Parity Planned In Men's, Women's Sports

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

Boston College has unveiled a five-year strategic plan to ensure equal opportunity for its male and female student-athletes, an initiative which includes additional scholarships and resources for women's sports programs.

Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo noted that, when fully implemented, the plan will add 47 scholarships to various women's sports programs. By the 2002-03 academic year, the total number of scholarships awarded, and number of opportunities for participation, will be "virtually equal" among men and women, he said.

"We feel this plan shows Boston College is committed to providing a great experience for all our student-athletes, and providing equitable opportunities for women in particular to participate in intercollegiate athletics," DeFilippo said.

As part of the plan, three men's varsity sports - lacrosse, water polo and wrestling - will be designated club sports. However, this transition will be gradual, DeFilippo said, and no student-athletes already recruited for those programs at the varsity level will be affected.

BC will create 38 of the proposed additional women's athletic scholarships, DeFilippo said, and the remaining nine will be transferred from men's programs, although not from football, hockey or basketball.

By the time the initiative is completed, Boston College will field 31 varsity sports. Men's programs will include baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, football, golf, ice hockey, sailing, skiing, soccer, swimming, tennis, indoor track and outdoor track. Women's programs will consist of basketball, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, skiing, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball, indoor track and outdoor track.

"This will involve a significant contribution from the University," DeFilippo said. "Once the transition is finished, Boston College will still offer one of the largest programs in intercollegiate athletics. Our goal has not changed: We want to keep the student-athlete at the heart of our program. We're committed to providing fair and equitable opportunities for young men and women to pursue an excellent education while participating in intercollegiate sports."

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