There are only two Division I colleges in the country that have a nationally ranked men's golf team yet don't sponsor women's golf: Clemson and Georgia Tech. By month's end, that number might be down to one as Clemson athletic officials appear interested in adding women's golf to list of the school's varsity sports.
The move is expected to come as a consequence of the school's April 30 decision to phase out its men's swimming and diving programs as well as its women's swimming program between now and the end of the 2011-12 season. To keep the water-sports teams competitive, the school had been exploring the possibility of building an Olympic-size pool but decided against spending the money on the facility. For the school to stay in compliance with Title IX, however, another women's sports team might be needed to replace the scholarships lost by eliminating the women's swimming team. With top-level golf facilities already in place at the school, the addition of a women's golf team would be a relatively inexpensive proposition.
According to Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips, a recent sport offering evaluation identified women's golf as a likely choice for future sports sponsorship. Sources say the school could make a decision to add golf as soon as this week.
"We're being careful as we go forward to keep in mind the interests in South Carolina, the areas of athletic talent among South Carolina young people, our responsibilities under Title IX, and a variety of other factors," Phillips said. "Our analysis is ongoing and we'll be very careful in moving forward."