DUE TO the delivery of intercollegiate athletic programs and because the requirements of the final policy to be issued by HEW are unknown, the impact of that policy on the nation's colleges and unversities and the major revenue-producing sports (such as football, men's basketball and ice hockey) cannot be predicted with certainty. The following outcomes can, however, reasonably be expected if the present approach is retained.
First, the financial impact would not be devastating for almost every institution, large or small. Any statement to the contrary reflects a lack of basic understanding of or information concerning intercollegiate athletic financing and management.
Second, any college or university which has traditionally maintained high quality, high emphasis sports programs is unlikely to change those programs substantially, at least until every alternative has been explored and financial pressure become overwhelming.
These programs simply mean too much to an institution in terms of student, alumni and community interest, to say nothing of the financial support they provide for the overall athletic opportunities for both men and women offered by such an institution. Legal action to protect these vital interests may by anticipated.
Third, efforts will be made to find ways to effect cost savings and to increase revenues from the major revenue sports programs. Due to long-standing financing pressures, however, the most promising avenues of this kind already have been fully exploited.
Significant financial refief from reduction of financial aid or coaching personnel is unlikely because: (1) the cost reductions which could be achieved would constitute no more than 25 percent of the total cost of the major revenue sports prograns (administration, game expenses, travel costs and many other expenses would remain substantially unchanged), and (2) in most cases, revenue losses would extend cost savings, so the changes would be counterproductive.
The latter is true because the major football and basketball programs, for example, compete with professional sports teams and other entertainment alternatives for the consumer's dollar. Reduced program quality will significantly reduce revenues.
Fourth, every effort will be made to obtain additional funding for intercollegiate athletics through such sources as student fees, general operating funds, appropriations (in the case of state institutions), and private gifts.
None of these sources promises to provide substantial new funds in the case of most institution. Certain of these procedures also raise serious questions among faculty members as to whether needed institutional funds should be used to subsidize varsity sports.
Fifth, where necessary to protect major programs, funding for non-revenue producing men's sports such as track and field, swimming, soccer and crew may be reduced to the very lowest possible levels.
Due to the odd way in which the HEW-proposed per capita expenditure test works, colleges will save little or nothing (or even increase their cost of compliance) by eliminating such programs altogether because this action would reduce the number of male participants in the relatively less expensive sports and raise the per capita amount required to be spent for each woman participant.
The sole alternative will be to eliminate certain of these programs (those that are high cost), while retaining others but reducing to a minimum the support they receive in terms of coaching, travel, equipment, etc., and eliminating grants-in-aid.
The damage to those programs, which provide the preponderance of male American Olympic athletics, will be severe, as will be the disparities in expenditures and scope created between them and programs for women in the same sports.
Sixth, there will be strong new pressures to erode the college's hard-won control over major emphasis sports programs and to return to the days when "downtown" interests recruited and financed sought-after student-athletes. These pressures will arise because expenditures which are not institutionally controlled are not subject to regulation under Title 9. Thus HEW may well force intercollegiate athletics away from their educational environment.
Seventh, at those colleges and universities where football is conducted at a lower level of emphasis and does not produce significant revenues, it may simply prove too expensive to continue as varsity sport.
Further, it also is possible that major cuts would have to be made even in the high emphasis football and basketball programs if HEW accepts the position of these urging adoption of an unqualified equal per capita expenditure standard, with no allowance for non-sex-based differences and with a requirement that athletic participation ratios be aligned with enrollment ratios.
The loss of the revenue produced by football and, in turn, the adminstrative and support personnel and services it finances would jeopardize the ability and the will of many institutions to sponsor any varsity sports program for men or women.
Many of these distortions could be avoided by allowing the development of individual institutional programs for meeting Title 9's requirement that the athletic interests and abilities of students be satisfied, regardless of sex, and determining compliance with that standard on an institutional basis without reliance on an arbitrary per capita expenditure test that is without rational or legal basis. CAPTION: Picture, Title 9, AP