Are Black Coaches Getting More Play in College Football?

November 12, 2010

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A new report released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at The University of Central Florida presents a mixed bag of evidence when it comes to the progress of people of color within college football. The report found that 15 college football head coaches of FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools are African American (out of 120), but that there is still a great deal of room for improvement in other important positions within athletic departments. To date, 100 percent of conference commissioners, 93 percent of college presidents and 88 percent of athletic directors are white. Also, quite a few universities that earn millions from black athletes are reluctant to hire or tenure African American professors, especially in business and the sciences.
From 1979 – 2002, a total of 19 full-time head coaches were hired in college football. But in the last two years, 10 have been hired. This shows that there are some campuses making some effort to hire more black coaches. The numbers represent progress in the NCAA, a league that is less interested in hiring African Americans than it is in exploiting them. As it stands, most of the thousands of black athletes in college football are never going be head coaches. Also, the vast majority of those athletes will never reach the NFL. Therefore, the greatest crime of collegiate athletics is that most of these universities are not educating the players properly.

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