As you watch the College Football Playoff national championship game between Alabama and Ohio State on Jan. 11, one of the most interesting parts won't be what's on the field, but off it. Or, rather, what's missing, and that will be women in key leadership positions.
Alabama and Ohio State are far from alone. According to a new study, the Football Bowl Subdivision has one of the sorriest records in all of sports when it comes to gender hiring practices.
The annual diversity report from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, written by Richard Lapchick, gave the FBS a B- for racial hiring practices, but an F for gender hiring practices, including failing grades for university chancellors and presidents, as well as athletic directors. The result was an overall D+ grade.
“The lack of representation of women in athletic director or president or chancellor positions has remained an issue within the arena of college sport," Lapchick writes.
The Lapchick study gave FBS schools a failing grade. (Photo: Christian Petersen, Getty Images)
He added: “Although there were three more women athletic directors (a 2.3 percentage point increase) at FBS schools, the grade in this category remained an F. Men still comprise an overwhelming majority of athletic director positions with a total of 118 of the 130 DI FBS schools.”
The report looked at the racial and gender makeup of Division I FBS leadership, in the same way it examined racial and gender hiring practices of other sports such as the NFL and NBA.
The report says the positions of leadership it examined include conference commissioners and campus leaders, as well as college and university presidents and chancellors, athletic directors, and faculty athletic representatives from the 130 institutions that make up the FBS. The report also addressed the racial and gender composition of head football coaches, assistant coaches and student athletes for the football teams.
In 2020, the report states, Black men represented only 10.0 percent of head coaches compared to 48.5 percent of football players.
“As we look more closely at systemic racism during the racial reckoning after the murder of George Floyd," Lapchick writes, "it is a sad statement about American higher education that 80.8 percent of chancellors and presidents, 83.1 percent of athletic directors, 82.0 percent of faculty athletic representatives, and 80.0 percent of conference commissioners were white. That is more than 80 percent of all these key positions.
"Additionally, 66.9 percent of chancellors and presidents, 76.9 percent of athletic directors, 48.2 percent of faculty athletic representatives, and 70.0 percent of conference commissioners were white men. The low grades recorded in 2020 reflect the lack of significant growth of diversity in FBS leadership and leads to the continued inequity in sport. The results again do not reflect the far more diverse composition of students and student-athletes at colleges and universities across the country. They do not even reflect the composition of the American people.”
Also, white people held 82.0 percent of the 399 campus leadership positions, a decrease from 84.3 percent in 2019, the study says.
One of the most striking parts of the report is how few women, and particularly women of color, hold key positions across the college sports universe. The report says Ana Mari Cauce at the University of Washington, Neeli Bendapudi at the University of Louisville, Renu Khatorat the University of Houston, Adela de la Torre at San Diego State University and Mary Papazian at San Jose State were the only women presidents of color at an FBS school in 2020.
The report also notes one of the pivotal moments of the past season, when Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game.
Source: Read Full Article