Butler agrees to find resolution on Title IX issue
INDIANAPOLIS – If Butler University is out of compliance with Title IX legislation mandating equal opportunity, one remedy might be to supply more scholarships for male athletes.
Butler has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to resolve a Title IX issue by Sept. 1 over women’s sports and men’s scholarships.
“They haven’t said we’re out of compliance,” associate athletics director Beth Goetz said Monday night. “They just asked us to do the research to see if in fact we are.”
According to information provided by Butler — which initiated the review — from the 2010-11 school year, women made up 59.6% of its students but 36.5% of its 449 athletes. Butler must demonstrate it provides women an equal opportunity to participate in sports or submit a detailed plan to accommodate female athletes.
The law doesn’t require that all percentages match, although that is one way to be in compliance. Another is a history of adding sports for the under-represented gender.
Goetz said the third way — to offer any sport for which there is demonstrated interest and regional competition — is the one in which Butler is in compliance. She said the OCR asked Butler to research that area.
Women are receiving 53.4% of the $3.8 million provided by the university in athletic scholarships. To change those numbers, Butler could add men’s scholarships, limit men’s rosters, expand women’s rosters or all three.
“All of those would be ways to move numbers closer together,” Goetz said. “We certainly aren’t far enough along that we have made any decisions about what we feel like we need to do.
“We don’t feel we award aid in a discriminatory fashion.”
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The law is credited with dramatic growth of women’s sports in schools.
Butler plays football in the Pioneer League, which doesn’t allow scholarships. If the school offered scholarships in that sport, it probably would even out the spending.