Allegations point to equality gap

A complaint has been filed alleging that the University of Minnesota has violated Title IX, which protects students from gender-based discrimination, the Minnesota Daily reported on Monday. The complaint specifically alleges that female track and field athletes were discriminated against on the basis of gender — failing to give them the same opportunities as men with regard to athletic scholarships, facilities and equipment, among other areas.

If proven correct, the University could lose federal funding.

There have been mixed reactions to the situation, with one member of the women’s track and field team claiming to be “confused why the word Title IX is being thrown around.”

She also noted the fact that college athletics is treated as a business and that the track team doesn’t “bring in any revenue.”

While there are no formal findings yet, statements like this point to a larger problem. Though Title IX specifically protects against “failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics,” it does not guarantee an equal distribution of funding.

Nationally, the gender-funding gap in collegiate athletics is narrowing. Still, male student-athletes receive 55 percent of scholarship dollars, with 45 percent left for their female peers, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

The end to this discussion is that gender equality in collegiate athletics is far from perfect and that measures should be taken to rectify this gap — if universities can claim that athletics are a part of education and not a business. If nothing is done, we can only expect allegations such as this to continue.