Helping sports organization solve integrity, growth, and development challenges

Gender Race and Other Issues

Q: Are there management cautions with regard to avoiding imposition of a double standard for male and female coaches regarding athlete retention and satisfaction?

There are many higher education institutions that do not award substantial amounts of athletic aid and depend on partial or non-scholarship athletes to pay a substantial portion of their tuition.  At these institutions, to the extent the institution depends on these tuition revenues for maintaining its regular enrollment and economic well-being, athlete retention is often more important than winning and program success as a coach employment expectation.  Athletics recruiting is the equivalent of admissions office recruiting with athletics department efforts often considered to be

Title IX Prohibits Discrimination Based on Pregnancy Too!

Title IX discussions usually focus on gender equality in the participation and treatment of athletics teams.  Few administrators realize that this federal law also mandates strong protections for student-athletes who are pregnant.  Every director of athletics should read the NCAA’s 2008 publication, Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes:  Resources and Model Policies, authored by Nancy Hogshead-Makar and Elizabeth Sorensen and available for free online.  

Transgender Issues

The current national debate about use of school bathrooms according to the gender identity of the individual as required under Title IX raises the question of whether sports managers are adequately educated about transgender issues commonly encountered in sport programs.  The moral and litigation stakes of such knowledge are significant.

Q: Is there a racial component to the issue of special admission of athletically talented students?

A:  YES.  There is a serious racial component to the issue of academic exploitation of Division I football and basketball players in particular.   The research data regarding the black male football and basketball players in Division I are very clear.  The following data covering 2007 to 2010 (Harper, Williams and Blackman, 2013) revealed:

Q: Are sexual harassment and inappropriate coach-athlete relationships a new problem?

A:  No.  Sexual harassment and inappropriate coach-athlete relationships have always been a part of the sport landscape.  Unfortunately, in the past, student-athletes were afraid of reporting coaches, parents often took the side of the coach and told their children to “tough it out”.   The media, afraid of reduced access to coaches they offended, ignored the issue and schools and colleges did their best to sweep these situations under the rug.

What makes today different are a series of factors:

Transforming a Culture of Physical Abuse to One of Respect

The macho, tough-it-out culture of highly competitive sport encourages athletes to endure physical pain or abusive levels of exertion in silence.  It is also common for competitive sport environments to breed an expectation of student-athlete obedience to the demands of coaches, even if such demands are unreasonable.  Student-athlete acknowledgement of physical distress is often interpreted by teammates and coaches as a sign of weakness, generating peer pressure to maintain silence and play through injury and potentially dangerous levels of fatigue.   Often, misguided no