Black Coaches Says Schools Do Better

Thursday, September 21st 2006, 12:21 pm
By: News On 6

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ NCAA Division I universities fared better this year in considering minority football coaching candidates, the Black Coaches Association said Thursday.

Now the BCA wants those universities to hire more minority coaches and produce more representative search committees.

The third annual report card showed mixed results. While a record 12 of the 26 Division I-A and I-AA schools received overall grades of A, a record six schools also received F's.

Three of those with A's _ Buffalo, Columbia and Southeast Missouri State _ hired black coaches. Kansas State, which also hired a black coach, received a B.

Five of the schools with failing marks did not return their report to the BCA, resulting in automatic F's. The other school was Division I-AA Missouri State.

``This years grades are better in some areas than the first two years _ but worse than ever in other areas,'' wrote Richard Lapchick, head of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

The 12 A's were nearly as many as the previous two years combined (13), and Buffalo and Southeast Missouri State each earned perfect scores _ A's in each of the five categories. Kansas State received a lower overall grade because it received an F for the composition of its search committee.

The BCA, for the first time this year, instituted a policy that says schools with a D or F in any category cannot receive an overall A.

The six F's caused consternation among the report card's authors, as did the lack of minorities on search committees. Among those schools with failing marks were Wisconsin and Boise State, which promoted coordinators from their previous coaching staffs. Rice, which hired Todd Graham of Tulsa, was the only other Division I-A school with an F.

``What policy will it take to change the attitudes of institutions that do not feel the need to have open searches or compete for diversity as they do on the field, with stadiums packed to watch diverse athletic participants?'' the report asked in its conclusion.

Scores evaluated on factors such as the percentage of minority candidates interviewed, the schools' contacts with BCA executive director Floyd Keith or the chairman of the NCAA's Minority Opportunity and Interests Committee. Schools that hire a minority coach get a two-point bonus.

This year's results improved some over last year, which produced the worst scores in the three years the report card has been released.

More than half the 26 schools in the study received either A's or B's in the four categories other than the composition of search committees.

The Indianapolis-based organization found that only 34 of 134 search committee members nationwide _ or 1.3 per school _ were minorities. Keith has said that increasing the minority representation will have a major impact on hiring.

Eleven of 26 schools received average, below average or failing grades. And of the 119 Division I-A schools and nearly 100 non-historically black institutions in I-AA, there were only 10 minority head coaches _ five in each division. Nine are black, and St. Peter's Chris Taylor is an American Indian.

Four of the schools that responded to the BCA still received F's for their choice of final candidates.

``The fact remains that many of the schools must continue to improve those categories that they either performed at the average or status quo level,'' the report said. ``Any low mark by an institution within each of the five categories has impacted the final outcome in a negative way the last three years.''

Trends reflect more deep-rooted issues. Of the 414 coaching vacancies since 1982, the BCA said only 21 were filled by minorities, and in the history of college football, only 25 minority head coaches have been hired.

The current minority head coaches in Division I-A are: Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom, UCLA's Karl Dorrell, Buffalo's Turner Gill, Kansas State's Ron Prince and Washington's Tyrone Willingham. Gill and Prince were hired this year.

Those in I-AA are: Taylor, Valparaiso's Stacy Adams, Northern Arizona's Jerome Souers, Indiana State's Lou West and Columbia's Norries Wilson.

Three of this year's schools were graded for the second time. Fordham, which had a B in 2003-04, received an A this year. Idaho earned its second straight C, and Elon University in North Carolina dropped from a B in 2003-04 to a D this year.