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NEWS: Coaches’ salaries and Title IX: Separate and unequal (USA)

unequal payAs a percentage, University of North Dakota spends 36.7 percent of the entire coaching salary expenses on coaches of women’s sports.”

Thirty-six point seven percent? As in, a little more than a third?

Was that a misprint?

Well, no.

As Sunday’s Herald story about Title IX at UND showed, the university takes pains to ensure a rough parity between male and female athletes (“Where does UND stack up with Title IX?”, Page D1).

So, for example, UND spends about $2.2 million on athletic scholarships for female athletes. That’s half of the school’s scholarship budget.

And as sports fans know, that parity is no accident. It’s a result of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.

But here’s the thing: Title IX broadly applies to athletes, not coaches, or at least not in the same way.

So the market for coaches is allowed to work; and and as a result, UND is not alone: Around the country, successful coaches of college-level men’s sports routinely command higher wages than do their counterparts on the women’s side, including for the same sport.

That inflates the total salaries for the coaches of men’s teams to several times that of the coaches of women’s teams, as the numbers show at UND.

Nationwide, the salary disparities are stark. For example, while Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski gets paid almost $10 million a year, the highest paid women’s basketball coach in America gets about one-fifth that amount: $2 million.

Incidentally, that highest-paid coach of a women’s basketball team is a man: Gino Auriemma, the fantastically successful coach of the University of Connecticut women’s team.


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