More scholarships for its women's programs, additional football scholarships, another full-time strength and conditioning coach, and eventually one more full-time assistant football coach are all among the intended benefits to Duquesne's athletic department in the wake of Monday's announcement that the university would eliminate four of its men's teams at the end of the school year.
"This is really not a cost-cutting measure," athletic director Greg Amodio said Thursday, breaking a weeklong administrative silence, "but a strategic reallocation of dollars."
Baseball, golf, swimming and wrestling were the men's sports designated for termination in a financial review Amodio said was initiated by the athletic administration in 2008, a process that didn't receive approval from the university's hierarchy until late last month.
Though Duquesne had given no indication that Title IX considerations were the impetus for the overall review of its athletic programs, Amodio said Thursday that Title IX implications were unavoidable.
"Frankly, it's not something we can control; that's a federal mandate," Amodio said of the law that ensures equity for women's programs and scholarship dollars in intercollegiate athletics. "The new structure will be in long-term compliance with Title IX, for which we engaged an outside consultant, a nationally respected expert on Title IX issues, and all of our initiatives have been approved."
Amodio, still the only Duquesne official to address the situation publicly, re-emphasized that about 70 athletes in the four eliminated programs will not be penalized financially.
"I know they're in a very difficult situation, and that's why we wanted to make sure there is no financial penalty," Amodio said. "If they stay, they'll continue to receive their scholarship. If someone has a $10,000 baseball scholarship to Duquesne, that's the amount of scholarship money they'll get."
Though athletes who transfer generally are forced to sit out a year under NCAA rules, students who leave because their university terminated their sport have been allowed to play without interruption.
Gene Collier: firstname.lastname@example.org .