Black coaches group sets criteria for hiring report card

Updated: October 21, 2003, 7:50 PM ET
ESPN

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Black Coaches Association will use a five-part system next year to evaluate hiring practices in Division I-A football.

"This will serve as a cornerstone for accountability," executive director Floyd Keith said Tuesday. "We want to recruit, train and retain coaches of color."

Keith said the BCA's goal was to have 20 percent of all new coaches, dating to last year, to be minority hires.

The association said it will grade individual schools on the number of contacts it has with the BCA's executive director, the percentage of minorities involved in the hiring process, the number of minority candidates interviewed, the length of time involved in the search process and how the process compares to institutional affirmative action policies.

Each category will be scored on a 4-point basis, with the number of interviews counting twice for a high score of 24 points. The BCA hopes to announce its first results next fall.

Last year, one black head football coach was hired -- UCLA's Karl Dorrell. There are only four black coaches in Division I-A football -- Dorrell, Notre Dame's Tyrone Willingham, San Jose State's Fitz Hill and New Mexico State's Tony Samuel.

NCAA president Myles Brand said the problem was not bias. Instead, he thinks the hiring process needs to be improved, and he supports the BCA's new report card.

"I believe the process should come to resemble that which we have in the university system, for a dean," Brand said.

While no official grades were awarded last year, numbers compiled by Michigan professor Keith Harrison indicated only two schools -- Washington and Washington State -- would have received an F.

Both schools hired assistant coaches without conducting a full search process.

Six schools -- Houston, Kentucky, Michigan State, Tulsa, Utah and Wyoming -- would have received an A. Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list was Michigan State, which fired Bobby Williams, a black coach.

Harrison said the figures indicated the system would prove to be fair.

"Students cannot understand why 50 percent of football players are African-American and less than five college coaches are," Harrison said.

Keith said he hoped athletes would use the report card to help them make a college decision and that the group could pursue legal action in 2005 if results do not improve.

"We are hopeful that we will not have to take that drastic action," Keith said. "This is our dream and this is our vision."

He added that the report card could be expanded to include the hiring process of athletic directors.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index