NEWS BRIEFS: National Coalition Calls for Addressing Racial Disparities in Major College Sports

A wide gap separates who plays the games and who coaches the players/administers college athletics. The College Athlete Advocacy Initiative spearheads the effort to change the racial landscape of major college sports.

April 2, 2021

Dr. Mark Emmert

The National Collegiate Athletic Association

700 W. Washington Street

P.O. Box 6222

Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-6222

Hello Dr. Emmert:

Thank you for your efforts to resolve the gender disparities that were on display during the 2021 men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. We are writing to ask “where do you stand” concerning racial disparities at all college sports levels?

We are hopeful that you are aware and care that:

o   Less than 3% of undergraduates at the 65 “power conference” schools are Black men, but they constitute 55% of football and 56% of men’s basketball athletes at these schools.

o   Black basketball and football players graduate at 37% and 22% lower, respectfully, than the undergraduate population.  Less than 3% of these athletes go on to have a professional sports career.

o   Among Division I schools, 79% of university athletic directors, 82% of football head coaches, and 69% of men’s basketball head coaches are white.  Similar racial imbalances exist throughout college sports.

o   In the PAC-12 conference, 40% of the college athletes are Black, but there are no Black head MBB coaches.

There are many more racial disparities in college sports.  Nonetheless, at this historic moment of social change, we are asking the NCAA to convene an independent panel to examine and develop initial remedies for the vast racial inequities in college sports.

On Monday evening, April 5th, 2020, 20 starters will take the court for the NCAA men’s national championship game.  Please take note that 90% of the college athletes are men of color, and 75% of the head coaches are White. We would appreciate a response to our request before tipoff.

Coalition for College Athletes Advocacy



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