This study examined salary differences between female and male Division I college coaches using three approaches. The human capital approach contends that salary differences are rooted in differences in qualifications. In contrast, a structural approach argues that gender differences in salary are associated with the gender ratio, the proportion of women to men in an occupation. The third approach, capitalist patriarchy, sees the gender wage gap as a function of the intersection of capitalism and patriarchy. We explored each of these approaches and found the greatest support for the latter. Coaches’ wages seemed to be determined for both women and men by both gender and type of sport. Additionally, gender ratio was positively related to the salaries for men only. We discuss the findings as well as their implications for the setting of first-year salaries and the ways in which salary differentiation can be an example of the manner in which gender relations are constructed in sport.
Annelies Knoppers, Barbara Bedker Meyer, and Martha Ewing are with the Department of Health and Physical Education, I.M. Sports Circle, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI 48824. Linda Forrest is with the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education at Michigan State University.