Next Trojan athletic director should be female

USC Athletics is nothing short of a dynasty. With a combined 123 team national championships, the Trojans are at the top of the leaderboard among other Division I schools.

USC men’s sports certainly put the school’s athletic department on the map, but it’s the women’s sports that are keeping it there. To further support the Women of Troy’s prestige, measures should be taken to introduce more female athletic directors to the University. To remedy the current climate of gender imbalance in the sports administration, USC Athletics should look to a female athletic director as a replacement for outgoing Athletic Director Pat Haden.

Of the 10 senior members of the athletic department’s administration, only three are female. In the four top positions — athletic director and the three senior associate athletic directors — only one is a woman. Donna Heinel serves as a senior associate athletic director and is also listed as the “senior woman administrator,” a position designated by the NCAA, on the USC Athletics website. Conversely, there is no male counterpart position to this listed among the senior associate athletic directors.

Since Title IX requires that half of USC’s student-athletes are female, the athletic department should staff an administration representative of that population. If the next athletic director is not a female, he should at least add more women to his staff.

The administration is not the only part of USC Athletics that is lacking in gender equity. Of the 18 head coaches at the University, only five are women.

While the men’s teams have won 97 of the school’s titles, the women’s teams have won 26 championships since 1976. Considering that women did not have the same amount of athletic scholarships as men until 1972 when Title IX, an education act banning the exclusion of people from educational activities on the basis of sex, was signed into law, that number looks all the more impressive, and it is continuing to grow.

Had it not been for the women’s beach volleyball team, USC would have ended a 15-year streak of winning at least one title every year. The team capped an undefeated 2015 season with a win in the AVCA Championships. It looks like it will again be up to the women’s team to extend the streak, as the men’s teams have failed to win a title this year, and don’t appear to be in contention. The baseball team is hovering around .500 while the men’s tennis, golf and track and field teams are all ranked in the top 10, but have a lot of improvements to be made if they’re going to be taking home a championship. Trojan faithful have little reason to worry, however, as USC’s 15-year streak is in good hands. Women’s lacrosse and water polo both currently boast undefeated records while the sand volleyball team has only dropped two matches all season. While USC’s place in Division I history is rooted in men’s sports, the continuation of that legacy currently relies on the women’s teams.

It is for that reason that USC should strongly consider hiring a female athletic director — someone committed to furthering the ideals of gender equity. One of Haden’s most underappreciated achievements was his decision to bring women’s sand volleyball and women’s lacrosse to USC and helping them grow to national contenders in under five seasons. The next athletic director, be it a male or a female, should continue what Haden started and make it a priority to grow USC women’s sports beyond what is required by Title IX. And, per the current trend toward women’s athletics at USC, it’s time to increase the role of women in the athletic department.

If anything, USC should look to other universities where athletic programs are led by female athletic directors. Only about 10 percent of the athletic directors of the entire allegiance of Division I schools are female. Not to mention, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, out of 120 schools belonging to the Football Bowl — USC included — only seven female athletic directors lead their respective schools’ sports programs.

Sports should not be solely governed by men. Penn State’s Sandy Barbour has entirely transformed the face of the Power Five conferences. Mollie Marcoux made unprecedented, executive decisions at Princeton to route resources to the university’s athletic program.

Ultimately, sports are not, by definition, a boy’s club, and its governing body should not be either. As one of the best schools in one of the best Division I conferences, USC needs to take a meaningful step toward achieving and promoting gender equity within collegiate athletics. Hiring a female athletic director would prove to students and Trojan fans that the University considers this issue a priority.

Daily  Trojan Spring 2016 Editorial Board

Editor’s Note: This post was updated to clarify the wording of a previous version which said “the women’s teams have won all 26 of their championships since 1976.” The women’s teams have won 26 championships since 1976. 



9 replies
  1. Teddy Edwards
    Teddy Edwards says:

    ‘What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide,” says lesbian feminist Camille Paglia. “This PC gender politics thing—the way gender is being taught in the universities—in a very anti-male way, it’s all about neutralization of maleness.”

    Here’s what’s weird:

    The Left, on the one hand, asserts that there are no differences between men and women; therefore, every vocation, every position type, should reflect the country’s gender ratio. If the ratio is not reflected, it is the result of some injustice, again because there is no reason other than discrimination for fewer women in this or that vocation. On the other hand, is asserted that having more women in a certain profession or vocation would make it better because it would add something that was missing. But if there is no difference between men and women, so what could possibly be missing?

    Now, if women are truly being discriminated against, this is a problem. If USC refused to hire women athletic directors simply because of their gender, it would be a serious problem. But this seems better remedied on a case-by-case basis than through a quota.

    If women aren’t vying for certain positions, such as athletic director, it might it be because some don’t actually want those positions. Actually, most women do not want to lead men. It’s in their biology. Gender stereotypes (specifically, “the mother myth”) perpetuated throughout our history have deceived the female populace. Germany’s Angelika Dammann, the “first and only female board member at software giant SAP”: “We are still very far from a situation where it’s as normal for women as for men to WANT both a career and family—even among young women. When you have children, you’re expected to stay home for a significant period; otherwise you are considered a bad mother.”

    So the number of female candidates for certain jobs is severely reduced to, well, sometimes none. Especially if the pool of them — say USC females familiar with the system already and who want the job — is non-existent.

  2. t-bone
    t-bone says:

    USC should strongly consider hiring a green eyed AD. They have a long history of brown and blue eyed ADs. USC needs to take a meaningful step toward achieving and promoting eye color equity within collegiate athletics.

  3. Steve B.
    Steve B. says:

    No Problem with a female AD. Anyone other than Steve Lopes, please. A person that has some foresight in hiring coaches from a real national search not like Haden and current staff who take the easy way out. Personally winning in Sand Volleyball and Lacrosse is like the ‘ruins getting titles in gymnastics, and softball. It is great for the women, but the alumni doesn’t rally around those minor sports.

  4. Adam
    Adam says:

    The NCAA didn’t offer championships for women until 1981-82, so it was pretty difficult for the Trojans to win any prior to that (there was the AIAW and the like, but they weren’t much older). No school won, say, a women’s basketball championship in 1950, because it didn’t exist. Nearly all of those many men’s track titles that USC won happened well before the women even competed. It’s a false equivalency. A valid comparison would be men’s titles vs. women’s since 1982.

    Also, no where in the NCAA, at any school, is there a “senior men’s administrator” as you seem to suggest.

    I’m not even saying your central point isn’t valid, but the lack of depth of knowledge in the subject, as illustrated by these crucial mistakes, tends to lessen the impact. Ignorance isn’t a good place to start an argument.

  5. Thekatman
    Thekatman says:

    Your push for a female AD is as insane as Hillary’s comment atating… “isn’t it about time we havery a woman president!” We want the best person for the jiob, and you shouldn’t make decisions based on genitalia.

    • Steve B.
      Steve B. says:

      Hey Thecatman, your spelling and grammar is insane. Ever hear of editing your comment before submitting it?
      This country is overdue for a woman President instead of the likes of a Trump, Cruz, Rubio and the rest of the
      haters like yourself. That cigar hanging out of your mouth is disgusting.

      • Thekatman
        Thekatman says:

        Poor baby. Perhaps you should hide in your safe zone. Momma’s basement is good for that. If all you can do is bust my chops for an autocorrect error, you have more issues to deal with. Someday, when you grow up an make some money, you too, may enjoy a fine cigar after a USC football win. Besides, you need to learn to read. You misspelled my nickname. As always, fight on brothuh!

  6. smokeybandit
    smokeybandit says:

    How about you get the most qualified candidate for the job instead of making sexist comments like “It should be a man” or “It should be a woman”?

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