(ThyBlackMan.com) “March Madness” is upon us as the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will be in full effect very soon. However, college basketball and college sports has been under a significant microscope lately. The NCAA is being viewed and critiqued in ways that have never happened before as an evaluation of college sports has been one of the major stories of the past few weeks. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport evaluates and studies the landscape of race and gender for amateur, professional, and collegiate sports.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport “researches and publishes a variety of studies, including annual studies of student-athlete graduation rates and racial attitudes in sports, as well as the internationally recognized Racial and Gender Report Card, an assessment of hiring practices in coaching and sport management in professional and college sport”. Most recently, the Institute the released the 2017 College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card, which had some interesting findings.
The 2017 College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card revealed that college sports received a C+ for racial hiring practices, a very slight decrease from 78.5 points from last year’s report card. College sports received a C+ for gender hiring practices by earning 75.1 points, which is 1.6 points more than last year’s report card. College
The NFL’s “Rooney Rule” has had an impact on the amount of minority head coaches currently in the NFL but in college football there is no “Rooney Rule” or requirement to interview minority candidates and the results bear that out. Although 44.2 percent of the Division I college football players were black in 2016-17, black men were only 7.7 percent of the Division I college football head coaches during that same time period. A major difference between the hiring practices of the NFL compared to college football is that in the NFL, the owner of the NFL team has the final say in hiring a head coach while the general manager often leads the search. In college football, there are significantly more people, including the university president, athletic director, and prominent boosters that lead colleges and universities in the direction of hiring the face of their college football program as their head coach.
There has been some slight improvements in the leadership positions at colleges and universities in terms of women. The percentage of female presidents at the 130 FBS institutions, the highest level of college athletics, was up from 14.8 percent in 2016 to 15.4 percent in 2017, and two of the 22 athletic directors of color were women including Virginia’s Carla Williams. However,there is a lot of work to be done in the leadership department in terms of diversity in college sports.
Staff Writer; Mark Hines