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Notre Dame Gets B; South Carolina, Utah Receive F on Minority Report Card


Notre Dame received a B on the minority hiring report card released last week by the Black Coaches Association, even though the Fighting Irish fired Tyrone Willingham after the 2004 season.

Notre Dame was one of eight schools in Division I-A or I-AA to receive a B, while five schools — including South Carolina and Utah — received an F.

Schools are evaluated on categories that include the percentage of minorities involved in the hiring process, the number of minority candidates who interviewed and the schools’ contacts with either BCA executive director Floyd Keith or the chairman of the NCAA’s Minority Opportunity and Interests Committee.

The Black football coaches at three schools — Notre Dame, New Mexico State and San Jose State — either were fired or quit after last season. Notre Dame received the highest grade of the three.

New Mexico State received a C. Tony Samuel, a former Nebraska assistant, was fired after eight seasons at NMSU, where he compiled a record of 34-56. He was replaced last December by former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme.

San Jose State was given an F, failing in three of five categories. Washington, which later hired Willingham, received a B.

The only schools to receive an F in all five categories were South Carolina, which hired Steve Spurrier after Lou Holtz left; and Utah, which promoted Kyle Whittingham to replace Urban Meyer. Meyer was hired by Florida, which received a D. Neither school submitted data to the BCA.

Seventeen of 30 schools that made coaching changes last year received average, below average or failing grades.

Ohio University and Western Michigan, both of the Mid-American Conference, were the only schools to receive A’s across the board. Indiana, Illinois and UNLV were the other schools to finish with an overall grade of A.

Indiana State, which hired Lou West as the only Black head coach in Division I-AA not at a historically Black school, received a C. It was given an F for the number of minorities included on the search committees and scored a B for “documented” compliance with its own affirmative action policies.

BCA executive director Floyd Keith advised student-athletes to use the report card when making decisions about attending college and suggested the BCA would consider legal action if there is not significant progress next year, based on hiring inequity.

Only three Division I-A football programs have Black coaches — Sylvester Croom of Mississippi State, Karl Dorrell of UCLA and Willingham, the only Black coach hired this year after the 2004 season.

NCAA President Myles Brand has urged athletic directors to take a closer look at minority coaching candidates.

— Associated Press

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