Terps cut men's scholarships

December 19, 1993|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

One year since being cited for gender inequities by the Office of Civil Rights of the federal Department of Education, the University of Maryland athletic department has increased scholarships and coaching salaries and provided more locker rooms for its women's programs this year. To do so, it reduced scholarships in some of its men's programs.

Maryland's goal, according to athletic director Andy Geiger, is to have scholarships equal the ratio of male to female students on ** campus, which is 52 to 48.

The improvements evolved from a 28-page report by the OCR after it capped a two-year investigation of a Title IX complaint against Maryland. OCR officials would not discuss the nature of the complaint, which was filed in July 1990.

When the complaint was filed, Maryland awarded 70.9 percent of its athletic scholarships to men, according to university records. Maryland's 1993 financial aid model shows that number will be reduced to 61.5 percent.

"It's not a question of whether we think it is possible [to attain the 52-to-48 ratio]; it's what the U.S. government thinks is possible," Geiger said. "Everyone is undergoing the pressure of moving toward equality."

The problem remains that football at Maryland takes 85 scholarships, the NCAA limit, but women have no sport to offset it.

Maryland football coach Mark Duffner said the number of scholarships has dropped from 92 in 1992 to 85 in 1994. Eighty-five will be the NCAA Division I-A maximum in 1994, pending the outcome of the NCAA's convention next month.

"Unified action is always the best action," said Geiger when asked about limiting football scholarships.

In its 1993 model, Maryland continued to offer the NCAA scholarship maximum in four men's sports (football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse) and five women's sports (basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, volleyball and soccer). Since 1990, Maryland has cut 12 1/2 men's scholarships by eliminating all scholarships in men's swimming, tennis and golf. Golf receives two scholarships from endowments.

"I hope they don't cut us down further because we are already at the base minimum," said Maryland wrestling coach John McHugh, whose team has five scholarships, six below the NCAA maximum. "We now have to raise money to get more scholarships."

"We don't want to enhance the women's teams by taking away from the men's programs and their competitiveness," said Maryland associate athletic director Sue Tyler. "We have to find other ways to enhance the women's programs."

In Maryland's 1993 financial aid model, the nine women's sports received 32 more scholarships than the previous year. Women's basketball, soccer, swimming, lacrosse and track each increased by at least four scholarships.

But Maryland officials say the full impact is not expected until the 1995-96 school year. The reason: Women's coaches did not have time to recruit for these additional scholarships and have allotted them to future years, and the men already on scholarship will retain their scholarships until they have completed their athletic eligibility.

Maryland raised its total athletic budget from $5,264,482 in the 1993 fiscal year to $5,833,356 for the 1994 fiscal year. The women's sports budget rose to $1,063,629 -- an increase of $341,789. Women's basketball got a 64.2 percent increase to $442,584.

According to Tyler, all head coaches of women's sports now make a base salary of $40,000 with incentives for Atlantic Coast Conference and NCAA tournament wins. Last year, the base salary was $25,000, Tyler said.

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