SBD/Issue 236/Collegiate Sports

BCA Exec Dir Calls For Coaches To Unite Under Title VII

Black Coaches Association (BCA) Exec Dir Floyd Keith said that the group “will encourage individual coaches to file Title VII complaints,” and is prepared as an organization to file on their behalf if coaching searches “appear to be flawed or don’t seem to be moving in an equitable manner,” according to Steve Wieberg of USA TODAY. Title VII was part of the Civil Rights Act of ’64 and “prohibits both intentional employment discrimination and practices that have the effect of discriminating on the basis of race, religion, sex or national origin.” Keith said of Title VII, “It’s got some strong possibilities because it’s not that much different than Title IX. It gives some teeth to the issue.” However, Tulane Univ. law professor Joel Friedman, who has written a textbook on employment discrimination law, said, “It’s a very hard thing to prove, which is probably why there hasn’t been litigation” (USA TODAY, 9/6). Fritz Pollard Alliance attorney Cyrus Mehri said that he is “lukewarm to plans by the [BCA] to turn to the federal non-discrimination statute –- and courts -– as early as this winter,” saying that litigation “should be ‘the last resort.’” Mehri is instead urging colleges and the NCAA “to draw up a version of the NFL’s ... Rooney Rule, which penalizes teams for not interviewing minorities for head coaching jobs.” However, Keith said that the Rooney Rule is “impractical for colleges” (USA TODAY, 9/6).

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