Florida Tech’s women’s golf team will not be filing a Title IX report after speaking with athletic administration.
With the discontinuation of the women’s golf team but not the men’s team, the women’s team considered filing a Title IX complaint, as Title IX has certain standards that require universities to provide men and women with equal athletic opportunities.
However, they found out the number of men’s and women’s teams met Title IX’s standards and decided to drop the case, according to Alexis
Dizinno, a freshman in environmental science and a member of the women’s golf team. Dizinno said the team wasn’t given a reason as to why they were being discontinued and not the men’s team, even after their discussion with athletic administration.
“When we found out that the women’s team was being cut and not the men’s team, we questioned how that was allowed, and we asked around,” Dizinno said. “I think in the end, one of the athletic administration people had told us that that was the case and that it was legal, so we haven’t done anything to file a complaint so far. I don’t think it is possible.”
Chris Saltmarsh, the women’s golf team coach, was emailed and called for comment but did not respond to the request.
According to Daniel Supraner, the director of athletic communications, the discontinuation of tennis and women’s golf has left athletics with nine men’s teams and nine women’s teams.
“With Title IX, they want what you’re giving to men’s and women’s teams to reflect the number of the student body,” Supraner said. “Title IX requires that we match that proportionality.”
Bill Jurgens, Florida Tech’s athletic director, said the decision to cancel women’s golf was based on the current and future success of the program.
When making the decision to cut the women’s golf team, Jurgens said they considered who was currently on the team and who would be on it in the future.
“A number of [the current] athletes will be graduating,” Jurgens said. “It will be very difficult to replace them with the ones we have right now.”
Facilities, the present size of the teams and the number of athletes that would be affected were some of the main components considered when deciding what sports to cut, according to Jurgens.
Jurgens said Athletics decided to cut programs because Florida Tech has a larger athletic program than similar sized universities.
“It was an operational decision to try to downsize our athletic programs to be more compatible with the size of the university that we have,” Jurgens said. “That was pretty much something that the university set in place that they felt was important for us to continue to be competitive in our sports program.”
Before the discontinuation of tennis and women’s golf, Florida Tech had 23 varsity teams including the dance team.
In the Sunshine State Conference, seven out of the ten universities have fewer teams.
According to Dizinno, the discontinuation of the women’s golf team came as a surprise to them.
Dizinno said the women’s golf team was called into a meeting with the athletic department a couple of hours before the announcement of their discontinuation was sent out to all of campus.
Prior to the meeting, there had been no warning of discontinuing the team.
“It was super upsetting, especially for me as a freshman,” Dizinno said. “We just recently found out that they’ve been thinking about cutting the team for two years. There are two freshmen and two sophomores on the team who had not been warned about this and had no idea that this was happening, and we just felt neglected and overlooked.”
Dizinno said the athletes on the golf team with scholarships will get to keep their scholarships.
“They stopped giving scholarships two years ago, so this freshman class is the first one without scholarships even though they cancelled them a couple years back,” Dizinno said.
While some team members such as Dizinno are planning to transfer universities due to the team’s discontinuation, the women’s golf team has been told they can play with the men’s golf team.