Black Coaches Group: Some Progress In Hiring Practices

INDIANAPOLIS

NCAA Division I universities fared better this year in considering minority football coaching candidates, the Black Coaches Association said Thursday.

Now the BCA wants those universities to hire more minority coaches and produce more representative search committees.

The third annual report card showed mixed results. While a record 12 of the 26 Division I-A and I-AA schools received overall grades of A, a record six schools also received F’s.

Three of those with A’s — The University at Buffalo, Columbia University and Southeast Missouri State University — hired Black head football coaches. Kansas State University, which also hired a Black coach, received a B.

Five of the schools with failing marks did not return their report to the BCA, resulting in automatic F’s. The other school was Division I-AA Missouri State University.

“This year’s grades are better in some areas than the first two years but worse than ever in other areas,” wrote Dr. Richard E. Lapchick, head of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

The 12 A’s were nearly as many as the previous two years combined (13), and Buffalo and Southeast Missouri State each earned perfect scores — A’s in each of the five categories. Kansas State received a lower overall grade because it received an F for the composition of its search committee.

The BCA, for the first time this year, instituted a policy that says schools with a D or F in any category cannot receive an overall A grade.

The six F’s caused consternation among the report card’s authors, as did the lack of minorities on search committees. Among those schools with failing marks were the University of Wisconsin and Boise State University, which promoted coordinators from their previous coaching staffs. Rice University, which hired Todd Graham of the University of Tulsa, was the only other Division I-A school with an F.

“What policy will it take to change the attitudes of institutions that do not feel the need to have open searches or compete for diversity as they do on the field, with stadiums packed to watch diverse athletic participants?” the report asked in its conclusion.

Scores were evaluated on factors such as the percentage of minority candidates interviewed and the schools’ contact with BCA executive director Floyd Keith or the chairman of the NCAA’s Minority Opportunity and Interests Committee. Schools that hire a minority coach get a two-point bonus.

This year’s results improved some over last year, which produced the worst scores in the three years the report card has been released.

More than half of the 26 schools in the study received either A’s or B’s in the four categories, other than the composition of search committees.

The Indianapolis-based organization found that only 34 of 134 search committee members nationwide, or 1.3 per school, were minorities. Keith has said that increasing the minority representation of the committees will have a major impact on hiring.

Eleven of 26 schools received average, below average or failing grades. And of the 119 Division I-A schools and nearly 100 non-historically Black institutions in I-AA, there were only 10 minority head football coaches, five in each division. Nine are Black, and Saint Peter’s College’s Chris Taylor is an American Indian.

Four of the schools that responded to the BCA still received F’s.

“The fact remains that many of the schools must continue to improve those categories that they either performed at the average or status quo level,” the report said. “Any low mark by an institution within each of the five categories has impacted the final outcome in a negative way the last three years.”

Trends reflect more deep-rooted issues. Of the 414 coaching vacancies since 1982, the BCA says only 21 were filled by minorities. In the history of college football, only 25 minority head coaches have been hired.

The five Black Division I-A coaches are: Buffalo’s Turner Gill, Kansas State’s Ron Prince, Mississippi State University’s Sylvester Croom, the University of Washington’s Tyrone Willingham and the University of California, Los Angeles’ Karl Dorrell. Gill and Prince were hired this year.

The minority head football coaches in Division I-AA are: St. Peter’s Taylor, Valparaiso University’s Stacy Adams, Northern Arizona University’s Jerome Souers, Indiana State University’s Lou West and Columbia University’s Norries Wilson.

Three of this year’s schools were graded for the second time. Fordham University, which had a B in 2003-2004, received an A this year. The University of Idaho earned its second consecutive C grade and Elon University in North Carolina dropped from a B in 2003-2004 to a D this year.

— Associated Press

 

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