A sports conference that always scheduled weekday basketball doubleheaders in which women’s teams played the first game — letting the men play in the later time slot — has altered the practice, after an anonymous sex discrimination complaint charged that this made the women’s games appear to be a “warm-up” act for the men’s games.
Now, hoping to avoid possible gender equity suits, other athletic conferences are considering similar scheduling changes.
When campus budgets are tight and athletics departments are under the microscope, college and university administrators use a variety of methods to determine which teams to cut and which to keep. Some look at downsizing from a purely financial perspective, cutting sports that cost the most to operate, either overall or on a per-athlete basis. Others consider the win-loss records and popularity of their teams, trimming those it seems few on their campus will miss. That all goes to say that there is no tried-and-true method for determining a sport’s value to an institution.
When college athletics programs cannot cover their expenses with generated revenue, they are forced to rely on funds allocated from their institution’s wider budget. Since only 14 National Collegiate Athletic Association member institutions report positive net revenues from athletics, nearly all NCAA athletics programs rely on this practice.