Public Affairs


CSU Systemwide Averages in Participation and Funding Are in Compliance with 1993 CalNOW Agreement

(Long Beach, CA) A California State University report released today (Tuesday, February 8) revealed massive increases in participation rate, funding, and grants for women’s athletics in the 23-campus system.

The CSU systemwide averages in two of these three areas are in compliance with a 1993 California National Organization for Women (CalNOW) agreement on gender equity in athletics. Most individual CSU campuses also are in compliance with the agreement. Those that are not in compliance are close to reaching the stipulations of the agreement and are making efforts to comply.

"We are very pleased with the results of our internal report on gender equity in athletics. The CSU has taken extraordinary steps the past five years to increase opportunities for women to compete in athletics at the collegiate level," said John Welty, CSU Fresno president and chair of the CSU/Cal-NOW Consent Decree Monitoring Committee. "CSU campuses have allocated massive resources to ensure equality of opportunity, and we will continue our commitment to this standard."

"The CSU has taken seriously its commitment to women's athletics," said Linda Joplin, chair of the CalNOW athletic equity committee. "Although all of the campuses are not quite there yet, the progress is significant, and their planning is sound. What they have done over the past five years should serve as a national model for other institutions seeking to increase opportunities for women in athletics."

CalNOW filed suit against the CSU and San Jose State University in 1993, alleging that the CSU failed to comply with California Education Code Section 89240-89241, which states that ". . . opportunities for participation in athletics be provided on as nearly an equal basis to male and female students as is practical. . . . Insofar as practical, from the total amount of funds available for athletics from the General Fund, the trustees shall ensure that reasonable amounts will be allocated to male and female students except that allowances may be made for differences in the costs of various athletic programs."

Before the case went to trial, CalNOW and CSU reached a mutual settlement.

The agreement, which sought equity in participation, funding, and grants, stated that each CSU campus would ensure:

  • That the percentage of women athletes on a campus would be within five percent of the percentage of NCAA-eligible women enrolled on campus.
  • That funding for women's athletics would be within 10 percent of the percentage of NCAA-eligible women enrolled on campus. The agreement included allowances for more costly sports such as football.
  • That of the total grants available, those given to women would be within five percent of the percentage of NCAA-eligible women enrolled on campus.

Systemwide averages put the CSU in compliance in two of the three categories--participation and funding--and 2.3 percent off the goal in grants. The success is particularly impressive considering the CSU's large female population. In 1998/99, 56 percent of all NCAA-eligible CSU students were female. That percentage has steadily increased for several years. In 1993, 54.8 percent of CSU students were female. Some campuses with particularly high NCAA-eligible female enrollment include: Dominguez Hills, 66 percent; Sonoma, 65 percent; San Bernardino, 65 percent; Stanislaus, 64 percent; Bakersfield 64 percent; Los Angeles, 62 percent; and Northridge, 61 percent.


The percentage of women athletes in the CSU increased by a remarkable 81 percent from 1992/93 to 1998/99. At least 38 new intercollegiate sports for women were added, and 53.6 percent of CSU intercollegiate athletes are now women, up from 34.7 percent in 1992/93. This compares to a recent NCAA study indicating that 40 percent of all Division I athletes nationwide are women. In addition, 35 percent of California's high school athletes are female, and 33 percent of athletes at California's community colleges are women.

Eleven of the 19 CSU campuses with intercollegiate athletics are in compliance in participation rate: Fresno, Fullerton, Hayward, Humboldt, Long Beach, Pomona, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Luis Obispo.

The campuses not in compliance and the percentage by which they missed the goal are: Chico, 0.5; Bakersfield, 1.1; Los Angeles, 1.8; Dominguez Hills, 2.1; Sonoma, 2.4; San Bernardino, 2.5; Northridge, 2.7; and Stanislaus, 5.6. Substantial increases in female enrollment in the past two years was a major factor in the campuses not meeting the goal.


Funding for women's athletics at the CSU increased by an incredible 266 percent from 1992-93 to 1998/99, and during the same time funding for men increased by 44 percent. Systemwide 49 percent of funding for athletics goes to women's sports. Nationally in Division I, 33 percent of operating expenditures goes toward female programs.

Fifteen of 19 campuses are in compliance in this area: Bakersfield, Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Hayward, Humboldt, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, and Sonoma,

Three campuses are less than one percent from compliance: Stanislaus, 0.1; Fresno, 0.7; and San Diego, 0.75. San Diego allocated funds to reach the goal, but women chose not to participate in a summer school program. Northridge is 3.2 percent from compliance, but has plans to add three women's sports. Again, increases in female enrollment over the past two years contributed to the non-compliance.


Grants for women at the CSU increased by an impressive 184 percent from 1992/93 to 1998/99, while grants for men increased by 59 percent during the same period. Systemwide, 49 percent of grants go to female athletes, up from 35 percent in 1992/93. Nationally in Division I-A, females receive 38 percent of the scholarships.

Eleven of 19 campuses are in compliance in this area. The eleven are: Bakersfield, Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Hayward, Long Beach, Pomona, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Luis Obispo.

Two campuses, San Diego and Humboldt, allocated sufficient funds but women athletes did not use the allocated aid, and the campuses missed the standard by 1.45 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

Fresno was prepared to meet the standard, but the university is already offering the maximum number of scholarships allowed by the NCAA, and missed the goal by 9.2 percent. Fresno has supported NCAA legislation to increase aid for women and reduce the number of football grants.

Northridge missed the standard by 7.2 percent, but the addition of three women's sports is being planned to bring the campus into compliance.

Increased female enrollment over the past two years is a major reason for non-compliance at the following campuses: Los Angeles, off by 1 percent; Sonoma, off by 2.4 percent; San Bernardino, off by 3.5 percent; and Stanislaus, off by 4.4 percent.


Some additional campus plans to reach compliance include:

  • Bakersfield--adding women's basketball.
  • Chico--improving women's facilities, adding women's swimming and possibly adding women's tennis.
  • Humboldt--reviewing and possibly revising allocation of grants process and improving women's rowing facilities.
  • Northridge--reconstructing women's softball field.
  • San Bernardino--enhancing women's soccer and softball facilities and creating a community group to support women's athletics.
  • San Diego--renovating women's swimming practice site, constructing a new soccer and track site, and increasing women's spring, and summer grants.
  • Stanislaus--possibly reducing the size of men's teams and construction of a new women's softball field.

"The California State University campuses should be commended for their good work over the past five years in ensuring equal opportunities for men and women in college athletics, and in making some very difficult decisions," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "There is still some work to be done, but every campus has a solid plan to ensure equity. When you look at how far the California State University has come in a short time, it is very impressive."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Campus specific information is available at the Website