News Release

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Miami's Title IX Plan

04/07/1998

Miami University cannot comply with the federal law calling for gender equity in athletics while maintaining its current 22 varsity sports, according to a proposed Title IX compliance plan.

The draft plan, submitted by consultant Lamar Daniel of Fayetteville, Ga., states that despite efforts by Miami to increase resources for women athletes, including adding three new intercollegiate teams since 1995 (precision skating, indoor track and soccer), the university falls short of meeting gender equity requirements.

The proposed plan recommends that Miami phase out its varsity athletic program in three men's sports--wrestling, indoor track and outdoor track and field--by the end of the 1998-99 school year. The funds saved, approximately $300,000, would be redirected toward women's varsity programs.

Any student athletes affected by program cuts would continue to receive athletic aid throughout their eligibility period as long as they remain full-time Miami students, according to Miami President James C. Garland.

Miami's athletic department is being asked by Garland to respond to the draft plan recommendations to cut the three sports by April 24. The university's Athletic Policy Committee and University Senate also will be consulted. Garland hopes to present his final recommendation to the university's trustees at the Sept. 18 board meeting.

In requesting advice from the university community, Garland listed three guidelines:

  1. Miami is committed to gender equity in all aspects of university life.

  2. Title IX is a federal law and Miami has a legal obligation to comply with it.

  3. Miami is prohibited by the state from using tuition revenues, state subsidy funds or grant income to fund intercollegiate athletics. Available sources for funding are student fees; revenue from ticket sales, merchandising, and radio and television contracts; private donations; and NCAA and conference distributions.

The university is working aggressively to increase athletic income through marketing and fund raising, "but even the most optimistic revenue projections fall far short of the needed funds," said Garland.

"I am very concerned about the impact of the law on men's sports, as it has evolved," said Garland. "Title IX has become a blunt instrument that does not adequately acknowledge the economic realities of intercollegiate athletics. Nevertheless, Title IX is the law and must be obeyed to the best of our ability."

Miami's compliance problems are serious, according to the consultant's report.

Females make up 42 percent of student-athletes. The target is 55 percent, which reflects the percentage of female undergraduate students. Female student-athletes receive only 31 percent of athletic aid, also below the 55 percent goal.

"Standards for Title IX compliance have grown increasingly stringent and it's clear that Miami's efforts, well intentioned as they may be, have not been adequate," said Richard Little, university spokesperson.

An acceptable compliance plan must be in place by 2000 for Miami to be reaccredited by the NCAA, which is why Miami employed Daniel, a leading national consultant on Title IX compliance, said Little.

Copies of the proposed Title IX compliance plan are available from Karen Shaffer, university secretary, 101 Roudebush Hall.

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