Study results were released today that report on the prevalence of white male leadership in 119 NCAA Div-1A institutions. The report cites small improvements in the numbers of minority men (seemingly define as black, Asian, Latino, or American Indian in this study) and women (defined as white women). But the percentages are abysmal and hardly worth reporting at all if there wasn't some need to assuage white guilt. While my limited observations suggest there is some progress in hiring minority coaches, the upper levels of administration are still an almost informidible old (white) boys' club.
What I found interesting about the article were comments from the study's coordinator, a man, and the NCAA's VP for diversity inclusion, a woman:
Lapchick said the NCAA should implement rules like the NFL and Major League Baseball that require teams to interview a minority candidate for each coaching vacancy.
"The goal is to open the process to get the best people in the room and hire the best people," Lapchick said. "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 athletic directors."
However, Westerhaus said a similar approach wouldn't necessarily work in the NCAA.
"I am confident that the same solutions don't always work for the same problems," she said. "But I will say that the NCAA leadership must become more vigilant and more aggressive in addressing this problem."
I think Westerhaus's comments are crucial. There is--at least theoretically--a difference between collegiate and professional athletics. Also, Lapchick's one-size fits all model of minority recruitment is based on an entirely male organizational structure. White and minority women would not necessarily benefit from such a model assuming the model could even be implemented when we have to consider issues of gender and sexuality (intercollegiate athletics' proverbial elephant in the room).