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Outside the Lines:
The Whole IX Yards


Here's the transcript from Show 117 of weekly Outside The Lines - The Whole IX Yards

SUN., JUNE 23, 2002
Host: Trey Wingo
Reporter: Armando Salguero, ESPN; and Ann Werner, ESPN. Salguero reports on how athletic director Debbie Yow has managed the Maryland program to profitability, as well as Title IX compliance. Werner reports on college football's part in the Title IX equation.
Guests: Rick Dickson, Tulane athletic director; Donna Lopiano of the Women's Sports Foundation; and Leo Coker of the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

TREY WINGO, GUEST HOST - June 23, 2002. Big-time college football has long been viewed as the goose that lays the golden eggs for their athletic departments.

CHUCK NEINAS, AMERICAN FOOTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION - There have been 449,000 games, 4.3 million players and 1.7 billion spectators.

WINGO - But in these lean economic times, many football teams are now losing money, draining the athletic departments they once fueled.

DONNA LOPIANO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WOMEN'S SPORTS FOUNDATION- It costs $120,000 for the football coach's office to be changed from oak to mahogany.

WINGO - Title IX has stopped most schools from cutting women's programs, resulting in men's teams being eliminated at an alarming rate.

SRIKANTH ARAVAPALLI, MASSACHUSETTS SOPHOMORE - It finally hit me when people were crying and everything - - it hit me hard.

WINGO - Who is to blame? College football or Title IX?

Gary Williams brought Maryland their first ever NCAA basketball championship, and Ralph Friedgen led the Terrapins to their first Orange Bowl appearance in almost 50 years.

But Debbie Yow may have had the greatest impact on Maryland athletics. As the A.D., she turned around a program that was $51 million in debt, without cutting a single team.

DEBBIE YOW, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, MARYLAND - I think I could imagine cutting staff first, before I cut a team.

WINGO - Today on Outside The Lines, a look at the Maryland athletic program, and the impact of college football on the Title IX equation.

And thanks for being with us. I'm Trey Wingo filling in for Bob Ley.

We'll deal with the success of the Maryland athletic program a little later on in the show, but first - As Title IX turns 30, the amendment that requires equal opportunities for both men and women whenever there's federal funding involved is still perceived by many as a confused teenager rather than a full-fledged adult.

The boom in women's sports, thanks to Title IX on campus, is undeniable. Women's athletic teams have doubled in 20 years to almost 8,000.

But in that same time span, more than 400 men's teams have been dropped. Is Title IX doing to men's athletics specifically what it's supposed to be protecting against happening to women's athletics? Or, are minor men's sports on campus really the victim of the granddaddy of them all, college football?

Ann Werner has the story.

ANN WERNER, ESPN CORRESPONDENT - While the University of Miami football team basks in the glory of its undefeated National Championship season, the men's swimming and diving team is one step closer to extinction.

The Hurricanes' program, which produced Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, will be eliminated after next season.

PAUL DEE, MIAMI (FL) ATHLETIC DIRECTOR - They are a very fine group of young men, they have done a very fine job representing the University of Miami, and we went to them, we told them that for budgetary reasons we were going to make these shifts.

WERNER - Cutting men's swimming and diving also will move Miami closer to satisfying Title IX's proportionality rule, which requires the ratio of female and male athletes to match undergraduate enrollment.

Miami has chosen not to touch football's 107-man roster, or almost $13 million budget. A scenario common in Division I-A colleges, both public and private, large and small.

At the University of Massachusetts, members of the now-defunct men's gymnastics team continue to work out, despite the abrupt end to their season and their careers.

When the state recently slashed the school's funding by $20 million, the athletic department took a $1 million hit. Three women's teams and four men's teams, including gymnastics, were eliminated.

ARAVAPALLI - I came in the gym, and I saw everyone was all sad and everything, and then it finally hit me when people were crying and everything, and it hit me hard. I mean, it was a hard thing to take.

DARREN MORACE, MASSACHUSETTS SENIOR - I had grown up with this sport, and went to college for it, and I loved it all my life. And it's…will be tough.

WERNER - Yet UMass' only I-AA sport, football, which lost $2.5 million last year, goes unscathed.

UMass tennis coach Judy Dixon was in the uncomfortable position of telling her men's tennis team it was cut, while her women's team remains intact.

JUDY DIXON, MASSACHUSETTS HEAD TENNIS COACH - Well, the first question I got from the men was, is it a Title IX issue? Because every male athlete wants to know the answer to that question. And being who I am, and being the person that I am from 30 years ago, my answer to that was no, it's not a Title IX issue. And the next question is football. Of course.

And if you are an athlete and you know that there is 10, 12 on your roster, and you sort of know what goes on, they do wonder about the budget.

WERNER - At Tulane, females account for more than half of the student body, but only about one-third of student athletes. In an ongoing effort to comply with Title IX, the Green Wave just axed its men's indoor and outdoor track and field programs, and plans to add another women's sport.

The football program, with a 106-man roster, and a Division I-A standard 85 scholarships, suffered a $3.6 million loss last season. It remains untouched. For now.

RICK DICKSON, TULANE UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC DIRECTOR - I don't think we are in a position to say that anything is off limits for scrutiny at this point. And I know there are those that would argue that we could still have quality Division I-A football comparable to today's product and quality with smaller numbers.

WERNER - College football is big business. The cornerstone of most athletic department's revenues. Yet of 114 Division I-A football teams reporting to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 31 said they lost money last year.

MURRAY SPERBER, PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH & AMERICAN STUDIES, INDIANA UNIVERSITY - This whole idea that women's sports are bankrupting athletic departments is B.S. It's football that's doing it.

LOPIANO - Every athletic director should, and must, keep football strong. But we should also get rid of the fluff. We can cut expenses in football and not only keep football strong but make it more competitive.

SPERBER - Unfortunately, there is also, what's called the athletics arms race, where schools believe that they've got to win in these high-profile sports like football and basketball, and spend fortunes doing that.

DIXON - I love going to football, I support UMass football, but when there are 65 scholarships, 85 scholarships, 100 scholarships, is that necessary? And would these people -- or these young men -- play football and maybe, perhaps, not all of them be on a scholarship? And do they need three or four scholarships per position?

JOE CASTIGLIONE, OKLAHOMA ATHLETIC DIRECTOR - At the Division I-A level, really, people feel that the number needs to be somewhere in 90 to 100. We're not like the NFL. We're -- we have a student-athlete that gets injured, we can't go out and get another player. We have to, basically, make it through the entire year with those that we put on our squad lists.

BOB STOOPS, OKLAHOMA HEAD FOOTBALL COACH - It would drastically diminish the level of play, the quality of play. And would not nearly have -- have near the gain that you have now with the precision, the level of talent. All of that would be drastically changed. And then you take the chance that people, you know, want to watch it played at that level.

WINGO - And for more on the controversy with football surrounding Title IX and its carry-over effect for other teams, we're joined by Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson. Dickson's been at Tulane since December of 1999, and recently had to drop two men's track teams and create two new women's teams to be in compliance with Title IX. Mr. Dickson joins us from New Orleans.

Joining us from Chicago -- hello Mr. Dickson -- is Leo Kocher, the wrestling coach at the University of Chicago, a program that has produced 19 All-Americans. Kocher is also a member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, one of several plaintiffs suing the Department of Education over the implementation of Title IX, calling it a gender-quota system. Mr. Kocher, thank you for joining us.

And joining us from Long Island, New York is Donna Lopiano, the executive director of the Women's Sports Foundation. She's listed as one of the 100 most influential people in sports by the "Sporting News." Lopiano previously was the director of women's athletics at the University of Texas.

And, I guess, Ms. Lopiano, let's start with you here. We ended Ann Werner's piece with both Joe Castiglione, the athletic director at Oklahoma, and Bob Stoops, the head coach of football at Oklahoma saying if we reduced the number of roster spots for football, we'd see a drastic drop in the level of play. Do you agree with that?

LOPIANO - We wouldn't see any drop at all. You know, most people don't realize that the number of players every Saturday that actually play five minutes or more in a football game is 21. The average number of players who get into a football game in I-A on Saturday is about 51 to 53. You can still have 65 full rides in football, make them equivalencies so you can spread them among 85 different players, and have the strongest football team that you have right now.

And, as far as injuries are concerned, there's no more than five to seven players out every week, and those are not for the whole season, but just for that week. So, you know, there is a lot of misinformation going around here. Football can take a few cuts and continue to make the money it makes and be more profit-making and help keep sports like wrestling.

WINGO - Mr. Dickson, let's bring you into the equation. You obviously recently had to go through that certain scenario, deciding whether or not to cut football or cut other teams. You left the 106-roster spots intact, even though the football team, according to the figures we got from the Chronicle of Education, lost over $3.5 million last year.

DICKSON - Trey, we have without question there's the aspect of squad management, both on the men's side as well as the women's, to max out and help bring your numbers into line. Part of it also is the fact that you are making a determination upon which classification you're going to compete. In our case, football and being a member of Conference USA warranted that we compete at the I- A level, which brings football into the equation. It's not a matter so much of protecting football, but making a determination at which level you want to compete.

LOPIANO - Hey, Rick, once you decide to play, you have no choice, right?

DICKSON - Correct.

LOPIANO - You have got to give the 85 if everybody else gives the 85.

DICKSON - Correct.

LOPIANO - So I think -- you know -- the previous tape was right. You've -- the NCAA has to make the limit. And the athletic director and the coach can live with the limit.

DICKSON - Correct.

LEO KOCHER, HEAD WRESTLING COACH, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO - Trey, what people are missing here is that it's not anywhere near a number -- a money issue -- as a quota issue. The fact of the matter is, even if they reduce the number of scholarships, what really drives this thing is that if you are not proportional, if the number of your female athletes doesn't equal the percentage of your college enrollment, you are going to get dragged into court and you are going to lose.

The perfect example is Marquette University. They totally were self-funded. They fund-raised for their existence. There was no football at Marquette. It didn't cost the school a penny, and they still got cut for gender-equity purposes.

What happens is these schools are looking and seeing they are not proportional, and knowing with the way the law has been re-written by Department of Education, they are going to get dragged into court, and they are going to lose.

WINGO - All right, Donna, what about that? Because I think Mr. Kocher makes an interesting point there. Because Marquette was fully funded off-campus. It was not a part of the actual athletic department.

LOPIANO - A couple of points. Number one, Title IX does not require quotas. There are two other ways that you comply. Number two, this is a budget issue. Sure, you have to increase opportunities for women. And, eventually, the budget gets squeezed. And therein lies the problem.

You wouldn't get rid of a law that says we want equality for women. In fact, if you got rid of Title IX right now with real budget pressure is on people like Rick, then, they wouldn't put wrestling back; they'd just cut women's sports in addition to men's sports.

So, the reality is we've got to make some tough budget decisions. If we want to keep both wrestling and women's sports, if we want gender equity for our daughters, too.

WINGO - Well, clearly, economics are a central part of this equation, especially in the times that we're living in right now. But I want to get back to football for a second, specifically.

And, Mr. Dickson, a few years ago Tulane was at the top of the football heap. You had an undefeated regular season, I believe it was in 1998. You went into the bowl game with a chance to be a National Championship, and then three years later, you're in the red $3.6 million. I think a lot of schools out there look at football as maybe a Holy Grail, but in your case, three-and-a-half years later, it really hasn't helped you out.

DICKSON - Well, I think an important factor in this whole discussion is the whole economic issues we're dealing with. The fact that Tulane, three years ago when they were 12-0 as well as today is not a BCS member. I think as Donna certainly knows and hopefully the coach knows, too, that means on an individual school basis a difference of $8 to $10 million a year, whether you're 0-12 or 12-0. Just being a member of a BCS Conference is $8 to $10 million per school per year. That's a huge impact in this whole discussion.

KOCHER - Absolutely, Trey, and the fact of the matter is, the bowl coalitions, the Division I-A schools, the NCAA statistics show, they make an average of a $3.8 million profit; I-A basketball makes an average of about $1.1 million profit...

WINGO - Mr. Kocher, I'm not -- I don't mean to cut you off. I want to get back to you. But we do have to take a break here, so if you can just -- we will come back to you when we come back after the next piece, but please all three stay with us, we're coming right back.

Maryland athletics struck it rich this year, but when we return we'll tell you about the uphill battle Debbie Yow faced as the new athletic director on campus in 1994.

YOW - What we inherited was the $51 million debt, and 10 years of not balancing budgets. And so, the object, of course, is to turn that around.

WINGO - Well, by any standard it's been a good year for Maryland athletics. Under Gary Williams, the Terps won their first ever men's basketball title in the spring, and under the direction of new head coach Ralph Friedgen, the football team went to its first Orange Bowl in almost 50 years. An appearance that gave Friedgen and his staff an extra $300,000 in incentives.

However, thanks to an insurance policy athletic director Debbie Yow took out on those incentives, the school was only on the line for about $13,000. As Armando Salguero reports, Yow's approach to Title IX compliance is pretty straightforward. Follow the money.

ARMANDO SALGUERO, ESPN CORRESPONDENT - These are the glory days for University of Maryland athletics, and not just in the spotlight sports. Even the non- revenue producing sports are prospering. While some universities are cutting these sports as an answer to Title IX mandates, Maryland athletic director Deborah Yow is on the verge of adding 15 new scholarships, and promises no programs will be cut on her watch.

YOW - All I have to do is put myself in their place and try to imagine what it would feel like to have a team meeting called, to be told that the sport that you love, that you've played from probably junior high school on, is no longer going to exist. What kind of a message is that for us to have to send?

SALGUERO - What's remarkable about Maryland athletics now is how far the program has come. When Yow arrived on this campus in 1994, the basketball team was still recovering from NCAA sanctions, and the athletic department was $51 million in debt.

YOW - I did not sweep in here and change things. I did come in and offer a different style of leadership.

SALGUERO - When Yow arrived, Maryland's athletic budget had been in the red for a decade. She has used both traditional and creative ways to balance the books in each of her eight years. She saved $100,000 a year by having athletic offices at Cole Field House vacuumed twice a week instead of five times a week. She also once moved a home football game to Miami, in return for $1 million.

YOW - Some of what we've done I think would be considered, at least at some level, perhaps a little bit tacky. But, you know, when I measure doing something like that, that pales in comparison to dropping a men's sport.

SALGUERO - Yow learned the team concept as a college basketball player and coach in the early '70s, during Title IX's infancy. Hall of Fame coach Kay Yow's younger sister was known for her toughness.

YOW - I wasn't a great player. But I was tenacious. And I was kind of the enforcer.

SALGUERO - Yow's competitive nature made her a winning basketball coach at Kentucky and Florida. It also remains an important part of her identity as an administrator. She was the athletic director at St. Louis University for four years, and is now one of only two female athletic directors among BCS schools.

SHANNON HIGGINS-CIROVSKI, MARYLAND WOMEN'S SOCCER COACH - Whenever you speak with her about issues, she is not afraid to say no. She's -- but she will give you an answer as to, OK, well, let's take a look at this in the future, but she's not afraid to just blatantly, out-rightly say no to a proposal that you might have.

SASHO CIROVSKI, MARYLAND MEN'S SOCCER COACH - While you're reading this that so many schools are out of compliance, and certain schools are resorting to cutting sports, and I think Maryland should be held up as an example of how to do it.

YOW - I think I could imagine cutting staff first, before I cut a team. I just don't want that to be part of my legacy, because it's not how I think about intercollegiate athletics.

WINGO - Armando, thanks. We are once again joined by Rick Dickson, the Tulane athletic director, Leo Kocher, the wrestling coach at the University of Chicago, and Donna Lopiano from the Women's Sports Foundation.

Rick, let's start with you - - first of all, the Maryland example. Is it something that can work everywhere, including Tulane?

DICKSON - Well, I think, you know -- everybody, I think the one thing that Debbie said in terms of not wanting to be in that position. In fifteen years, I hadn't been either. And it's a very difficult position. I've been on both sides of this equation. Certainly, at a BCS school at Washington State, and here at Tulane.

But the reality is, and it's not because of individual factors at a school, but because of what we're dealing with nationally, what we're dealing with Title IX, what we're dealing with the whole BCS formula, and the financial repercussions of that, makes it highly unlikely when you see Miami's -- when you see schools of that nature, Minnesota -- dropping programs because of not being able to financially afford to sponsor. It's not a gender issue at that point, it's about finances, and programs need support.

WINGO - All right, Leo, let's bring you back in for a second. You are part of the National Wrestling College Association that is suing over Title IX. What do you hope to gain with the lawsuit, and have you thought about attacking football before going after Title IX?

KOCHER - Well, let me just say this -- I would like to bring this back down to where I work and live. I mean, you're talking about 120 NCAA schools that have football. There's 1,000 members in the NCAA. When you look at those bowl coalition schools that are being blamed for all their excesses, they only account for seven percent of the drops. Sixty percent of those dropped teams are Division II and Division III teams, and many of the Division I teams, like Providence baseball and Marquette wrestling, have no football at all. So, this is really a straw man. If you really look at the stats, it doesn't back it up at all.

WINGO - But when we get back to your lawsuit specifically, what are you hoping to accomplish?

KOCHER - We'd like to see the quota taken out of Title IX. Title IX has been terrific. Women have made great gains without the quota. Quotas don't work. And Title IX would be much better without the quota.

WINGO - Donna, your reaction to that?

LOPIANO - My reaction is what he really wants is not to give women an equal chance to play. There is no quota involved here. I think Rick is right, and it's not just the bowl alliance that's at fault here. You can't have this be a battle between the wrestling have-nots and the women have-nots, or a war between equal opportunity for our daughters and choosing football.

It is got to be colleges and universities taking a hard look at the economics of college sports and saying, what's important here? What's our philosophy? Do we want this to become elitist, just a few sports for a few kids, or do we want to create an economic structure that says we want to get the most kids playing as possible?

I'm for the latter. And there's got to be some consensus here, or you can say let them go on as they are, let's develop a national lottery to support Olympic sports, let's not struggle with the current college format, and let's just fund them some place else.

WINGO - OK, we've got one minute left. I want to give each one of you one last opportunity. As we go forward, Title IX, in some form, will be with us for a while. What is the future of college athletics under Title IX? Rick, let's start with you.

DICKSON - Well, first, Trey, let me say I've got three daughters carefully critiquing my comments this morning, that are all athletes, so. You know, I think it takes first a recognition. I understand the coach's consternation about this, having lived through it as an athletic director for the first time. And, Donna, I think would say the same. We're in this business because we enjoy and have a passion for creating opportunity for young people in sport.

WINGO - OK, I'm sorry, Rick, that …we're going to have to move it on to get...

DICKSON - ... That being said, I think it's going to be a combination of, certainly, making some changes. Our system didn't afford this opportunity for 75 years. The last 25 to 30 it has. We've got to continue to be committed to it.

WINGO - All right, Leo, your thoughts.

KOCHER - Yeah, women are currently 56 percent of students. They'll be 59 percent in 2009. Men come out in greater numbers; there's teams that are 50 percent larger. What we're looking at is twice as many women's teams as men's teams if we're going to reach proportionality, and believe me, that is why Rick did what he did, that's why Debbie Yow did what she did -- reach proportionality because you're going to lose in court if you don't do it. It is a quota.

WINGO - All right, we've got to leave you there, Leo. Donna, you have the last chance here.

LOPIANO - Title IX isn't about teams; it's about participation opportunities. And what Leo fails to point out is that males at the high school level still have 1.1 million more participation opportunities than women, 30 percent more participation opportunities at the college level, 133 million more in athletic scholarships each year. Men are not losing because of Title IX, we've got women...

WINGO - And on that note, we're going to have to go, Donna, I apologize. We are out of time. Clearly, we could talk forever on this. Rick, Leo, and Donna, thanks very much. We appreciate you joining us on Outside The Lines.

And that will do it for this edition of Outside The Lines. Bob Ley will be back next week. I'm Trey Wingo. Thanks for watching. Up next, SportsCenter.

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