Do College Sports Require More Diversity Recruitment?

Colleges have long been seen as sort of bastions for liberal policies and social justice warriors — but as if the world hadn’t turned upside down enough in the past year or so, Fox News recently reported on a survey done by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at Central Florida, which found that diverse hiring and recruitment practices by college campuses paled in comparison to those by professional sports organizations. Didn’t see that coming.

TIDES assigned the 2019-20 season a “C,” with a “B” for racially diverse hiring practices and a “C+” for gender hiring. 

Lead report author Richard Lapchick said, “When you put it in historical perspective of some of the really important questions, the numbers are barely moving.”

The survey found that people of color were present in much lower numbers in the Football Bowl Subdivision of college athletics than they were in professional sports organizations like the NBA or NFL.

NCAA senior vice president for inclusion, education, and community engagement Derrick Gragg said, “As organizations work to provide better diversity and inclusion, athletic leaders can also take significant steps to open more doors to people of color and women. There are too many diversity hiring gaps in college sports, and this racial and gender diversity report reveals that.”

Even worse, the report found that the number of overall head coaches who are people of color has declined over the past season. 

The Seattle Mariners have put forth a program at the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University to promote diversity.

Executive Vice President of the Mariners Fred Rivera said, “Our Seattle teams share the goal of addressing historic inequities and creating opportunities in sports and entertainment leadership. This program aligns with the Mariners commitment to invest in racial equity programs and initiatives. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Kraken as well as Seattle University on this long-term program to make progress breaking down barriers for entry into the sports industry.”