Title IX committee will give its recommendation next month; Heeke hints at multiple sports being added

The Central Michigan Title IX Committee will bring its recommendations to the CMU Board of Trustees on Dec. 6 about adding new women’s sports to the university in order stay compliant.

While committee member and CMU Deputy Director of Athletics Derek van der Merwe wants to first present the recommendation and time-table to the board, Athletic Director Dave Heeke gave some insight into plans.

“It's no secret it will be multiple sports,” Heeke said. “We have to increase participation rates to remain in compliance.”

He also hinted at the fact it could take multiple years to add the sports, but van der Merwe said the time-table is not set and is changing frequently.

“We have a couple of final meetings and have (Student Government Association) representatives and will meet with the Department of Education right before the board meeting ... they might say the time-table we have is unacceptable,” van der Merwe said.

While the committee has not tipped its hand to what sports it's leaning to recommend, there are three women’s sports recognized by the Mid-American Conference that CMU does not have yet.

Tennis, swimming and golf are all women’s sports where CMU could take on and stay within the conference.

CMU will look at sports considered to be emerging by the NCAA, which also include equestrian, sand volleyball and rugby.

There are already club teams for women's rugby and lacrosse, as well as co-ed swimming and equestrian teams.

Title IX is a federal civil rights statute that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs, including athletic programs, which receive federal financial funding.

The 15-person committee is made up of CMU coaches, faculty, administrators and students. University President George Ross put the committee together in January 2012 to review the compliance of Title IX in order to ensure gender equality among varsity athletic participation.

Although CMU offers eight women's sports and six men's sports, the addition would help close the gap in the number of scholarships awarded to men and women in varsity athletics.


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