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MichMan's Journal
MichMan's Journal
December 15, 2022

Title IX was intended to close the gender gap in college athletics But schools are rigging the no's.

Fifty years after the passage of Title IX, the landmark law banning sex discrimination in education, colleges and universities are circumventing its intent by manipulating athletic rosters to appear more balanced than they are. By packing their women’s teams with extra players who never compete, double- and triple-counting women while undercounting men and even classifying male practice players as women, schools across the nation collectively conjured the illusion of thousands more female athletic opportunities, a USA TODAY investigation found.

At Florida State University, for example, more than half of the 66 women on its indoor track and field team never competed indoors. The school simply counted all its outdoor track athletes twice. The University of Wisconsin claimed to have 165 athletes on its women’s rowing roster even though more than a third of them never raced for the school. Some of the women quit before the regular season even started. In addition to Wisconsin, the University of Alabama, the University of Tennessee and Michigan each reported triple-digit women’s rowing teams. Alabama reported 122 rowers despite its conference championships allowing for 28.

At the University of Michigan, 29 athletes on the 43-player women’s basketball roster were actually men who signed up to practice with the team. Michigan had the highest count of any school in the analysis, reporting 36 practice players across three women's sports. The 29 on its women's basketball team was more than double its number of actual female basketball players.

In an interview with USA TODAY, Michigan women's basketball coach Kim Barnes Arico said the high number ensured her team would never be short practice players because of scheduling conflicts. When Barnes Arico was asked if she knew the athletic department counted the men toward its women’s teams, a school spokesperson, Sarah VanMetre, interrupted and ended the interview.


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