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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Andy Donohue is the executive editor for projects for Reveal. He’s edited Reveal’s investigations into the treatment of migrant children in government care, Amazon’s labor practices, rehab work camps and sexual abuse in the janitorial industry. He’s been on teams that have twice been Pulitzer Prize finalists and have won Investigative Reporters and Editors, Edward R. Murrow, Online News Association, Third Coast International Audio Festival, Gerald Loeb, Sidney Hillman Foundation and Emmy awards. He previously helped build and lead Voice of San Diego, served on the IRE board for eight years and is an alumnus of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. Donohue is based in Reveal’s Emeryville, California, office.