College sports falls behind in hiring of minorities and women

The NFL’s Rooney Rule requires that teams interview a diverse pool of applicants for high-level positions. Despite the success of the Rooney Rule, the NCAA has not adopted similar legislation and, as a result, senior-level jobs are still predominately held by white men.

According to the annual report from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES), the NCAA had the lowest grade for its diversity of hires. In addition to a lack of African Americans in positions of power, the NCAA had the second fewest women executives.

Although these bleak numbers improved slightly from the previous year, the NCAA still lags behind the prominent professional sports leagues when it comes to the diversity of their hires.

The primary author of the TIDES report, Richard Lapchick, told the Indianapolis Star;”To me, college sports has been the most disappointing of all the report cards that we do, since I’ve been involved with higher education for 45 years.

Women’s sports are still run by men

More than 40 years ago, Title IX was passed in order to give women equal opportunities in sports as men. This groundbreaking legislation has done a lot for female student-athletes, but it has not changed the demographics of women’s coaches. In fact, more than 60 percent of coaches for women’s Division I college sports are men, including the most prominent women’s head coach, UConn basketball’s Geno Auriemma.

Women’s coaches are simply not representative of their players. Rather than ignoring this inequity, it’s time for the NCAA to introduce legislation to mandate the interviewing and hiring of female head coaches.

The NCAA needs more African American coaches and executives

Like in women’s sports, coaches and athletic directors in men’s college sports do not reflect their student-athletes. African-American account for more than half of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players, but there are only 16 black head coaches out of 128 programs (12.5 percent).

The numbers are slightly better for Division I men’s basketball, as 22.3 percent of head coaches are African Americans. However, college basketball rosters have a higher percentage of African American student-athletes

The lack of diversity at the college level starts at the top. 87.5 percent of athletic directors and 90 percent of FBS presidents are white. Before college sports integrate its coaching staffs, the NCAA must ensure that African Americans are much better represented in positions of power.

White men hold most positions of power in the NCAA yet they are in the minority when it comes to men’s and women’s colleges sports rosters. The NCAA must pass legislation to ensure that African Americans and women are better represented in positions of power.

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