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Women continue to be neglected in NCAA Division I athletics

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Erika Barnes, interim athletic director at the University of Arizona, attained a position of power that women rarely experience, overseeing an $85 million budget as well as a nationally-ranked men’s basketball team. And although she has decided not to pursue the permanent position, she understands the challenges facing other women seeking like roles in collegiate athletics. In NCAA Division I athletics, women continue to be largely underrepresented in key leadership positions, specifically administrative and head coaching roles. In 2015-16, only 37 of the 352 athletic directors in Division I athletics were women, according to NCAA data. Twenty-seven of those women were white. The “Power Five” conferences — Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern Conference (SEC) — consist of 65 universities. Only three have employed women as their head athletic directors: Washington, North Carolina State and Penn State....

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