Originally Posted by gully
I'd be very interested to see any actual data that supports this claim. According to the NCAA,
1981-82: Total Men's Tennis Teams (d1, d2, d3): 690. Number of participants: 7,340.
2011-12: Total Men's Tennis Teams(d1, d2, d3): 765. Number of participants: 8,177.
(The numbers of teams and participants for d1 ONLY is very slightly lower in 11-12 than it was in 81-82.)
, pp. 168-69.
One of the propaganda techniques of the pro-Title IX crowd (which includes the NCAA) is to talk about participants and teams rather than scholarships actually awarded. At the University of Virginia, we have about 14 men on the tennis roster, while we have 10 women on the tennis roster. But the 14 men get 4.5 scholarships total, while the women have eight full rides and two walk-ons. Likewise, there are "Division I" men's tennis teams with zero scholarships. So, you can say that the school did not get rid of the men's tennis team, because it still exists and has "participants."
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was still the case that 5.0 was the men's scholarship limit, and 8.0 was the women's limit. Then the men's limit was lowered to 4.5 (hmm .... I wonder why?) and the sport got more physical and injury-prone, so roster sizes grew (and they grew even more so on the men's side). So, the male "participants" have actually increased at every school that has a team. In the late 1970s, the tail end of the wooden racket era of tennis, it was quite common for a top program to give out five full rides on the men's side, have a freshman who was waiting one year for his full ride, and have only six players on the roster. There was actually a (valid) assumption that injuries were very unlikely. A team might have 1-2 walkons just in case, but these were not guys who would ever earn a scholarship and they knew it. If an injury occurred, they might play a dual match or two in their entire career. Women's teams commonly had eight players back then and eight players now, while the situation changed drastically for men in the same era.
However, as with all aspects of leftism, this is a one-way street. If a school tried to count female "participants" rather than scholarships to claim that they provided equal "opportunities" for female athletes, that would not fly.