Diversity in Sport - an Analysis of the Disparities in Power Positions, Participant Distribution, Compensation, and Negative Media Coverage in Terms of Race and Gender

Published: 2021-09-14 13:45:11
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Power Positions In Sport
Opportunities for Minorities in Athletic Administration
Looking at the power positions in the realm of sport it goes without saying that there is a short list when it comes to minorities who hold "power positions." I would like to illustrate the disparities at the administrative level all the way down to the coaching ranks of collegiate sports. Dr. Richard Lapchick, Director for the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, showed that it is important to not only look at coaches, and athletics administration, but to also look at the most powerful positions in higher education. All of the research compiled by Lapchick is reflective of universities and colleges who participated at the Division I-A level following the 2010 college football regular season. Looking specifically at the 120 member NCAA institutions that support D-IA football, only five schools had Black Presidents, and two schools had presidents of Latino decent.
This trend continued to the next level as well. Almost eighty-nine percent of Athletics Directors for this sample were of White. Interestingly enough, of the seven Black and Latino Presidents only one was from a BCS school and of the fourteen Athletic Directors only seven of them were from BCS schools. Another interesting finding was that of the eleven conferences in D-IA football every conference commissioner was White (Lapchick, 2010). This illustrates underrepresentation of non-Whites in athletic administration and what could be considered the 120 most prominent schools based on football in the country.
Head Football Coaches
The next area of concern is the coaches in collegiate athletics, specifically head coaches, and those who compose the remainder of their staff and assistants. In Dr. Lapchick's study on D-IA football programs, he showed that thirteen schools had Non-White head coaches. That was an increase from the previous season and brought the number of Black coaches to an all-time high. The only bad thing is that two of the thirteen coaches who started the 2009-2010 season lost their jobs at the end of 2010 bringing the total number of non-White head coaches down to 11. Coordinators, who are considered the top assistants on staff of either offense or defense for football programs totaled 266 (i.e. excluding those who were a coordinator/head coach) and of those 266 only 38 were considered minority (Lapchick, 2010). This does not take into account position coaches on a team, but it does look at the highest ranking assistant on a football staff.
Taking a look at the other major sport in collegiate athletics, college basketball, we find head coaching positions similar to football. Using statistics from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) it was concluded that during the 2010 Division I Basketball season, almost 73% of men's programs were led by White head coaches. There proves to be a definite similarity between the coaching positions for non-Whites in both college football as well as men's college basketball.

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