Duquesne University today announced a strategic restructuring of its varsity sports program in an effort to maximize financial resources and ensure sustained athletic success. The move will reduce the number of varsity sports from 20 to 16 and keep all related scholarship and operational funding within the athletic department.Thanks to our friends at College Swimming for passing along the bad news. Though Title IX is never mentioned, we ought to take a look at the numbers to see what the truth really is. According to data provided by the Department of Education, here's the situation at Duquesne:
"Focusing on and strengthening a core group of sports will maximize our ability to compete at the highest level, enhance the student athlete experience, and better utilize existing funding," said Greg Amodio, Duquesne athletic director. More than $1M will be reallocated annually throughout the athletics program as a result of the move, which will discontinue baseball, men's swimming, men's golf and wrestling.
"This action is in no way meant to diminish the dedication, effort or ability of these fine student athletes, coaches and alumni. They have contributed greatly to Duquesne athletics and to the vitality and history of the University," Amodio said.
The current balance between male and female participation in athletics is 284-245 (53.6%-46.4%) in favor of men. Given that the undergraduate balance at Duquesne was 3,098-2,280 (roughly 58%-42%), it would seem at first glance that the school was seriously out of compliance with the principal of strict proportionality and at risk for a law suit.
By eliminating four men's sports, Duquesne subtracts 76 athletes from the male side of the ledger, making the new ratio 245-208 (roughly 54%-46%) in favor of the women. Though that doesn't line up exactly, it's probably more than enough for the school to immunize itself against legal action.
UPDATE: As always, Texas Swimming is on the case.