The Department of Health, Education and Welfare next week will issue the final standards for college sports programs to comply with Title 9, including a formula for awarding athletic scholarships certain to make colleges reevaluate their spending.
The new guidelines are expected to have the largest effect on the financial operation of college football programs.
The Washington Post has learned that the new guidelines are divided into three parts outlining what HEW will look for in investigating alleged violations of Title 9, the federal law barring sex discrimination in, among other things, school sports programs.
The guidelines are expected to be released on Tuesday by HEW Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris and published some time next week in the Federal Register -- an action which would end over a year of reviewing and revamping previous proposals on which HEW received more than 700 comments.
They would take effect immediately, although full enforcement would probably not come for a few months, it was learned.
During the past week Harris has met with a number of groups to brief them on the guidelines, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, the governing bodies for men's and women's intercollegiate sports.
Although Title 9 became law in 1972, it was not until 1975 that regulations for implementing the controversial law were issued. It took until last December for HEW to release proposed "interpretations" of sections of the regulations dealing primarily with the financing of intercollegiate sports. t
What is to be issued Tuesday is the final interpretation, or clarification, of the section of the regulations that have gone unenforced while HEW's Office for Civil Rights worked on the specifics.
Sources said that because HEW officials consider these to be "policy interpretations" and not new regulations, they will not require further congressional approval. It is also known that key congressional figures do not want the issue dragged through more debate on the Hill.
As in the past, there are no requirements for across-the-board equal spending on men's and women's sports. Nor is football or any other "revenue-producing" sport exempted from Title 9.
The mose immediate impact of the policy interpretations will undoubtedly be the need for many colleges to increase scholarship aid to female athletes in order to comply with the law. Failture to comply can lead to a loss of federal funds, which few colleges can risk.
The three areas HEW has divided the guidelines into are: athletic financial assistance (scholarships); benefits and opportunities, and accommodation of interests and abilities.
Last December's proposed policy clarification applied a per capita spending formula based on the number of participating male and female athletes. The per-capita standard was applied, in varying ways, to scholarships, recruiting and a general catchall category that covered everything from equipment to housing facilities.
The per capita standard has been abandoned from everything but scholarships, it was learned.
On scholarships, HEW will apply a "proportionality" test: If there are 100 intercollegiate athletes on campus, for example, and 30 percent are women, then 30 percent of the scholarship aid should go to women.
The test is on how the money is spent proportionally rather than on the number of scholarships awarded because there are two allowable deviations.
Spending disparities that result from the differences in out-of-state and in-state tuitions or because of program development decisions may be justified in some cases.
An athletic director may, for example, want to spread out the awarding of scholarships, or give partial ones, as a new sport is developed.
The scholarship policy, which was embodied in the original 1975 regulations, is bound to prompt the fiercest objections from NCAA members because of its financial impact.
The impact undoubtedly will be felt most directly in football where the largest number of scholarships -- 95 per team -- is allowed under NCAA rules.
The NCAA had sought to have football exempted from Title 9, arguing that the sport's income was used to carry the nonrevenue-producing sports, including the women's sports.
But in recent years, NCAA reports have shown that the overwhelming majority of football programs -- 81 percent -- do not even support themselves, let alone other sports.
So, faced with the Title 9 policy, many colleges may be forced to curtail their spending on football scholarships or find new sources of income in order to divert money to women's scholarships.
In looking at the next two categories -- benefits and opportunities and accommodation of interests and abilities -- HEW is seeking some kind of comparability or equivalency in the following areas.
The areas are: provision of equipment, scheduling of games and practices, allocation of travel and per diem expenses, the opportunity to receive coaching, assignment of coaches, provision of medical and training services, provision of housing facilities, provision of locker room and other facilities and publicity.
HEW will be looking at how these items are treated collectively for men's and women's teams. If the men's tennis team gets new rackets weekly and the women's tennis team gets them only every three months, that might be considered discriminatory.
These items constitute the catchall category that has been standard since the original Title 9 regulations were issued. What is different in this final version is the removal of a per capita spending standard because, sources said, HEW officials thought the standard was inappropriate as a sole measure of compliance.
Also different from the previous version is the treatment of recruiting as a separate category. Recruiting now would be considered under the college's obligation to provide female athletes with the benefits and opportunities afforded males.
Also, under last year's proposals HEW said it would "presume" compliance if the overall per capita spending was on target. That presumption is gone in the final version.
In developing the regulations, HEW was mandated to write "reasonable provisions considering the nature of a particular sport." The wording was part of a compromise amendment offered by Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R-N.Y.)
HEW field investigators have yet to be briefed on the final policies and a manual on investigating alleged violations is being prepared.
HEW then plans to begin investigating previous complaints. Locally, both Howard University and the University of Maryland have had Title 9 complaints filed against them.