Maryland to increase women's scholarships report cites disparity

November 21, 1992|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

The University of Maryland announced yesterday that it will increase the number of athletic scholarships it offers to women toward a goal of full equity by the 1998-99 academic year.

The move was announced after the Office of Civil Rights of the federal Education Department capped a two-year investigation of a Title IX complaint with a 28-page report issued Thursday, reporting a 5.8 percent disparity between the proportion of scholarships offered to men and women.

Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger said the school will begin increasing women's scholarships starting next year and pledged that by the 1998-99 academic year, the allocation of scholarships offered to women will be proportionate to their participation rate in athletics.

"We are going to have good, competitive women's programs here and we've signed a document that commits us to that," said Geiger.

Geiger said that unless additional money is raised through the athletic department's fund-raising arms, the school likely would have to reduce the size of some men's programs that offer scholarships, though not to a level where a program would have to be eliminated. He said those programs that might have to be scaled down had not been identified.

While determining that the Maryland program was mostly in compliance with Title IX guidelines, the OCR, based on a July 1990 complaint, said the school had "discrepancies" in seven of 13 areas examined, including inequities in the condition of locker room facilities and in secretarial and clerical support services provided for men and women.

Geiger said the athletic department already had moved to correct the locker room problem through a plan to convert the former football team house into new locker rooms for men and women, while the secretarial issue also is being corrected.

The university also must develop a plan to record and report budget figures for each team by February 1993 and ensure that all teams are treated equitably in areas such as travel, housing and dining for away games, preseason and holiday periods and recruitment.

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