Butler University has learned that it is violating U.S. civil rights laws because it isn’t spending enough money on its male athletes. It also was directed to get more women involved in intercollegiate sports.
The U.S. Department of Education told the Indianapolis school to close the difference in spending on scholarships between men and women. Women got 53.4 percent of the scholarships in the 2010 academic year, while comprising 36.5 percent of athletes.
The inequalities violate a law known as Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, and which has led to growth in the number of women’s sports teams the past 40 years.
Since Butler’s 4,000 undergraduate enrollment is 59.6 percent women, the school was directed to create more opportunities for them to participate in sports.
Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier was out of town and wasn’t available for comment. Calls to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights weren’t immediately returned.
Spokesman Jim McGrath said the school will submit a plan to the Department of Education that puts it back into compliance by Sept. 1.
Butler plays football in the Pioneer League, which doesn’t allow scholarships. That sport likely would even out the spending.