SBD/Issue 90/Collegiate Sports

NCAA Tackling Leadership Diversity Issues With Committee

The NCAA Office of Diversity & Inclusion has formed the NCAA Diversity Leadership Strategic Planning Committee comprised of university presidents, ADs, conference commissioners, coaches, sporting officials and student-athletes to address diversity and inclusion issues within the NCAA. The committee will identify strategies and recommendations that will promote diversity among student athletes; enhance equitable career opportunities for minority coaches, officials and administrators; and strengthen and promote women’s athletics. NCAA VP/Diversity & Inclusion Charlotte Westerhaus and former Ohio State Univ. AD Andy Geiger will serve as Chair and Vice Chair of the committee, respectively (NCAA).

STUDY: Earlier this week, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the Univ. of Central Florida (UCF) released “The Buck Stops Here: Assessing Diversity among Campus and Conference Leaders for Division IA Schools in 2006.” The study examined the race and gender of conference commissioners and campus leaders including college and university presidents, ADs, and faculty athletics representatives for all 119 Division I-A schools. The study found that whites hold 330 (92.4%) of the 357 campus leadership positions, with white women holding 49 (13.7%) of these positions. There is only one African-American woman, one Native American male and one Asian male out of the 357. Of the 119 Division I-A university presidents, 112 are white (94.1%), four are African-American (3.4%) and three are Latino (2.5%). There are 15 female presidents (12.6%), all of whom are white. Among the 119 ADs, 106 are white (89.1%), ten are African-American (8.4%) and three are Latino (2.5%). There are five female ADs (4.2%), all of whom are white. All 11 conference commissioners are white males (Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport).

LAPCHICK: UCF Sports Business Management Dir Dr. Richard Lapchick, who authored the study, suggested that the NCAA “should implement rules like the NFL and [MLB] that require teams to interview a minority candidate for each coaching vacancy.” Lapchick: “The goal is to open the process to get the best people in the room and hire the best people. We feel like once that process is opened up, more African-Americans are going to be hired as presidents, more are going to be hired as [ADs].” But Westerhaus said that a “similar approach wouldn’t necessarily work in the NCAA.” Westerhaus: “I am confident that the same solutions don’t always work for the same problems. But I will say that the NCAA leadership must become more vigilant and more aggressive in addressing this problem” (AP, 1/25).

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