May 21, 2012
Trends Could Threaten Coaching Diversity

College basketball has long been dominated by African-Americans on the court. The same can’t be said for the sidelines.

And the numbers of minority coaches aren’t getting much better – they’re stagnant or even declining at the Division I level.

George Mason coach Paul Hewitt – who also coached at Georgia Tech for 11 seasons, leading the Yellow Jackets to a Final Four in 2004 – said “the marketplace for coaches is generally fair, but worries that a few recent trends are hurting minority candidates.

“It seems we’re sometimes dealing with the law of unintended consequences, Hewitt said. I don’t think any one thing is causing the problem, but some of the recent trends in the sport could make things more difficult.”

The latest Race and Gender report card released in 2010 by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport showed that 21 percent of coaches in Division I men’s basketball were African-Americans, down from the all-time high of 25.2 percent during the 2005-06 season. That’s much lower than the numbers on the court – nearly 61 percent of Division I players were African-American.

The study is directed by Richard Lapchick, who has been studying minority hiring trends in sports for decades. He gives college basketball an A-minus grade for its hiring practices – thanks to the relatively strong numbers compared to other sports – but says the declining minority numbers are a major cause for future concern.

Hewitt pointed to two issues in particular. One is the popularity of professional search firms, who often help big-name schools pinpoint talented coaches. The other is the rising stigma that surrounds coaches who are trying to climb into the college game out of AAU basketball or the high school ranks.

Several high-profile NCAA scandals have centered around the sometimes seedy underworld of amateur basketball, but Hewitt said a few sensational cases have put a stain on a legitimate way for young African-American coaches to get into the college game.

“That’s how I came up in 1989 – working at camps at Syracuse and Georgetown and getting my name out there to coaches, Hewitt said. I didn’t play Division I basketball, and to get my name out there I had to market myself. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

“As far as the search firms, it just adds another variable that’s an unknown. Who do they know? Is diversity a priority?”

Trends Could Threaten Coaching Diversity

The Associated Press

http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20120519/APS/1205190506?p=2&tc=pg

College basketball has long been dominated by African-Americans on the court. The same can’t be said for the sidelines.

And the numbers of minority coaches aren’t getting much better – they’re stagnant or even declining at the Division I level.

George Mason coach Paul Hewitt – who also coached at Georgia Tech for 11 seasons, leading the Yellow Jackets to a Final Four in 2004 – said “the marketplace for coaches is generally fair, but worries that a few recent trends are hurting minority candidates.

“It seems we’re sometimes dealing with the law of unintended consequences, Hewitt said. I don’t think any one thing is causing the problem, but some of the recent trends in the sport could make things more difficult.”

The latest Race and Gender report card released in 2010 by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport showed that 21 percent of coaches in Division I men’s basketball were African-Americans, down from the all-time high of 25.2 percent during the 2005-06 season. That’s much lower than the numbers on the court – nearly 61 percent of Division I players were African-American.

The study is directed by Richard Lapchick, who has been studying minority hiring trends in sports for decades. He gives college basketball an A-minus grade for its hiring practices – thanks to the relatively strong numbers compared to other sports – but says the declining minority numbers are a major cause for future concern.

Hewitt pointed to two issues in particular. One is the popularity of professional search firms, who often help big-name schools pinpoint talented coaches. The other is the rising stigma that surrounds coaches who are trying to climb into the college game out of AAU basketball or the high school ranks.

Several high-profile NCAA scandals have centered around the sometimes seedy underworld of amateur basketball, but Hewitt said a few sensational cases have put a stain on a legitimate way for young African-American coaches to get into the college game.

“That’s how I came up in 1989 – working at camps at Syracuse and Georgetown and getting my name out there to coaches, Hewitt said. I didn’t play Division I basketball, and to get my name out there I had to market myself. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

“As far as the search firms, it just adds another variable that’s an unknown. Who do they know? Is diversity a priority?”






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