According to a recent study released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, key leadership positions at Football Bowl Subdivisions (FBS) schools are dominated by white males. This 2014 report found that 75.2 percent of university presidents, 78.4 percent of athletic directions, and 100 percent of conference commissioners are held by white men. Additionally, it found whites held 89.3 percent of campus leadership positions.

This study examined the race and gender for all 125 FBS institution faculty members including conference commissioners and campus leaders, college and university presidents, athletics directors and faculty athletics representatives. The study further investigated specific football team faculty: head football coaches, assistant coaches, and student athletes. The study revealed an increase in the percentage of head football coaches fitting the white male demographic.

“The leadership in the power structure of college sport remains overwhelmingly white,” said Richard Lapchick, Ph.D., director of TIDES and author of the study. “College sport is sadly behind professional sports with opportunities for women and people of color for the top jobs.”

Lapchick found the study “troubling” and advocates that more minority candidates be considered for coaching and leadership positions. However, he believes that there is not yet an efficient system that can give minorities the opportunity to fill these positions nationwide. Lapchick suspects that this lack of opportunity is the fault of an unvaried candidacy pool rather than purely an issue of racial prejudice.

“I think it’s more of the ‘old boys’ network’ than it is a racial thing…I think colleges have to be more creative with how they look for key jobs like these and make sure they have a diverse pool of candidates,” Lapchick adds.

The study is titled Small Progress Throughout Collegiate Athletic Leadership: Assessing Diversity among Campus and Conference Leaders for Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Schools in the 2013-14 Academic Year. The report was published January 2, 2014 with Lapchick as the primary author with assistance by co-authors Devin Beahm and Jason Robinson.

Richard E. Lapchick, Ph.D., has served as the director of TIDES at the University of Central Florida since 2002. Considered an expert on sport and social issues, he has been described as “the racial conscience of sport,” and believes that sport can be used as a channel to stimulate positive social change. He holds the title of endowed chair for the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at UCF and remains CEO and president of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport. Lapchick received his Ph.D. in international race relations from the University of Denver and has since received eight honorary degrees.