Is Cal’s Title IX arithmetic wrong?

Could Cal rugby be reinstated, along with four other sports?

A report in the New York Times suggests that Cal’s athletic programs may fall foul of the federal law requiring gender equity, known as Title IX. According to the Times, 40% of Cal’s 965 athletes in varsity programs are women, while 53% of the student body is female.

Foti Mellis, senior associate athletic director, told the Times that by next fall the department planned to expand female rosters to 393 and limit male rosters to 377, which would be a cut of 84 on the current male numbers and an increase of 52 for women.

When Cal announced in September that it was cutting baseball, rugby, men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse, budget constraints were cited as the reason. Rugby supporters in particular voiced opinions that Title IX was a particular problem for them: varsity rugby had 60 men on its roster. But the report in the Times suggests that the cost of cutting two women’s sports — gymnastics and lacrosse — may have exacerbated the Title IX issue.

An announcement is expected Thursday on whether the athletic department will reinstate some or all of the cut teams. In the fall, the university said it would require $80 million in private donations to save the sports. More recently, that has been scaled back to $25 million and a plan to ensure long-term funding from private sources. Reinstating women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse would please those sports’ supporters and help the Title IX arithmetic. If baseball and rugby are reinstated, however, their large rosters could mean more Title IX difficulties.

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  • Tim C

    so stupid..that’s not gender equity…it has nothing to do with numbers of students. Just fund all the sports they cut and argument over.

  • JakiChan

    Cutting Cal Rugby was never about money – the team is cash flow positive. It brings in more than it costs. It’s simply about Title IX. Which seems to make it gender discrimination against men. Pretty clear cut, in fact.

  • David

    Cal baseball and men’s gymnastics were cut, but Cal kept women’s gymastics and women’s lacrosse. The choices are based in part on the lack of funds, but I agree that the decision is really a result of Title IX. Title IX makes no sense. Cal no longer plays hardball. But I assume it still fields a softball team.

  • Todd

    Whether you like it or not, Title IX is a result of anti-discrimination law. No different than the American Disabilities Act. Cal and other universities have no choice but to abide by the federal law. Cal Rugby supporters stepped-up and funded their program, and in fact had to fund the women’s lacrosse program and the women’s gymnastics program in order to get back to varsity status. Kudos to the rugby supporters for making this happen!! Women’s lacrosse and gymnastics should thank you! Unfortunately, Cal’s multi-million dollar big league stars didn’t open their wallets large enough to bring back Cal Baseball. I’m sad for all the athletes that were affected by this ugly situation. BTW– seems to me that the Cal administration kept moving the target on what it would take to bring back the cut sports.