Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NCAA Minority Hirings Still Lagging Woefully Behind

Not sure if you heard the news, or if you even care for that matter, but the annual Black Coaches Association hiring report came out Wednesday. The numbers, especially for college football, are once again both staggering and saddening.

Almost a third of the candidates interviewed last year were minorities, but only four were hired among the 31 openings in the NCAA's FBS and FCS subdivisions.

The recent firings of Ty Willingham at Washington and Ron Prince at Kansas State leave the NCAA's top division with only four blacks, one Latino and one Pacific Islander as head coaches.

Seriously? Only four African-Americans and two other minorities out of 119 FBS programs? Really?

The NCAA should be flat out embarrassed. Plain and simple.

What? You think I'm being too harsh? Well, if the above statistics aren't a strong enough argument for my assessment, then consider these numbers recently released in a study by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida:

• 54 percent of FBS players are minorities (50 percent of those African-American).

• 92.5 percent of FBS university presidents, 87.5 percent of FBS athletic directors and 100 percent of FBS conference commissioners are white.

As's Gene Wojciechowski writes, "They're good enough to play the game, good enough to become offensive and defensive coordinators (31 of 255), good enough to become assistant coaches (312 of 1,018), but not good enough to become head coaches?"

Once again, that old adage about "the more things change, the more things stay the same" is unfortunately and unbelievably proven true.

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