Frost’s vision for Husker football has a hurdle to clear
Returning to his alma mater, Scott Frost has been vocal about his vision for Husker football, including an expanded roster from 120 players to 150 or more. While many are willing to accommodate the new coach’s requests, there is one hurdle to clear –– Title IX.
Title IX is a federal civil rights law enacted in 1972 to protect all people from discrimination on the basis of sex.
The University of Nebraska Athletics Department is discussing and analyzing all options to fulfill Frost’s wishes of increasing the roster and hopes to decide by early summer, according to Pat Logsdon, deputy athletic director senior woman administrator.
“Gender equity and Title IX is a federal statute and thus everyone is required to comply,” she said. “We have revisited the various ways in which we can comply and will determine the best strategy to achieve it.”
The first prong of Title IX emphasizes the need for proportionality between female athletes and females enrolled at the university. UNL has used the proportionality prong in recent years, Logsdon said.
During an interview with Husker Sports Network on Feb. 27, Nebraska’s Athletic Director Bill Moos highlighted the options to be made in order to accommodate to Frost’s request.
“Either we’ve got to expand the women’s rosters, which are already expanded a bit. Or we’ve got to add a woman’s program,” he said. “Or, and this is something I would not normally do, is cut a men’s program and we shouldn’t have to do that at the University of Nebraska.”
Within the Big 10, Nebraska does not have female athletic teams for sports such as field hockey, rowing and lacrosse. In order to grow the football roster, the university may need to add one to its athletic program.
Arminta Murphy, vice president of the women’s lacrosse club team, would like to see UNL add women’s lacrosse.
“I think having it as a varsity sport would bring far more opportunities than simply having it as a club team,” she said. “The only way to really grow the game in Nebraska is to offer it as a varsity sport.”
The Title IX proportionality prong is a fair policy as it helps regulate and ensure equality among male and female sports on college campuses where football may be seen as dominant, Murphy said.
“Football is such a large component of our country, yet it’s the only sport that doesn’t have a female counterpart,” she said. “The only thing to do is promote the female teams and support them in their successes.”
Murphy emphasized the club team was initially created with the long-term goal of becoming a varsity team in mind.
Now, it might be a possibility.
“The fact that it may be coming because Scott Frost wants to increase his roster wasn’t exactly what we envisioned,” she said, “but nonetheless it’s exciting both for me and our club.”