The title of this post is the message we conveyed to the Department of Education in response to their request for public input regarding the collection of Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) data. If you’re not familiar with the EADA, check out our one-pager here that explains what the law requires of colleges and universities (for example, the numbers of men and women playing sports and expenses allocated to each team). The Department helpfully puts all of this info on a website where anyone can look up any institution and print out a few pages with all the information that schools are required to disclose.
The info that schools are required to make public under the EADA is vital because it provides parents, students, coaches, advocates, and others with a window into whether an institution is allocating valuable athletic opportunities fairly. Unfortunately, we know that many schools are still not providing women with equal opportunities to play sports or equal treatment when they do play, even though Title IX has now been the law of the land for over 40 years. The EADA is a powerful tool that can be used to shine a light on disparities and advocate for change. The Center did just that with the first batch of EADA data a little over 15 years ago, filing complaints against 25 colleges and universities for failing to provide female athletes with their fair share of athletic scholarship dollars. Those complaints led to many female athletes getting money that was rightfully theirs and that helped them pay for school.
Even if you don’t love data as much as we do, it’s hard to argue with the famous quote “Knowledge is Power.”