Monday, January 03, 2005

If you're using quotas, you should at least be able to count 

There is a lawsuit now filed against the government by the College Sports Council to get them to correct a report written by the GAO on gender equity in college sports.

Letters between CSC and Comptroller General Walker establish that he has known since October 2003 that GAO reports did not correctly account for the decreases in men's teams under the controversial Title IX enforcement policy challenged by CSC.

In its filing, CSC charges collusion between GAO and the Clinton-era Department of Education. Evidence for this charge can be found in a 1999 letter to Dr. Shaul, in which former Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Norma Cantu candidly acknowledges her desire to rebut the widely held view that Title IX is responsible for the decline in the number of men's sports opportunities. The correspondence between Assistant Secretary Cantu and Dr. Shaul show that the GAO simply reproduced the Department of Education's misinformation in its entirety.

... The GAO report also fails to discuss the budgetary impact of "capping," a common Title IX compliance strategy in which school administrators create a sports quota by enforcing squad-size limits only for men's teams in order to comply with the Department of Education's proportionality requirement.

As best I can tell, the suit does not ask for anything other than a correction of the report. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education today (link for subscribers only) indicates that in Division I the average number of men's teams over the last twenty years reported (up to 2000-01) fell from 10.2 to 9.0 , while women's teams increased from 7.3 to 9.8. Most of the sports dropped are in wrestling, swimming and cross-country, where the number of men involved would be high and revenues would be low.

If the charges are correct, it's hard to imagine why GAO would not revise their report. The Chronicle article suggests that good numbers on teams is "notoriously difficult to reconcile" but fails to say why.