When will college sports catch up in diversity hiring?

Next Story
Pat Summitt, the long-time Tennessee head coach, was one of the best female coaches in college sports (©GettyImages)
Pat Summitt, the long-time Tennessee head coach, was one of the best female coaches in college sports (©GettyImages).

College sports programs continue to struggle with gender and minority hiring, according to a report released Wednesday which analyzed the hiring practices of the NCAA and its member schools.

The report showed that there were fewer women with jobs in college sports. Meanwhile, only a marginal gain was seen in racial diversity across the workforce.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, which conducted the report, gave college sports a B grade for its racial hires and a C-plus rating for gender hiring. 

College sports received the lowest grade for racial hiring, out of a list which includes the NFL, NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.

It also finished second-worst in gender hiring, only ranking higher than the NFL.

Why it matters

You can appeal to a moral desire to spread the wealth, so to speak, and encourage both women and minority groups to adopt larger roles in college sports.

Considering the fact that more women attend college than men in the United States, it probably makes sense that they should be involved in major issues of governance and management, including in athletic departments.

According to a Pew Research Poll in March, 71 percent of women enrolled in college immediately after graduating from high school, as opposed to 61 percent of men.

 Female students comprise 57 percent of college student populations, according to the Women's Sports Foundation, but only make up 43% of the total number of student athletes.

Still, that percentage totaled about 200,000 female athletes in 2012.

Those women should be able to petition and fight for a right to have a say in how their college sports teams are governed, especially considering the fact that the jobs with the most gender disparity are usually the ones in college sports' front offices.

In Division 1, women occupied 29.5 percent of associate athletic director jobs, a drop from 30 percent in 2012. Women held only 38.7 percent of head coaching jobs for women's teams.

Some progress

There were some signs of growth for gender hiring in college sports.

Female presidents increased from 18, in 2012, to 19, in 2013, in the NCAA's 125 FBS schools. The number of female conference commissioners in Division I rose from six to seven.

Female athletic directors also increased, which could play a role in future hiring practices trending toward greater inclusion and diversity.

Related Articles

UCLA flooding leaves basketball court, and home season, in chaos
Talented ex-Oregon star finds new Florida team after sexual assault allegations
Braxton Miller the crucial unanswered question for Ohio State

Next Story

Read more