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Brandeis men’s teams spend $11,000 more on recruitment than women’s

Brandeis men’s sports teams spend over $11,000 more than women’s sports teams in recruiting new athletes, despite an almost equal number of male and female student athletes, according to an annual Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) released to the Brandeis community on Tuesday.

The annual report overviews the differences in men’s and women’s Division III sports teams at Brandeis based on their expenses, coaches salaries and gender differences in student athlete participation and coaching for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

Director of Athletics Lauren Haynie, who started at Brandeis on Sept. 23 of this year, said she was surprised by the difference in men’s and women’s team recruitment spending.

“That’s probably the one number that surprised me. That should not be the way we allocate those resources,” said Haynie. “My job now is to generate resources and revenue so we can change that—not in the taking things away from people, but making sure we’re adding that on the women’s side . . . That was the one area I was unpleasantly surprised to see, but the very nature of making that info public is that you’re held accountable to it.”

On some teams, like basketball and cross country, more women participate, while more men participate on Brandeis fencing. Haynie said that the number of athletes recruited in a certain season varies, based on student athlete interest and other factors, while the goal for coaches in recruiting remains the same.

Brandeis spends too little on recruiting student athletes, say women’s basketball player Kerry Tanke ’22 and softball player Melissa Rothenberg ’21.

“From a softball perspective, I think we spend too little on recruiting,” said Rothenberg. “Our recruit cards don’t always have enough money on it, and we end up using our own points and meal swipes to accommodate for recruits. It shows when certain sports don’t have players from outside of the East Coast. The department needs to allocate more if we want to grow our programs.”

Recruiting expenses for women’s teams was $26,328. For men’s teams, expenses totalled at $37,902 for an institutional total of just over $64,000.

“If we really wanted to up our game in recruiting we would take the recruits to interesting things around the area, because Boston is a big part of our life here at Brandeis,” said Tanke. Tanke added that getting a football team or hockey team would also help recruiting “because that is a big factor in why people go to certain schools.”

The EADA report does not count students who do not identify as male or female in the report, said Haynie, who hopes to address the lack of reporting on non-binary student athletes when giving feedback on the reporting process itself to the United States Department of Education. 

“We do have some student athletes who identify as trans or non-binary [and] they’re not counted at all. There are multiple institutions that want to change that,” said Haynie. “For me, it seems pretty simple to make that change. There’s been some pushback from the Department of Education. But they’re not counted at all which I think fundamentally devalues them as people.”

On average, head coaches on women’s sports teams are paid almost $13,000 more than head coaches on men’s sports teams. 

“It was very interesting to see that the average institutional salary per Head Coaching Position was . . . higher for women’s teams than for men’s teams. This is definitely not an obvious gender disparity that I was aware of prior to the report, but it made me wonder if the salary is also dependent on tenure, since many of our female team coaches have been here awhile,” said student-athlete Amber Graves ’20, who is a member of the Brandeis women’s basketball team.

Graves was correct in her guess, said Haynie. Many of Brandeis’ women’s sports teams’ coaches have been at Brandeis for a long time, and as a result have larger salaries on average.

As for assistant coaches, the average salary was about $6,000 higher for men’s sports teams than women’s. Brandeis has more full time assistant coaches on men’s teams, said Haynie, which is what causes the salary difference for assistant coaching positions. Haynie said she plans to address this disparity.

Brandeis’ men’s sport teams have four male head coaches and three female head coaches while Brandeis’ women’s sport teams have one male head coach and seven female head coaches. In total, Brandeis has 27 assistant male coaches and six female assistant coaches.

“Part of that is about the national landscape for coaching,” said Haynie. “So when we look at pools we tend to have more men applying . . . We are also trying to be mindful in making sure we have some balance by gender in our assistant pools.”

Brandeis’ revenues and expenses for sport teams were equal, in total spending $4,732,118. Sports at Brandeis do not bring in a lot of revenue for the university, said Haynie. Instead, Brandeis relies on parents, donors, gym memberships and other sources to fund the department.

Editor’s note: Sports editor Sophie Trachtenberg is a member of the women’s basketball team.

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