Missouri State releases a report annually to the federal government about equity in the athletic department at the university.
The most recent report on athletics in the 2017-18 school year came out recently.
The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act report is a requirement for every college and university that receives federal aid in any way.
The report gives data on the number of male and female athletes, the number of male and female coaches, expenses for each sport and other categories.
The report is required by the US Department of Education for every college or university receiving federal funding.
The Department of Education’s website says the reports are used to report to Congress on equity in college athletics.
An initial look at the report shows there are over twice the amount of male coaches than female coaches, 34 men to 15 women.
This is more about the amount of coaches allowed per sport than anything else, said senior associate director of athletics at Missouri State Casey Hunt.
“The NCAA limits the staff members you can have for each particular sport,” Hunt said. “It may appear that we have more on the male side, but it’s just because of NCAA limits.”
Hunt said that football having ten coaches increases the number of male coaches at MSU.
According to NCAA bylaws, the maximum amount of coaches a non-football team can have is four.
Of the 15 female coaches at MSU, only swimming and diving assistant coach Chelsea Dirks-Ham has direct coaching duties with male athletes.
She and head coach Dave Collins have coached male athletes to numerous appearances at the NCAA championships in recent years, including two in 2018-19.
They also coach the women’s team, who has won three consecutive Missouri Valley championships.
According to Dirks-Ham, coaching both male and female teams in tandem presents unique challenges.
“At meets, there are times where one gender is having a really great meet and the other gender might be struggling. You have to manage your emotions,” Dirks-Ham said. “Basically, the women will swim an event, then the men will swim right after them. In those settings, it’s kind of hard to not have rash emotions on each end of the spectrum.
“It happens very rarely, but it’s one of the bigger challenges.”
Missouri State’s swimming and diving team has 24 male athletes and 32 female athletes, who not only share the same coaches but also some practices.
Dirks-Ham said the athletes are split up to begin the season.
After a couple weeks into practice, they are put into groups based on what events they will compete in. Friday and Saturday practices are split up again.
“We think it’s a good blend. It’s nice because it just expands their network of teammates and friends,” Dirks-Ham said. “Their support system is quite large with that combination.”
Coaching both male and female athletes allows more opportunities for Dirks-Ham to do her favorite part of coaching: getting to know her athletes.
“Swimming as a sport, there’s always a very strong coach-to-athlete relationship,” Dirks-Ham said. “I really enjoy getting to know them and getting to learn what they want to do with their life.”
The report also lists the total expenses for each athletic program at MSU. The highest spending program was football, with slightly over $3.5 million in expenses.
That was followed by men’s basketball with a little more than $3 million in expenses. Hunt said basketball expenses were a little higher than normal because contractual buy-outs for former head coach Paul Lusk and his staff were still on the books.
Women’s basketball and baseball were the only other programs to have expenses over $1 million. In terms of athletic aid like scholarships, grants and any other sort of athletic assistance, male athletes received almost $2.4 million and female athletes received over $2.1 million.
EADA reports are due every year by Oct. 15. The report on the 2018-19 school year will be released by MSU sometime in 2020.