UNT Athletics Working to Advance Equity

by BoCarter | Posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2018

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The following opinion piece was written by Ms. Simreen Kheraj for an advanced sports journalism class at the University of North Texas:

By Simreen Kheraj
UNT Athletics Working to Advance Equity
In Men’s, Women’s Sports
The University of North Texas athletics program consisted of 441 student athletes, in 2016, 56 percent of which were female athletes. Unlike many NCAA Division I universities, North Texas’ sports teams are dominated by women’s sports, eight belonging to women and only four to men. Even though male sports make up a third of the athletics at North Texas, the women only receive around 73 percent of the financial aid than the men do.
Not only are the female athletes receiving less money than male athletes, the men’s teams head coaches made an average of $178,138, while the women’s head coaches averaged $57,741. The women athletes and coaches make up a majority of the North Texas athletics program, yet the funding for them are lacking.
Although the women’s sports seem to be undervalued at North Texas, the women’s only bring in $6 million in revenue while men’s sports earn $10 million. The correlation of revenue and funding may be the reason for the gender disparity.
North Texas takes pride in the diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, but they somehow seem to be overlooking the wage gap and scholarship inequality in sports. This issue has always been a major issue in the media and sports industry as well, North Texas is not alone in this matter.
Male athletes and coaches sign multimillion dollar contracts while female athletes rarely make more than $100,000 annually. The lack of value is universal and it must come to an end universally. The issue, being as deep-seeded as it is, depends on many variables in order to close such a gap.
In order to do so there must be an increase in revenue, which is a direct result of an increase in attendance. Women’s sports lack popularity and awareness on campus and within the media.
This issue is nothing new to the sports industry and the circumstances are not limited to North Texas. Women’s sports even on the professional level are undervalued, for example, the Women’s USA soccer team has prove to be much more successful than the Men’s USA team. Even though the women are more decorated, their supporters section and their salaries don’t even compare to the men’s. In my opinion, we need to take a look at sports media and change the approach to advertising and covering women’s sports.
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