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With the $2000

on hold (“the number of schools seeking an override had reached 125 — the necessary number to suspend the rule until it can be reconsidered”), I thought I’d direct you to Christine Brennan’s commentary: Unfair NCAA plan belongs on scrapheap

The last thing college athletic departments need at the moment, in the midst of the most scandal-ridden time in college sports history, is to be told they should spend more money on athletics, specifically their big-time stars in football and men’s basketball. Not only is this asking for trouble, there’s another problem that few realize: Most athletic departments don’t have the money.

There are 331 Division I schools, yet in the 2009-10 school year, only 22 of them had athletics departments whose generated revenue was more than their total expenses, according to a USA TODAY analysis. Yes, just 22 out of 331 turned a profit. Almost everyone thinks that football pays for itself and brings in enough money for every other athletic program too. At 22 schools, all in Bowl Championship Series conferences, that’s the case. At 309, it’s not.

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responses. Gender Games: Answering Questions About Roster Management and Title IX

With 270 comments and counting, New York Times readers reacted to my article in Tuesday’s paper about roster management with passion, insight and numerous personal stories about how Title IX had affected their lives, whether good or bad. Many readers questioned why so much attention is paid to female athletes and argued that the fact that 57 percent of college students are now female is proof of discrimination against men by colleges and universities. Others asserted that Title IX overlooks the fact that men and women have different interests, and raised the question of whether fewer women want to play sports. Still others said the examples cited in the article showed that, 40 years after it was passed, Title IX needs to be rewritten.

Here’s a selection of questions that readers posed, and my responses.

Expect more, since Thomas’ article the first in a series of articles.

I can’t encourage you enough to get educated on the subject of Title IX. It’s AMAZING how much mis- and dis-information there is out there.- Few Americans Familiar With Title IX, Though Most Approve of It. Oh, and the Times also has an editorial: Cynical Games With Title IX

These practices are cynical and might be illegal. Congress clearly needs to tighten the reporting standards, so that schools are required tell the whole truth about their athletic teams and their efforts to ensure gender equality. Boards of trustees and alumni need to take immediate responsibility, pressing their schools to comply, not just with the letter of the law, but with the spirit.

Adds the Title IX Blog:

In sum, the NYT is the bearer of bad news when it exposes the extent and scope of universities’ false reports of gender equity. I wish that we could believe universities who report gender equity in athletics. But at least the good news is that after this public exposure, investigators, complainants, plaintiffs, bloggers, and other watchdogs are less likely to be duped by false numbers going forward. We’ll dig below the surface of universities’ reported data and demand stronger evidence in support of universities’ claims to gender equity. When they realize that their false numbers will not protect them, maybe they’ll start reporting the real ones.

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From Inside Higher Ed, a little recruiting news: Verbal Commitments Challenged

A proposal to prohibit early verbal scholarship offers — a controversial practice that permeates football and men’s basketball — is among the major pieces of legislation on the docket for next week’s National Collegiate Athletic Association convention in San Antonio.

The NCAA convention takes place annually and gathers officials from institutions and conferences in all three of the association’s divisions. It is the culmination of the association’s yearly legislative cycle, and it is where some — though not all — of its rules for players and institutions are decided by its membership.

No surprise, Report shows DII athletics in line with institutional spending

In the first Division II revenues and expenses report compiled since 2004, athletics expenses at schools with football programs represented less than 6 percent of the institutional budget and 5 percent for schools without football.

The data also show that it costs less than half as much to operate a football program at the Division II level as it would in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The median expense for Division II schools with football is a little less than $4 million, while that figure is about $8.6 million for FCS programs. The operating cost is about $10.1 million for programs in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

And more “no surprise,” DIII report shows alignment between athletics and institutional spending

Data from the most recent Division III revenues and expenses report show that the division is doing a good job of funding athletics participation opportunities without overly taxing institutional budgets.

The first report on athletics spending in Division III since 2002 shows that for schools offering football, athletics spending as a proportion of total institutional spending has moved only slightly – from 3.5 percent in 2005 to just over 4 percent in 2009. And for the non-football schools, athletics spending stayed fairly flat, between 2 and 2.5 percent of total spending.

Those percentages are significant, given that student-athletes compose roughly 30 percent of total enrollment in most Division III schools.

I wonder if the Sports Economists will weigh in.

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Crossing paths with two Jordans

Sorry that it has been dead around here at the blog in recent weeks. I started my new role at ESPN.com – covering a variety of college sports beyond women’s basketball – in late September, and it’s taken up not just a lot of time, but a fair amount of emotional energy.

I don’t say that in a bad way. It’s really good. I had followed some of the other college sports _ such as volleyball, women’s soccer, wrestling and cross country/track _ formerly for the Kansas City Star, so catching up on them again has been a little easier. Still, each year in every sport brings you a new cast of characters.

Other sports, such as men’s soccer (which unfortunately is not a Big 12 varsity sport) and field hockey (which I never covered but watched a bit when I lived on the East Coast) have required more of a learning curve to get up to speed on the most compelling stories.

But it’s been great.

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