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Duke Athletics’ annual equity report sheds light on spending, coaching for men's and women's teams

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Duke Athletics’ annual equity report highlighted how the University spends its money on recruitment and resources for men’s and women’s athletics teams.

Art Chase, senior associate director of athletics and external affairs for Duke Athletics, responded to questions about the differences in coaches and financial resources, suggesting that differences may be much more complex than is conveyed through the statistics in the athletic equity report.

“Differences in funding across various programs are the function of numerous complex factors,” Chase wrote. “For example, variances in salaries have to do with length of tenure, level of success, market forces, etc.”

With 378 male student athletes and 281 female student athletes, Duke Athletics represents about one-tenth of the undergraduate student population. Recruiting expenses—for both official and unofficial visits—total $1,110,436 for men’s teams and $474,777 for women's teams, according to the report.

The gap in recruiting expenses has narrowed since 2015, when expenses amounted to $1,184,404 for men's teams and $396,438 for women's teams.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had a more pronounced gap in recruiting expenses compared to Duke in 2018, shelling out $1,419,463 for men's sports recruiting and $464,296 for women's sports recruiting.

However, athletically related student aid remains consistent across teams, with about 54% of funds allocated to men’s teams and 46% to women’s teams in 2018. The 2015 athletics equity report showed a wider gap in athletically related student aid, with 59% going to men’s teams and 41% going to women’s teams.

The disparity between student aid for men's and women's sports was similar at UNC in 2018, with 55% of funds going to men's teams and 45% to women's teams. Overall, UNC provides less aid than Duke for athletes. 

The average institutional salary in the 2018 report per head coaching position was reported as $888,921 for men’s teams and $217,429 for women’s teams. The gap was slightly greater in 2015, when head coaches for men's teams made $955,804 and those for women's teams made $183,876.

In 2018, the average institutional salary per assistant coaching position was reported as $206,734 for men’s teams and $73,257 for women's. This discrepancy is wider than the $148,000 made by men's team assistant coaches and $53,289 made by women's team coaches in 2015.

The trend continued at UNC in 2018, when the average salary was $592,176 for head coaches of men's sports and $183,016 for those who coached women's sports.

However, there are some strong outliers that influence these numbers. In 2016, men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski made $7,040,984, football head coach David Cutcliffe made $2,535,207 and women’s basketball head coach Joanne P. McCallie made $1,349,969, according to Duke's most recent tax report.

The 2015 report also acknowledged the gap in coaching salaries between men's basketball and football compared to the other sports. 

“When salaries of head coaches of men's basketball and football—which are heavily influenced by market forces—are removed from the calculation, the average salary of the head coaches of the remaining teams is $109,943,” the 2015 report stated.

Men’s teams generate more than four times the total revenue of women’s teams—driven primarily by men’s basketball and football. 

The report also provides insights on gender disparities in coaching.

In 2015 and 2018, all 11 head coaches of men’s teams were male at both UNC and Duke. In 2018, six of the 12 head coaches of women's teams at Duke were female, and five of 11 were female in 2015.

UNC showed a similar trend in 2018, with women holding six of 13 women's sports coaching positions.

Across both women’s and men’s teams, male assistant coaches make up more than half of the assistant coaching staff. Out of 34 assistant coaches for men’s teams, 31 are men and three are women. Out of 28 assistant coaches for women’s teams, 16 are men and 12 are women. 

In 2016, the NCAA recognized Kevin White, Duke's director of athletics, for efforts to make hiring more equitable in athletics administration by expanding the number of women and ethnic minorities on senior and executive staff.

Editor's note: The graphic for this story was updated Thursday. 

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