gymnastics are another 12, etc..). There are other sports like Rugby, beach volleyball, equestrian (18 slots), rowing (20) that NCAA only allows female scholarships (12 rugby) - so clearly the NCAA schools view balancing out scholarships as important for compliance.
    edited May 29
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22424 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    the only sport w/more for men is lacrosse but barely 12.6 men vs 12.0 women.

    The men's team size is usually bigger so 45+ men are dividing 12.6 scholarships but ~30 are dividing 12 on the women's side. Also, not all schools have both men's and women's teams. Some have only women's teams so they are using them to balance off football - Florida, the Pac 12 (except Utah) schools, Northwestern only have women's lax teams.

    Not all teams are fully funded. I think it would be rare to find a school offering 12 field hockey scholarships.
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