Despite modest gains by women and minorities, the power structure in big-time college sports remains overwhelmingly white, says a new report.
White men account for all but 19 of the 120 athletic directors in Division I-A, hold all 11 of the conference-commissioner positions in the division, and make up roughly two-thirds of all faculty athletic representatives, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, which released the report on Thursday afternoon.
Those figures stand in stark contrast to the racial and gender breakdown of college athletes. Recent NCAA data for Division I show that about 45 percent of athletes are women, while nearly a quarter of male athletes and 16 percent of female athletes are African-American.
Of the 19 athletic-director positions not held by white men, five—at Arizona State, Cal, Nevada, North Carolina State, and Western Michigan—belong to white women. Meantime, the report says, African-American men hold nine AD positions (at Buffalo, Central Florida, Eastern Michigan, Maryland, New Mexico State, Ohio State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, and Virginia) and Latino men four (at UCLA, Florida International, North Texas, and Wisconsin-Madison). One athletic department, the report says, is led by a Native American man (Tulane).
“Women and people of color who seek leadership positions in American higher education and in college sport face enormous odds,” Richard Lapchick, who wrote the report with Jamile M. Kitnurse, said in a statement. “The general picture is still one of white men running college sport.”