White men control most NCAA leadership positions

Updated: December 13, 2006, 9:26 PM ET
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- White men dominate the leadership positions in college sports, a new study says, with women and minorities making only slow progress moving into the top jobs.

Lapchick: Long way to go
Richard Lapchick
The University of Miami's hiring of Randy Shannon as its head football coach made headlines last week, but it wasn't enough to improve the grade that college football received for its hiring practices this year under the College Racial and Gender Report Card released Wednesday. College sports received a B-minus for race and a B for gender hiring practices, but it received an F in the area of hiring college football coaches, with only 5 percent of the Division IA head coaches being African-American, compared to 45 percent of the players.

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Athletic directors, conference commissioners and university presidents overwhelmingly are white, the study released Wednesday by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found.

"There's a gradual movement toward positive change both in terms of race and gender, but it's been very slow," Richard Lapchick, the institute's director, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The situation still remains that people who lead college sports in America are still white, which doesn't reflect the student athletes on the teams they represent."

All 11 NCAA Division I-A conference commissioners -- who Lapchick called the most powerful people in college sports -- were white men, according to the study, which looked at employment data from the 2004-05 academic year for all 1,025 NCAA member institutions, conferences and NCAA headquarters.

"In all of Division I, excluding the historically black conferences, all 36 of Division I conference commissioners were white," the study said. Six were women, four of them leading sport-specific conferences such as the Northern Pacific Field Hockey Conference and the American Lacrosse Conference.

Head coaching positions also reflected a big disparity between whites and blacks.

Basketball was a bright spot of sorts, but even in that sport 25.2 percent of all Division I head coaches were black (an all-time high), and yet blacks made up 57.8 percent of Division I basketball players.

With Randy Shannon's recent hiring to head the University of Miami football team, six of 119 Division I-A head football coaches are black. In all of Division I, blacks held 6.1 percent of head coaching positions. On Division I football fields, black players made up 45.4 percent of the athletes, the study said.

No Latino heads an NCAA Division I-A football team.

Blacks make up 43.7 percent of women's Division I basketball teams, but only 9.3 percent of those teams are coached by black women -- even though that number increased 1.6 percentage points in 2004-05.

In Division I-A, 94.1 percent of university presidents whose colleges are part of the NCAA were white, 3.4 percent were black and 2.5 percent were Latino, the study said. Fifteen women held their university's top job, or 12.6 percent, an increase of 1.1 percentage points.

NCAA headquarters received high marks from the study, with 18.8 percent of vice president/chief of staff positions represented by blacks, and 25 percent represented by women.

The NCAA's vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, Charlotte Westerhaus, said NCAA headquarters was demonstrating leadership but there still was progress to be made throughout college sports.

"We want to celebrate the progress but at the same time we want to acknowledge that we are not where we could be as far as diversity," Westerhaus said. "The NCAA is doing everything we can to support our membership in effectuating open and fair hiring practices."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press