Some colleges universities are counting male practice players as female members of teams in order to meet Title IX requirements, according to a front page article in Tuesday’s New York Times, “College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equality.” Cornell was featured in the article for its practice of counting 19 male “practice players” on its fencing team as women while counting five female coxswains on its men’s crew team as women. While some of Yale’s women’s teams do use male practice players, Amy Backus, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, said Yale does not count its male practice players towards its total number of female athletes in its EADA (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act) report. Backus said, however, that Yale does count its female coxswain as women athletes.
Other practices reported in the article included “roster trimming” on male teams to reduce the number of counted male athletes and enlarging female rosters to include athletes that do not participate in competition. Backus said that all athletes on both male and female teams are legitimate team members and able to compete.