UC Davis will add a women’s Division I team next year. Which sport? That’s up to the community, in part.
The university is seeking nominations for a team to begin competing in the 2018-19 academic year, according to a letter from director of athletics Kevin Blue. UC Davis needs to add a women’s team to comply with Title IX regulations, which mandate equal representation based on the undergraduate student body.
UC Davis’ undergraduate students went from 55.1 percent women and 44.9 percent men to 59.4 percent women and 40.6 percent men between the 2011-12 and 2016-17 academic years. A panel will select the new sport based largely on the amount of private financial support offered in order to not pull funding from existing programs.
UC Davis currently offers 14 women’s sports programs and nine men’s, though no female unit has anywhere near the 101 players listed on the football team’s roster. No men’s teams will be eliminated to force Title IX compliance.
Existing women’s sports programs are: basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, indoor track and field, lacrosse, outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball and water polo.
New teams can be nominated on UC Davis’ website until Jan. 19. Those interested in making conditional financial contributions for certain sports should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue, five other university employees and ASUCD president Josh Dalaval will recommend a sport to Chancellor Gary May sometime in the school’s winter quarter, which ends March 23.