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for women to have a career in college athletic departments (though, clearly there’s a job opening for a headline copy editor at the Pittsburgh Trib)

In 2005, at age 49, Arizona State University hired Love as vice president for athletics, the highest-ranking job in the department. Six years later she is one of just five women to occupy the top athletics administrative position at a Division I-A school.

Some believe the lack of women serving as athletic directors is about to change, with qualified women rising up the ranks. Others believe it would have changed already if not for qualified women — and men — who are happy occupying the No. 2 spot and who have no desire to take on the far more public role of athletic director.

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…on Debbie Yow’s departure: Yow Legacy Mostly Positive

Enter Yow, who was hired as Maryland’s athletic director in 1994, at a time when not much was going right for the department. Yow inherited a massive $51 million debt, a history of poor academic performance among athletes, fan apathy and a slew of unsuccessful varsity programs.

To say that Yow’s arrival was not well received among many in the school’s gentrified alumni and booster base would be an understatement. She’s originally from North Carolina, which immediately made some Maryland folks suspicious, because that state was home to the ACC power base that was perceived to look down on its northern-most (at the time) school. Fueling further skepticism was the fact that she was hired away from St. Louis, a Midwest school with no great history in athletics.

Topping it all off, however, was the fact that Yow is a woman. Maryland had never had a female athletic director, and some close-minded fans and boosters wished the school never did. There was a large segment of Terrapin Club members who never truly supported Yow and seized upon any misstep or problem as evidence that she was not qualified for the job.

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