The grades are in for minority hiring in college sports, and they’re lousy.
A new study released in February by Northeastern University’s
Center for the Study of Sport in Society found that while the record
for minority hiring in pro basketball, football, and baseball is poor,
it’s even worse at the college level.
The “Racial Report Card” covering the 1995-96 academic year showed
that college sports have the worst record for hiring women and
minorities; the percentage of Black players decreased in college and
pro sports; and that majority ownership in sports for minorities does
“There has been very little progress in the patterns of hiring
people of color and women in pro and college sport,” said Richard
Lapchick, author of the report and director of the center, which
conducts an annual study of the racial composition of players, coaches
and front office employees in pro basketball, football, and baseball.
This year, it widened its focus to include colleges.
“Despite well-intentioned efforts, White males still control most
of our teams, front offices, and athletic departments,” Lapchick said.
The center found that in 1996, 71.4 percent of the NCAA’s top
executives were White and approximately 21 percent were Black.
Approximately 92.1 percent of the organization’s chief aides were
White, 5.3 percent were Black, and 2.6 percent were Hispanic. Also,
more than 80 percent of the NCAA’s office managers were White, 9.4
percent were Black, and 1.9 percent were Hispanic.
Coaching jobs for Blacks in NCAA Division I football, basketball,
and baseball rank behind their pro counterparts in the NFL, NBA, and
major league baseball. Only three of thirty NFL coaches were
minorities, followed by three of twenty-eight in baseball, and seven of
twenty-nine in the NBA.
At the college ranks, 81.5 percent of Division I basketball coaches
were White, along with 92.8 percent of I-A football coaches and 97.6
percent of baseball coaches.
“When you’re talking tennis, golf, swimming, and other sports where
there are poor percentages of minority participation, that’s a
reflection of the fact that in our society we don’t provide a lot of
good programs at the secondary level, so we don’t see high
participation rates for those sports,” said NCAA executive director Dr.
“But it’s inexcusable in sports like baseball, basketball, and
track, where we have high participation numbers of minorities not to
have more minority coaches,” he added.
Among other findings:
* Division III had the worst record of all NCAA divisions. More
than 70 percent of all Division III college athletic directors were
White men. Only 3.4 percent were Black men.
* The percentage of Black athletes in colleges has declined over
the past five years while participation of Hispanic student-athletes
has gone up slightly.
* League offices in all three pro sports had a better minority hiring record than teams.
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