Some NCAA Schools Get High Marks From Black Coaches Group
The Black Coaches Association (BCA) still wants more minority hires in college football. But the group’s new report card finds that most Division I schools are increasing their efforts to include minorities in the search process.
Seventeen of 28 Division I-A and I-AA schools received either an A or B in the report released Oct. 20. Six schools were given a D or F. The group rated only those schools that had coaching vacancies after the 2003 season.
Only one I-A school actually hired a minority head coach — Sylvester Croom became the Southeastern Conference’s first Black head football coach when he took the job at Mississippi State.
“When you look at one of 28, we’re not happy,” BCA executive director Floyd Keith said. “We’re not happy with the results, but it is what it is.”
The only I-A school to receive an F was Nevada-Reno, which rehired Chris Ault for his third stint with the school. Ault had been the school’s athletic director since 1986 but resigned that post in December.
Nevada-Reno did not turn in the requested survey, which the BCA said would result in an automatic F. School officials did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Southern Utah, the University of San Diego and Texas State, all I-AA schools, also received F grades. The report said those with an F were far below par and needed to re-examine the entire hiring process.
Kent State was the only I-A school to receive a D. Grades are based on results in categories that included the percentage of minorities involved in the hiring process, the number of minority candidates who received interviews and the schools’ contacts with either Keith or the chairman of the NCAA’s Minority Opportunity and Interests Committee.
Keith Harrison, director of the Paul Robeson Research Center for Academic and Athletic Prowess, compiled the data for the BCA and said some of the results were better because of factors such as how long the search took.
Six I-A schools — Akron, Arizona, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Texas-El Paso and Mississippi State — received the highest grade. Two Division I-AA schools — Cornell and Holy Cross also received an A. Cornell was the only school with a perfect score.
Even Nebraska, which Keith had criticized for hiring former Oakland Raiders coach Bill Callahan, got a B. Callahan is White.
“Nebraska probably would have gotten an A if there was a little more diversity on the search committee,” Keith said.
But after three years of prodding, Keith and his group are concerned that little progress has been made. Only five of 117 Division I-A head coaches, less than 4 percent, are Black. In Division I-AA, the gap is even more pronounced — there are no minority head coaches, other than those working at historically Black institutions.
— Associated Press
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