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College Racial and Gender Hiring Largely Unchanged

Paul Steinbach

Racial and gender hiring in collegiate athletics remains largely unchanged, and that means it still lags behind professional sports when it comes to diversity.

As reported by The Associated Press, Wednesday’s report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida assigned an overall C-plus grade, a B for racial hiring and a C-plus for gender hiring for the 2019-20 academic year — matching the previous year's grades. The report examines a range of positions including leadership at the NCAA headquarters, conference commissioners, athletic directors and head coaches across Divisions I, II and III.

Those grades again trailed the marks achieved by professional leagues reviewed in other TIDES studies focused on the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the WNBA.

“When you put it in a historical perspective of some of the really important positions, the numbers are barely moving” over the span of the past decade and beyond, lead study author Richard Lapchick said in an AP interview.

Lapchick said 76.3 percent of administrators at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis are white, a figure that remains almost unchanged from 2000 (76.6 percent). Whites held 86.5 percent of positions as Division I conference commissioners for the 2007-08 sports year, and that figure now stands at 86.7 percent. And women have gone from holding 39.5 percent of head coaching positions for women’s teams across all three divisions for the 2010-11 season to 41 percent today, Lapchick said.

This year’s study found declines in people of color serving as head coaches for all men’s and women’s Division I teams overall, as well as men’s and women’s basketball specifically. The percentage of Division I football head coaching positions held by people of color increased slightly to 10.6 percent from 10.3 percent a year earlier.

The study also found that white men continue to hold most athletic director positions in Division I (72.3 percent), Division II (70.8 percent) and Division III (61.6 percent).

Derrick Gragg, NCAA senior vice president for inclusion, education and community engagement, said in a statement that there is still much work to be done.

“As organizations work to provide better diversity and inclusion, athletic leaders can also take significant steps to open more doors to people of color and women,” Gragg said. “There are too many diversity hiring gaps in college sports, and this racial and gender diversity report reveals that.”

NCAA headquarters earned relatively high marks in the latest report, with a B-plus in racial hiring for both senior leadership and professional positions, along with an A-plus for gender in each area.

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