Florida Atlantic University reportedly fabricated the number of female student athletes participating in the university’s athletic programs in its Title IX report to the U.S. Department of Education in 2017, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The Palm Beach Post reported Friday that in 2016, it was discovered that although majority of the student populace enrolled at FAU is female, only 31 percent of the university’s athletes were female. As such, FAU was ranked the lowest amongst the 127 campuses competing in Division I college sports.
According to Palm Beach Post staff writer Kenny Jacoby, FAU declared, in its 2017 report, that the university managed to boost its female athlete participation rate by 20 percentage points within the span of a year. With an alleged 98 women athletes occupying “222 roster spots on its cross country, indoor track and outdoor track teams,” the university would have the most number of female track athletes among the 127 Division 1 campuses.
However, Jacoby denotes that the FAU track team’s photograph, on the team’s website, starkly contradicts the figures provided by the university’s report. “The staggering numbers” Jacoby wrote, “FAU reported having 98 women’s track athletes. The roster showed no more than 43, and the team photo showed 38.”
FAU athletic department spokeswoman Katrina McCormack acknowledged in an email to Palm Beach Post, two weeks after the publication’s initial request for a comment, that the department was aware of the error and was in the process of amending the report.
In her email to Palm Beach Post, McCormack also asserted that Brian Battle, the employee who drafted and submitted the report, has been dismissed from the university, despite the fact that Battle is cited as the “reporting official” in the report. Battle remains part of the university’s faculty as a senior associate athletic director for internal operations.
Jacoby also exposed FAU’s lack of scholarship opportunities for female student athletes, citing how “FAU boosted the number of women athletes but did nothing to boost the amount of scholarship money awarded to its female athletes, leaving a gap that violates the federal law known as Title IX.”
In a statement to Palm Beach Post, associate general counsel for the National Women’s Law Center Neena Chaudhry stated that FAU’s inadequate scholarship grants to its female students athletes “is a violation, pure and simple.”
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