P-P, CMS release athletic department budget breakdowns, reveal gender disparities

Four student athletes stand staggered. From front to back, there is a Pomona-Pitzer lacrosse player, a CMS basketball player, a CMS tennis player and the silhouette of a baseball player.
(Bella Pettengill • The Student Life)

Pomona-Pitzer (P-P) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) athletics programs both completed an Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) report outlining the spending totals of their respective programs that were made available to the public earlier this month.

This report covered the 2021-2022 academic year as a result of the EADA of 1994, which requires all coeducational higher education institutions participating in federal student financial aid programs to report on intercollegiate athletic program finances. The EADA contains information regarding athletic participation, coaching salaries, team expenses and recruiting expenses. 

Both P-P and CMS’ EADA reports displayed general disparities in expenses between men’s and women’s teams, with both football teams’ total expenses exceeding all others for both athletic programs. P-P reported that from 2021-2022, the ten men’s teams’ total expenses were $2,097,637, while the 11 women’s teams’ expenses were $1,807,482. This disparity was less prevalent in CMS’ report, showing men’s teams’ total expenses as $2,059,314 while women’s was $2,020,439. 

All P-P athletic teams receive the same per-student-athlete finances, but some factors cause certain team expenses to be higher than others, Pomona-Pitzer Director of Athletics Miriam Merrill explained in an email to TSL. 

“There may be variances in the total amount spent for a team’s equipment, which may not be purchased on an annual basis. The competitive season for one sport may be longer than another,” Merrill said. “Although the budget for a given team may be different, we are committed to ongoing efforts to ensure that the total per-student-athlete spend is equitable across all teams.”

Merrill added that factors such as travel and uniform expenses are established on budget cycles, which also contributes to the differences in expenses in the EADA report. Gilien Silsby, director of news and media at Claremont McKenna College, also cited roster size, equipment and travel as factors.

Both P-P’s and CMS’ athletics budget is managed by the head of the department, while head coaches manage their respective team budgets on a day-to-day basis. Head coaches are in communication with the department regarding these budgets, specifically large expenditures such as travel expenses. CMS Athletics’ final fiscal responsibility lies on the athletic director, Erica Jasper, according to Silsby.

As both athletic programs compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), a Division III conference, athletic teams and programs do not generate revenue. Therefore, revenue does not factor into team budgets.

“Although most of our head coaches fundraise to offset the costs of travel outside of the SCIAC as well as other upgrades that improve the student-athlete experience, no CMS Athletic Programs generate revenue in a traditional sense (e.g. ticket sales or sponsorships),” Silsby said via email.

The EADA also reported salary disparities between coaches of men’s and women’s teams. At Pomona-Pitzer, the average annual salary per head coach position for men’s teams was $58,886, while the same value for women’s teams was $55,016. The average annual assistant coach salary for men’s teams is $8,921, while that value for women’s teams is $7,228.

“Length of tenure plays an important role in salary levels within the athletics department just as they do across the entire College faculty,” Merrill said. “Among other things, the number of male coaches who have been at Pomona-Pitzer over a longer period is larger than the number of female coaches who have been here just as long.”

At CMS, the average annual institutional salary per head coaching position is $50,384 for men’s teams and $65,000 for women’s teams. Average assistant coach salaries are $16,828 for men’s teams and $9,234 for women’s teams.

Merrill said P-P is working to implement initiatives that will address these disparities accordingly.

“The [colleges continue] to prioritize efforts to attract and retain qualified and experienced female coaches,” she said. “Some examples include mentorship opportunities and recruiting focused on populations underrepresented in coaching.”

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