Women should play bigger part in athletics

As I was interviewing Andrea Seger last week, I asked her a question, and the answer threw me for a loop.

I talked to her about when she was hired in as athletic director and how she was one of only four women to hold such a position across the nation in Division 1A.

I asked how far she thought women in athletics have come today.

Assuming women had been making a great impact on athletic administration in college sports, I thought the question would be good to ask.

There has to be more women holding positions, the days of the glass ceiling are over.

Of course, the hiring process of women in administration is not fair, but what is fair today?

Jobs, sports, drinking games - nothing is ever fairly contested, but there are always improvements being made.

It's been seven years since 1995 when she was hired.

She answered.

"There are only six of us. And as of Saturday, it'll be back to five."

In 1995 there were four. In July of 2002, there are five.

Seger said, "Women have not made great strides on the Division 1A level, which is the highest level."

So I have been oblivious to the fact that women in sports administration has not changed that much since 1995.

Has the glass ceiling been replaced with bullet-proof glass? Are colleges afraid?

Afraid that the precious football program will suffer if a woman is hired. It's assumed that women can't raise money for football programs, and they end up directing all their attention to women's sports.


Look at Seger for example. Look at the advancement in the football stadium. That training facility took fund raising, and it was done.

While men's sports was improving, so was women's sports.

The Mid-American Conference has two more of the six women athletic directors coming from Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.

This isn't surprising, because the MAC is known for dominating college football or basketball. We barely get any recognition.

But there is some hope for equality in sports administration.

Seger said women athletic directors are increasing in numbers at the Division 1AA and lower levels.

Schools that do not associate their athletic programs with just football or basketball.

Hopefully these smaller schools will serve as examples for the Division 1A schools, or become stepping stones into the bigger picture.

Diversity is what keeps sports unique. That is why it is interesting to see all the foreign players come to America to play in the NBA or baseball, it makes the competition more exciting.

It changes the the thought process of sports.

So what's wrong with having a woman's perspective on sports? If change is becoming more popular in sports, why not hire women in as athletic directors?

Yet Division 1A schools hire the average 50-something white male that can raise money for the football and basketball programs.

Ball State's list of five finalists for the athletic director position was disappointing because they were all male, though all of the candidates looked more than qualified for the position.

And at the beginning of the fall semester, Ball State will go back to the traditional sports perspective.

"It's disappointing that we'll be back down to five, and I'm hoping numbers will continue to go up over the years."

My question is, how many years is it actually going to take?


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