The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at UCF has released a report grading college athletic programs on hiring underrepresented groups. According to ESPN, the “combined overall college grade for 2017 was a C-plus with 76.7 points, up slightly from the 2016 score.”
While the report covered a wide range of hiring topics, the study focused on the representation of coaches and administrators such as athletic directors. According to the report:
- Whites held 86.1 percent of AD positions at Division I schools for the 2016-17 season, 87.4 percent in Division II and 93.4 percent at Division III. Women made up just 11.2 percent of Division I ADs, though that was up from 9.8 percent in 2015-16.
- In Division I men’s basketball, the percentage of black head coaches hasn’t rebounded after falling in recent years from a high of 25.2 percent during the 2005-06 season. The report found that 22.3 percent of Division I men’s basketball head coaches were black in 2016-17, up from 20.8 percent reported a season earlier.
- Overall, African-Americans held 7.6 percent, 4.4 percent and 5.0 percent of the men’s head-coaching positions in Divisions I, II, and III, respectively.
- In Division I women’s basketball, the number of black head coaches was 16 percent, down from the 16.8 percent reported in 2015-16. Women held 39.8 percent of the head-coaching jobs of women’s teams in Division I, 35.3 percent in Division II and 44.4 percent in Division III.
These numbers while low for AD, women basketball, and men’s football coaching positions are relatively good for men’s basketball head coaching in Division 1 when compared to the population average. When compared to current and former college basketball player percentage, that number drops considerably.
Representation in the administrative positions of sports has been notoriously lackluster for minorities and women with small improvements taking place ever so often. While some have suggested the implementation of the Rooney Rule, mandating at least one underrepresented person be interviewed for coaching and AD positions, the solution is not so simple. Obviously more needs to be done to transition the player talent into the administrative and front office positions, but for now, it is a weakness that the NCAA must address soon.