In 2005, at age 49, Arizona State University hired Lisa Love as vice president for athletics, the highest-ranking job in the department. Six years later she is one of just five women to occupy the top athletics administrative position at a Division I-A school.
Some believe the lack of women serving as athletic directors is about to change, with qualified women rising up the ranks. Others believe it would have changed already if not for qualified women — and men — who are happy occupying the No. 2 spot and who have no desire to take on the far more public role of athletic director.
Still others believe it's as simple as not having enough university presidents and chancellors willing to hire a woman to lead a major athletic department.
"I think it's a long journey that we've been taking for more than 40 years where half the population has said, 'Treat me fairly,'" said Chris Voelz, a former women's athletic administrator at the University of Minnesota and current leadership gifts officer at Women's Sports Foundation founded by Billie Jean King. "If we were to switch positions, would the men still be pleased with the position women have? To that end we have not arrived." ...