Jan. 7, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State Athletics Director Thomas Boeh announced today the addition of two women's sports in a move that reflects the University's continued commitment to Title IX compliance.
The announcement marks the return of women's swimming and diving which last competed in the 2003-04 academic year. Women's lacrosse will be a new sport for Fresno State and represents a well-established sport in the East that is on the rise in the Midwest and the West. Both were among the recommendations of the Gender Equity Plan Task Force, a 13-member campus-community panel charged by University President John D. Welty to develop a new five-year gender equity plan that will guide the university to continue to maintain Title IX compliance in its athletics program.
"The addition of these sports reflects Fresno State's commitment to Title IX compliance and strengthens the institution's position in meeting Prong 1 of the Interests and Abilities requirement of the law." Boeh said. "Additionally, these sport selections will infuse additional women's scholarship dollars into the program which will ensure the university's compliance with equitable athletic scholarship distribution as required by Title IX."
The Gender Equity Plan Task Force continues its work to finalize recommendations in the 11 areas known as the `laundry list.' The entire work of the Task Force will be formalized into a five-year plan, which will be a primary component of Fresno State's NCAA Certification process, which is expected to be completed early in 2009.
Boeh said he expects coaches in the new sports to be hired and student-athletes recruited in time for the teams to compete in the 2008-09 academic year. Swimming and diving begins competition in the late fall and concludes in early winter. Lacrosse is a spring sport. The intention for the new swimming and diving team will be to practice and compete at a Clovis Unified high school in the near term. The university master plan includes phased construction of a competitive aquatics center.
Lacrosse will practice west of Bulldog Stadium and compete in the stadium until the completion of the planned soccer/lacrosse competitive venue that will be located directly east of Bulldog Stadium.