Preston Dillingham practices with the women's basketball team at UCLA so the women can play against bigger, stronger opponents. During practice, he pretends to be female opponents from other teams. Credit: Rachel de Leon/Reveal

UCLA provides far fewer opportunities to female athletes than its public reports suggest, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

The latest “Reveal” episode shows that:

The way UCLA counts female athletes is misleading.

It’s questionable whether the school complies with Title IX, the law that requires schools to provide equal opportunities to female athletes. Under the law, UCLA has to show that women make up about 56 percent of its athletes because they make up that share of the overall student population.

UCLA padded its rowing team roster with scores of students who said they weren’t on the team.

The school reported having 127 rowers, almost twice the NCAA average and far higher than the 45 on its public roster for the 2014-15 season. Reveal’s Rachel de Leon reached 64 of the students – or their parents – whom the school had counted but weren’t on its public roster. More than two-thirds of them said they were never on the team that year.

UCLA counts men as women.  

Our investigation also found that UCLA is counting dozens of male athletes as women. The most striking example: The women’s basketball team reports having 36 players, but 19 of them are male practice players. Department of Education rules allow UCLA and other schools to do this.

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Andrew Donohue is the deputy editor for Reveal. He works with the audience team to find out what the public needs from – and what it can contribute to – our reporting. Stories Donohue has reported and edited have led to criminal charges, firings and reforms in public housing, pesticide use, sexual harassment and labor practices, among other areas. As a reporter and editor, he’s won awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Online News Association and others. Previously, Donohue helped build and lead Voice of San Diego, a pioneering local news startup. He was a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University, where he worked on deepening engagement with investigative reporting. He serves on the IRE board of directors.