Author: Dennis Brown

In addition to the following information, please consult our summary on participation, operating and recruitng expenses, coaches’ salaries, student aid, and revenues. p. Also available is our report on head and assistant coaching assignments. p. p. Federal regulations require that the following information, based on the previous reporting year, be available for inspection.

An institution is encouraged to provide any further information it believes might be helpful to students, prospective students or the public to interpret the information provided above, or that might help a prospective student-athlete make an informed choice of an athletics program. For example, an institution may include a history of its athletics programs, or explanation of unusual or exceptional circumstances that would better explain the data or their significance.

The Notre Dame Athletic Department has demonstrated a commitment to equity since the University admitted female students for the first time in 1972. Since fencing became Notre Dame’s first women’s varsity sport that year, thirteen other women’s sports have attained varsity status. During that same time span, only two new men’s sports have been elevated to the varsity level. Women’s field hockey was dropped in 1988 due to scheduling problems, lack of regional competition, and dwindling student interest. However, since 1988, eight new women’s sports have attained varsity status. During that same time frame, no new men’s sports were added and one (wrestling) was dropped as a University offering. Currently, the University offers thirteen men’s and thirteen women’s varsity teams. Women’s lacrosse began varsity competition in the fall of 1996, and women’s rowing became Notre Dame’s thirteenth varsity program for women when they began their first varsity season in 1998.

In 1987, the Athletic Department assessed the funding available for its Olympic Sports Program. Since that initial review, every sport has been examined annually to help determine coaching needs, operating budget, travel and scholarships, facilities, support services, promotions, and scheduling. Significant increases in resources for the Olympic Sports Programs have been developed through budget adjustments, endowment funds, outside contributions, and a major marketing effort. Of particular note are the budgetary increases in the women’s programs. In 1986-87 the total operating budget for women’s athletics was $880,820.50; in 1999-2000, that amount reached $5,830,056.00.

Noteworthy is the recent construction of new office space to ensure that equitable facilities have been made available to each of our men’s and women’s coaching staffs. This $2,000,000 expenditure was made as a result of the NCAA Certification Self-Study conducted in 1996. The office space benefits 11 of our Olympic Sports Programs, including seven varsity women’s teams (rowing, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, cross country/track, basketball and softball) and four varsity men’s teams. With regard to playing facilities, the softball field was converted to a stadium facility and the outdoor tennis facility was upgraded to host the 1998 NCAA women’s championship. During the past few years, the women’s basketball team moved into a new office complex and a new locker room and team lounge. In 1999-2000, the Athletic Department also created two new administrative positions for women’s basketball: director of basketball operations and a marketing position dedicated to women’s basketball.

The dramatic increase in the number of varsity offerings for women attempts to parallel the increase in the size of the undergraduate female population. In 1978, only 23% of the undergraduate population was female. This grew to 28% in 1982, and 33% in 1987. Five years later, 38% of the undergraduate population was female, and the Athletic Department continued to chase a moving target. Today, 45% of the undergraduate population is female. From 1988 to the present, the percentage of total budgeted grants-in-aid awarded women increased from 19.01% of total grants-in-aid to 36.1% of total grants-in-aid. In addition to its commitment to add two new women’s programs (lacrosse in 1996 and rowing in 1998), Notre Dame just completed a five-year plan that resulted in the addition of 22 scholarships to new and existing women’s programs. The Athletic Department has embraced a new five-year plan that will begin in 2001. Among other goals, this new plan will add at least 24 additional scholarships to our women’s program. In 1998, the University created a Gender Equity Task Force to evaluate and make recommendations concerning, among other things, participation opportunities and financial aid for female athletes at Notre Dame.

The results of these budget increases and other improvements have been very apparent in the level of competition displayed by these programs. Sports Illustrated for Women recently recognized Notre Dame as one of the top 20 colleges for women athletes, and Notre Dame placed 21st in the Sears Director’s Cup all-sports rankings for women’s athletics in 1999-2000. Notre Dame has won the Big East Commissioner’s Trophy for both women’s and men’s athletics the past four years. In 1999-2000, ten of Notre Dame’s thirteen women’s varsity teams participated in NCAA post-season competition.

Finally, the University would like to provide additional information concerning Table 6 (Athletically Related Student Aid). First, the athletic student aid detailed in Table 6 includes funding provided for athletes to attend summer school. Athletes are recommended for summer school by their coaches or by the Academic Services for Student-Athletes Office at Notre Dame. Once enrolled in summer school, the amount of aid granted to a student-athlete is proportionate to the amount of aid the student received during the prior academic year. Therefore, sports that predominantly award full scholarships actualize a proportionately higher amount of summer school aid for their athletes. Second, although women’s basketball has been fully funded by the University for several years, the number of scholarships actually awarded is within the coach’s discretion. During 1999-2000, women’s basketball used only 11 of the 15 full scholarships allotted to the program.


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