I believe Black parents hold the key to increasing the number of Black coaches in the NCAA. When these white coaches or their recruiters come to court your Black sons about playing for their college or university, along with the important questions about academic support and graduation rates, Black parents should ask how many Black assistant coaches a program has. If they have to few or none, you need to tell that school that this is not acceptable and you prefer that your sons or daughters choose another school that demonstrates diversity.
Black parents must understand the economics of college football. These schools make hundreds of millions of dollars in tickets sales, advertising, concessions and souvenir revenue. All of this revenue comes from fielding a competitive team. These schools and their boosters reluctantly know they must have Black players to be competitive. If your Black sons and daughters are good enough to play collegiate sports, then they are eventually good enough to coach or be the athletic director. Fredrick Douglas said "Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will." I assure you that if enough Black parents take a stand for equality, in just 2 football seasons, we will see this shameful situation change.
Why So Few Black Coaches? Numbers And Facts, Rather Than Calling Racism, Speak Louder Than Words. Of The 119 Schools In The NCAA Foot Ball Bowl Subdivision Only 4 have Black Foot Ball Coaches.
That's the lowest since 1993. Yet almost 60% of NCAA football players are Black. Floyd Keith, executive director of the Black Coaches Association (BCA), has said that if his organization needs to apply Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, then he's willing. Perhaps that's what it will take.
Maybe the process needs a jump start that a court could give it. Keith says he would like to have 10 black coaches in the FBS, and even such a low number as that will take years under the current process.
The NCAA began an initiative last year to address its problematic approach to minority hiring, but then again, the NCAA is a weak organization with little ability to effect any real change. It can create all the initiatives it wants, but it has no power to penalize programs for passing over qualified black candidates.
The NFL has instituted what it calls the "Rooney Rule," which requires teams with a head coach opening to interview at least one black, except in select circumstances.
Even so, only seven of the 32 NFL teams have black coaches, even though about 66 percent of the league's players are black. It would help if more FBS schools would hire black coaches as their offensive and defensive coordinators.
At the beginning of the season, there were 32, including 12 on offense and 20 on defense. That's an increase from 11, which is how many there were four years ago.
From Diverse Online Current News Group Hires Lawyer To Address Dearth of Black College Football Coaches By Lois Elfman
The number of Black college football coaches is going in the wrong direction, according to the latest hiring report card issued Wednesday by the Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA).
Hiring committees are more diverse and coaches of color are being interviewed for football head coaching positions, but the number of hires is still dismal, the report card shows. “Interviewing is not the measure of true success.
Interviewing is not hiring. The true measure of progress and success will be when athletic directors stop merely interviewing candidates of color, and when athletic directors actually hire head football coaches of color,” said Charlotte Westerhaus, vice president of diversity and inclusion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) .
For the 2007-08 season examined in the fifth BCA hiring report card, there were only four head football coaches of color hired to fill 31 job openings. The 2008 season in both the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Division, began with eight coaches of color, six of whom were African-American.
When compared with the representation of head coaches of men’s Division I college basketball the statistics are striking. In basketball 58 percent of the players are African American and 25 percent of the head coaches are African American.
In college football, African Americans make up 50 percent of the players but only 6.7 percent of the head coaches. “The statistics reveal a cold truth: it is easier to become a head football coach in the NFL, a head basketball coach in the NCAA and a general or commissioned officer in the United States Army than it is to become a head football coach on the (college) level of the NCAA,” wrote BCA executive director Floyd Keith in the report.
The BCA, which held a teleconference Wednesday morning to coincide with the release of its report card, is working in conjunction with attorney Everette L. Scott Jr. of the law firm Spector Gadon and Rosen in Philadelphia to set up a means of understanding the problem and addressing it more effectively.
The BCA says its partnership with the law firm will serve as a “communication vehicle” that will allow administrators, coaches, coordinators, assistant coaches and potential coaches to contact the BCA through a toll free number.
The hotline will allow individuals to confidentially discuss questionable hiring practices, said Scott, a former football player at Howard University. Information received via the hotline will be monitored closely, he added.
A transcript of each call will be prepared, evaluated and recommendations can be formulated, Scott said. “We believe, collectively and cooperatively, with the institutions we should be able to achieve and close this final gap,” he added. The report card, which is available for download at www.bcasports.org, describes this year’s study and offers comparisons to previous studies.
When asked what it is about the culture of college basketball that provides greater opportunities, the NCAA's Westerhaus suggested such a question should be directed to college athletic directors. “They know the cultures of all their sports and the hiring cards are in their hands,” she said.
A simplistic answer may be results. African-American basketball coaches have had great successes, thus paving the way for more hires. The NCAA and BCA both maintain lists of suitable candidates that they will make readily available to any institutions with job openings.
But it is the institutions that make the hiring decisions. “Right now,” said Westerhaus, “we are keen on improving the hiring.” Email the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Miami's Shannon will be only black BCS coach, says things haven't changed
ESPN.com news services
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Of the 65 coaches leading programs affiliated with the Bowl Championship Series, Miami's Randy Shannon is about to stand alone.
A week from now, he'll be the only black man in the group.
After Sylvester Croom resigned Saturday from Mississippi State, along with the recent firings of Kansas State's Ron Prince and Washington's Tyrone Willingham -- who'll coach his final game with the Huskies on Saturday -- Shannon is one of three black coaches left in major college football, and the only one at a BCS school.
The last time there were only three black coaches at the Division I-A level was 1993, and Shannon, who waited many years before getting his first legitimate chance at becoming a head coach, simply can't understand the lack of progress in bridging the sideline race gap.
"It's sad that we keep talking about the same things," Shannon told The Associated Press on Sunday. "Maybe Sylvester was tired. I know a year or two ago he had surgery on his hip or back. But after a while, you say to yourself, how much longer can we keep going just talking about this? We can't keep talking about the same issues every year."
And yet, at this time every year, the issue keeps coming back.
Bowl season hasn't even started, but already, some marquee jobs have come open -- and, in some cases, apparently been filled.
Tennessee will name Lane Kiffin as Phillip Fulmer's replacement on Monday, and ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel is reporting that sources say Clemson will announce it has hired interim coach Dabo Sweeney as soon as contract details are worked out.
One of the few black candidates believed to have legitimate interest from a BCS school that's changing coaches is Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who has been mentioned as a replacement for Greg Robinson at Syracuse. Buffalo's Turner Gill -- who, along with Shannon and Houston's Kevin Sumlin, is one of the three black coaches who have jobs for '09 -- is also thought to be a Syracuse candidate.
The only other prominent black assistant to be mentioned so far is Notre Dame offensive coordinator Michael Haywood, who reportedly was interviewed by Washington to replace Willingham.
Floyd Keith, executive director of the Black Coaches and Administrators, has said many times he'd like to see the number of black college football coaches get to at least 10 -- but now the total is headed the other way, even though nearly half of the players at the level formerly known as Division I-A are black.
Shannon, though, knows there's no easy solution. But he likes one idea.
"If they want to give minority coaches more of a chance, they should let there be three graduate assistants and one of them has to be a minority," Shannon said. "At least then, you'd be giving a minority coach a chance to develop. If you want to address the issue, allow a third spot to be a minority position and if you can't fill it, then you can't fill it. But give them a chance."
Gill told The Buffalo News for a story published Sunday that he always heard the same thing when he interviewed for various jobs before moving to western New York.
"Not the right fit," Gill told the newspaper. "The words 'not the right fit' can be looked at in several ways. Not to say that you weren't qualified but maybe they want a guy who's going to be there for four [or] five years or has a different offensive or defensive philosophy. There's so many different dynamics to the word 'fit."
In South Florida, diversity seems to fit.
Not only does Miami have a black football coach, it has a woman -- Donna Shalala, who served as secretary of health and human services under President Bill Clinton -- as university president. And, a black men's basketball coach in Frank Haith.
A few miles away at Florida International, Cuban-Americans serve as university president (Mitch Maidique), athletic director (Pete Garcia) and football coach (Mario Cristobal).
"It's a diverse community," Shannon said. "You can see every ethnic group in Miami. Coach Cristobal, he does a good job, and white, black, Hispanic, we've been this way for years in Miami. It's a melting pot more than anything."
It's hardly that way everywhere. According to a recent BCA hiring report card, only 12 of 199 vacancies between 1996 and 2006 went to blacks.
But the need to label -- and track the number of -- minority coaches is still puzzling to Shannon.
"I think we all should be treated as coaches equally," Shannon said. "But it's just how society is. The minority deal is always going to be there."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report..