Collegiate Gender Equality Scorecard

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The North Texas Mean Green repeated as the national champions on the sixth annual Gender Equity Scorecard. The Mean Green of the Sun Belt Conference was the only school of 115 Division 1-A colleges to receive an A+ on the scorecard.

North Texas received a combined score of –9.61on the five criteria in the study: participation, scholarship, operating expenses, recruitment budget, and coaches’ salaries. The scorecard is the sum total of the colleges score on the five criteria. On each of the criteria, a standard or goal was established. The colleges received a + or – score depending on how close they came to the standard. The goals for participation and scholarship were 0.0. The goals for operating expenses, recruitment budget, and coaches’ salaries were 40%. (An example of the computation for my school, Penn State, is contained in Attachment I.)

The 115 colleges included in the study were from the 11 major Division 1-A conferences. They were evaluated according to their degree of commitment to their women’s intercollegiate sports programs for the 2006-07 academic/athletic year. The scorecard was based on the criteria utilized by the Chronicle of Higher Education in its study on "gender equity" in 2008. All of the statistics were obtained from the Chronicle’s study, according to data submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, as required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act of 1994. (Note: Data was not listed for four of the colleges.)

The colleges were graded on a scale of A to F–.
# of Colleges ’05-’06 # of Colleges ’06-’07
A= 0 to –19.99 11 12
B= –20 to –29.99 28 26
C = –30 to –39.99 30 27
D = –40 to –49.99 27 32
F = –50 & –50.99 8 15
F– = –60 & below 11 3 Total = 115 115

In addition to North Texas, there were six schools that received an A grade in the study: the Eastern Michigan Eagles, Miami (Ohio) Redhawks, Penn State Nittany Lions, Buffalo Bulls, Ohio Bobcats, and the Washington State Cougars. The three schools that completed the Top Ten had grades of A–: Hawaii Warriors, Stanford Cardinal, and Nevada-Reno Wolf Pack. This was the fourth consecutive year that Buffalo, Stanford, and Nevada made the Top Ten. It was the second consecutive appearance in the Top Ten for Eastern Michigan and Miami (Ohio). The Florida Atlantic Owls and the Maryland Terrapins were the other two colleges with an A– grade.

Four of the schools in the Top Ten were from the Mid-American Conference (MAC): Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Buffalo, and Ohio.

Rank College Score Grade
1 North Texas –9.61 A+
2 Eastern Michigan –11.19 A
3 Miami (Ohio) –12.57 A
4 Penn State –12.81 A
5 Buffalo –14.19 A
6 Ohio –14.49 A
7 Washington State –14.74 A
8 Hawaii –15.23 A–
9 Stanford –15.82 A–
10 Nevada-Reno –16.62 A–
11 Florida Atlantic –18.82 A–
12 Maryland –19.12 A–

(The complete rankings from 1-115 and the Grades are included in Attachment II.)

At the other end of the spectrum, 18 of the colleges received an F for failure with a score below –50.0.

Three of these schools actually received an F–, since their scores were below –60.0. These schools were:

Tulane Green Wave, Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, and the Memphis Tigers. The schools with an F grade, their score, and ranking:
Rank College Score
98 Southern California –50.95
99 Tennessee –52.49
100 Michigan State –52.86
101 Vanderbilt –53.11
102 Cincinnati –53.22
103 Southern Mississippi –53.75
104 Clemson –54.17
105 Virginia Tech –54.21
106 Oregon –54.24
107 Boise State –54.49
108 Wake Forest –54.78
109 Oklahoma State –55.24
110 East Carolina –57.81
111 Kansas State –58.18
112 Oklahoma –59.57

The schools with a grade of F– and their ranking are:

Rank College Score
113 Tulane –65.52
114 Louisiana-Lafayette –67.67
115 Memphis –78.87

• This is the fourth consecutive year that six of the schools received an F or F–. They are: Vanderbilt Commodores, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Memphis Tigers, Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, East Carolina Pirates, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

• Three of the schools have received an F or F– in three of the past four athletic/academic years: Oregon Ducks, Clemson Tigers, and the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

• This is also the fourth consecutive year that Memphis received an F– grade.

• Memphis dethroned Louisiana-Lafayette as the chief cellar-dweller, thus returning to the bottom of the basement—the position the Tigers also held in ’04-’05.


Special recognition should go to the Georgia Bulldogs, who were conference champions of the SEC for six consecutive years. The Nevada Wolfpack also deserve special recognition for winning the WAC championship for the 5th consecutive year. Interestingly, the Stanford Cardinal were denied a 6th consecutive championship of the Pacific-10 Conference by the Washington State Cougars by the narrowest of margins.

The Maryland Terrapins returned to the conference champions’ level after a year hiatus. The Terps have now been champions of the ACC for five of the last six years. The San Diego State Aztecs also returned after a year’s absence and have now been champions of the Mountain West Conference for three of the past four years.

The North Texas Mean Green were three-peat champions of the Sun Belt Conference. The Penn State Nittany Lions and Connecticut Huskies were repeat champions of the Big Ten and Big East Conferences, respectively.

The complete list of conference champions, their score and grade:

Conference College Score Grade
Sun Belt North Texas –9.61 A+
Mid-American (MAC) Eastern Michigan –11.19 A
Big Ten Penn State –12.81 A
Pacific-10 (PAC-10) Washington State –14.74 A
Western Athletic (WAC) Hawaii –15.23 A–
Atlantic Coast (ACC) Maryland –19.12 A–
Big 12 Texas A&M –21.48 B+
Big East Connecticut –22.65 B+
Southeastern (SEC) Georgia –24.24 B
Mountain West San Diego State –26.23 B
Conference USA Central Florida –27.43 B–

The "dubious achievement" awards should also be directed to the college that finished in the basement of their conferences. The bottom of the barrel list:
Conference College Score Grade
Sun Belt Louisiana-Lafayette –67.07 F–
MAC Northern Illinois –39.02 C–
Big Ten Michigan State –52.86 F
PAC-10 Oregon –54.24 F
WAC Boise State –54.49 F
ACC Wake Forest –54.78 F
Big 12 Oklahoma –59.57 F
Big East Cincinnati –53.22 F
SEC Vanderbilt –53.11 F
Mountain West New Mexico –46.76 D
Conference USA Memphis –78.87 F–

There are several points of interest that should be emphasized:

• This is the fourth consecutive year in the basement of their conference for the Boise State Broncos, the Oregon Ducks, and the Vanderbilt Commodores.

• The Northern Illinois Huskies and the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette finished in the bottom of their conference for the third consecutive year.
• Michigan State was a repeat offender in the Big Ten.
• The Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Oklahoma Sooners, Cincinnati Bearcats, New Mexico Lobos, and the Memphis Tigers were newcomers to the list for ’06-’07.

• It should also be noted that only Northern Illinois (C–) and New Mexico (D) did not receive an F on the scorecard.


The MAC repeated as champion of the Conferences with an average grade of B on the Gender Equity Scorecard. The MAC has now reigned on top for four of the past five athletic/academic years. The MAC had four schools with A’s and five with B’s. The MAC was relatively strong from the top to bottom with Northern Illinois the lowest with a C–.

The WAC has been the perennial runner-up to the MAC. The WAC had been champions in ’04-’05. The WAC with an average grade of B– was paced by Hawaii and Nevada-Reno, who had grades of A–.

The Big 10 with a C+ average grade finished third. The Big 10 was paced by Penn State (A), Purdue (B), and Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota with B– grades.

The ranking, score, and average grade of the 11 conferences is contained in the following chart.
Average Average
Rank Conference Score Grade

1 MAC –23.47 B
2 WAC –29.65 B–
3 Big 10 –32.73 C+
4 Mountain West –34.73 C
5 PAC-10 –35.49 C
6 Big 12 –39.04 C–
7 Sun Belt –40.09 D+
8 ACC –41.61 D+
9 Big East –43.00 D
10 SEC –43.07 D
11 Conference USA –43.30 D

At the other end of the spectrum, Conference USA replaced the Big East in the basement. Conference USA had seven schools with a D or F. Tulsa and Memphis had F–. East Carolina and Southern Mississippi had an F grade. Texas El-Paso, Alabama-Birmingham, and Rice had D’s.

Thirty-five years after the passage of Title IX, it is hardly unreasonable to expect that colleges and universities should be in the forefront of gender equity. There are many bright spots, such as Nevada, North Texas, Stanford, Nevada-Reno and Buffalo, who have been consistently in the Top Ten. All of the schools with A and B+ grades should be highly commended, as well as all of the conference champions. Several conferences, such as the MAC, the Big Ten, and the WAC are emerging as the pacesetters for gender equity in athletics.

However, the fact that there are still 32 schools with a D and 18 with an F on the scorecard indicates there are still many miles to go before we reach positive gender equity on our college playing fields. Additionally, five of the 11 conferences have a D average. The sad fact is that the overall situation is not improving, but actually getting worse. In the Gender Equity Scorecard V, there were 27 schools with a D and 19 with an F, and there were five conferences with a D average. These numbers would simply not be accepted in any other field covered by Title IX. It seems we are more willing to accept women as attorneys and CEOs than we are as point guards and shortstops.


Participation is one of the three federal guidelines for a college to determine if they are providing enough participation opportunities for female athletes. This is the simplest approach and the one most colleges follow. In this test the percentage of female athletes should be proportional to the percentage of women in the student body. The score is based on how close the college reaches the optimal proportionality of 0.0.

For instance, at my school, Penn State, women comprised 45.20% of the total undergraduates and 43.24% of all athletes in 2006-07 for a difference of –1.96. Thus, Penn State’s score on the scorecard would be –1.96.

Scholarship is actually the only purely numerical section of guidelines, issued under Title IX regulations, governing scholarship funds allocated to women athletes. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has specified that colleges must award the same proportions of aid to female athletes as there are women participating in varsity sports. The proportion is to be within one percentage point. The score is based on the "same proportion" principle, so it would be 0.0.

Penn State’s proportion of female athletes was 43.24% and the women’s proportion of the scholarship budget was 40.00% for a score of –3.24 on the scorecard.

Operating Budget is also not included in any specific guidelines. Interestingly, however, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act does chart how much of athletic departments’ budgets are allocated to women’s teams.
A standard of 40% was established as the goal to be achieved. This is based on the findings by The Chronicle of Higher Education that the median for operating expenses for women’s teams for 2003-04 was 38% for all Division I teams. It should be emphasized that although schools are not required to spend the same amount of money on their male and female athletes, they are legally required to provide male and female athletes with equal benefits and services.

At Penn State the women’s share of the operating budget was 30.96%. This would give the Nittany Lions a score of –9.04.

Recruiting Budget is not mandated by Title IX regulations. If equal treatment for men’s and women’s sports is the goal, then the recruiting budget for women’s teams should be equivalent to the recruiting budget for men’s teams. Again, the 40% standard was selected as the goal. It should be noted that "Check It Out," the National Women’s Law Center’s booklet about Title IX, recommends that the recruiting budget should be roughly equal to participation rates. I would suggest that the 40% goal is more than reasonable.

The women’s share of the recruiting budget at Penn State was 45.08% for a score of +5.08.

Coaching Salaries. While Title IX does not require that coaches of male and female teams be paid the same amount of money, it doses require fairness in the assigning of quality coaches. The 40% standard is again used for the Index. In light of the extremely high expenses in Division 1-A football, as well as the potential huge profits that can be made in both Division 1-A football with the BCS bowl games and Division 1-A basketball with March Madness and the NCAA tournament, I would propose that both advocates and opponents of Title IX could accept the 40% standard as a reasonable, initial goal.

The women’s proportion of the coaches’ salaries for the Nittany Lions was 36.35% for a score of –3.65.

Penn State’s combined scores would equal –12.81. The Big Ten average was –32.73. This gave the Nittany Lions a grade of A and a rank of 4th among the 115 Division 1-A schools. The Lions also were crowned Gender Equity Champions of the Big Ten for the third time in the last four years. The score of the Lions per category:
Participation –1.96
Scholarship –3.24
Operating Budget –9.04
Recruiting Budget +5.08
Coaching Salaries –3.65
Total = –12.81


Grade A
1 North Texas -9.01
2 Eastern Michigan -11.19
3 Miami (Ohio) -12.57
4 Penn State -12.81
5 Buffalo -14.19
6 Ohio -14.49
7 Washington State -14.74
8 Hawaii -15.33
9 Stanford -15.82
10 Nevada-Reno -16.62
11 Florida Atlantic -18.82
12 Maryland -19.12
Grade B
13 Texas A&M -21.48
14 Toledo -21.65
15 Western Michigan -22.55
16 Connecticut -22.65
17 Kent State -23.28
18 Louisiana Tech -24.03
19 Georgia -24.24
20 Iowa State -24.73
21 Ball State -25.25
22 Purdue -26.00
23 San Diego State -26.23
24 Utah State -26.77
25 Colorado State -26.81
26 Idaho -27.13
27 Central Florida -27.43
28 Florida State -27.50
29 Utah -28.02
30 Wisconsin -28.08
31 Houston -28.12
32 Minnesota -28.27
33 Kansas -28.89
34 California -29.00
35 Indiana -29.07
36 Central Michigan -29.40
37 Fresno State -29.45
38 BYU -29.72


Grade C
39 Marshall -30.03
40 Wyoming -31.15
41 Tulsa -31.30
42 Baylor -31.47
43 Michigan -31.52
44 SMU -31.99
45 Oregon State -32.03
46 Bowling Green -33.25
47 Texas Tech -33.33
48 Illinois -33.56
49 Texas -33.71
50 Northwestern -33.83
51 Nebraska -34.07
52 Akron -34.17
53 San Jose State -34.19
54 Georgia Tech -35.32
55 North Carolina
State -36.83
56 Washington -36.85
57 Mississippi State -37.36
58 UCLA -37.43
59 Rutgers -37.83
60 Arizona -38.00
61 South Carolina -38.22
62 Missouri -38.91
63 New Mexico State -38.92
64 Troy -39.01
65 Northern Illinois -39.02
Grade D
66 Louisiana State -40.36
67 Arkansas -40.42
68 Duke -40.54
69 Ohio State -40.65
70 Virginia -41.70
71 Texas El Paso -42.60
72 North Carolina -42.79
73 Syracuse -42.85
74 Louisiana-Monroe -43.89
75 Iowa -43.92
76 Mississippi -44.10
77 UNLV -44.25
78 Notre Dame -44.57


Grade D (continued)
79 Rice -44.67
80 Florida -44.83
81 Texas Christian -44.87
82 Boston College -44.91
83 Pitt -45.07
84 Alabama -45.35
85 Arkansas State -45.55
86 Louisville -45.85
87 Arizona State -45.86
88 New Mexico -46.87
89 South Florida -47.13
90 Middle Tennessee
State -47.20
91 Miami -47.39
92 Alabama-
Birmingham -47.45
93 West Virginia -47.79
94 Auburn -48.10
95 Kentucky -48.29
96 California -48.89
97 Florida
International -48.95
Grade F
98 Southern
California -50.95
99 Tennessee -52.49
100 Michigan State -52.86
101 Vanderbilt -53.11
102 Cincinnati -53.22
103 Southern
Mississippi -53.75
104 Clemson -54.17
105 Virginia Tech -54.21
106 Oregon -54.24
107 Boise State -54.49
108 Wake Forest -54.78
109 Oklahoma State -55.24
110 East Carolina -57.81
111 Kansas State -58.18
112 Oklahoma -59.57
113 Tulane -65.52
114 Louisiana-
Lafayette -67.67
115 Memphis -78.87