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

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DIVERSITY IN SPORT:

AN ANALYSIS OF THE DISPARITIES IN POWER POSITIONS,

PARTICIPANT DISTRIBUTION, COMPENSATION,

AND NEGATIVE MEDIA COVERAGE IN TERMS OF RACE AND GENDER

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.

NCAA Division I Men's Basketball

A research study conducted by Cunningham and Sagas in 2005 determined that the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Head Coaches that were White have more White assistant coaches, and a Black Head Coach would have a great percentage of Black assistant coaches on their staff. In total the average staff has 1.19 Black assistants and 2.35 White assistants. This is a comparative proportion of 33% Black vs. 64% White. Also, it was determined from the same study that Whites were more likely to have an all-White staff and Blacks were more likely to have an all-Black staff. Through personal research, I tried to see if I could reflect the findings of Cunningham and Sagas in today's NCAA men's basketball programs. Looking at the coaching staffs of all of the teams in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll for December 12, 2011, only three teams have a Black head coach. Of the three assistant coaches on each staff of a White head coach, there was an average of 1.6 White assistants. In total the average was 1.64. Of the assistants lead by a Black head coach, about 1.3 of the coaches were Black. The total average for Black assistants was 1.36. The results from the current top 25 list seem as if it would disagree with the findings of Cunningham and Sagas. Just to make sure, I looked back at the rankings from the previous week of December 5, 2011 and the preseason rankings to compare. The results came out about the same. The average number of White assistants from the schools who had White head coaches on the list from December 5 and preseason were 1.62 and 1.68. The schools assistant averages of Black assistants with Black head coaches were 1 and 1.33. The numbers barely changed when looking at the lists as a whole. This may be one area where progression has taken place and could be a positive influence on other teams to do the same but then again, the rankings change from week to week.

For NCAA Division I basketball as a whole, the assumptions could hold true. Now in Division I basketball, 21% of all head coaches were [Black], which was down 1.9 percentage points from the last report and down 4.2 percentage points from the 2005-06 season, when there was an all-time high of 25.2% of our men's head basketball coaches who were [Black] (The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport [TIDES], 2010).

What makes this topic of non-Whites in coaching positions such an issue to us is the color of majority of the student-athletes at the NCAA Division I level. In Division I men's basketball, Blacks account for 60.9% of athletes and Whites hold 30.5% (TIDES, 2010).The same could be said for the women's side. [Black] female student-athletes accounted for 51% of the Division I basketball participants (TIDES, 2010). There is a definite discrepancy in the racial make-up of coaches and players at the Division I level.

Opportunities for Females in Athletics Administration

The enactment of Title IX in 1972 is ultimately what changed the opportunities for women overall, but specifically in athletics. After the enactment, over 90% of women's athletic programs were directed by women. R. Vivian Acosta and Linda Jean Carpenter have since 1977 conducted a longitudinal study on "Women in Intercollegiate Sport," tracking female participation, coaching positions,

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