College sports leaders in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's most competitive level continue to be overwhelmingly white and male, according to a new study released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. As of this fall, 75.8 percent of presidents at the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision colleges were white men, as were 78.9 percent of athletics directors. About 7 percent of athletic directors were women, and all of them were white. Nearly 90 percent of faculty athletics representatives were white, as were 87.5 percent of head football coaches and 100 percent of conference commissioners.
“This year’s report results do not reflect the much more diverse composition of students and student-athletes at colleges and universities across the country,” Richard Lapchick, the institute's director, said in a statement. “I challenge all colleges and universities to mirror the diversity of their students and student-athletes in their campus leadership positions. College sport remains behind professional sports regarding opportunities for women and people of color for the top jobs.”
In September, the NCAA urged college presidents and conference commissioners to sign a new pledge promising to “specifically commit to establishing initiatives for achieving ethnic and racial diversity, gender equity, and inclusion with a focus on hiring practices in intercollegiate athletics.” Lapchick said the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport will closely examine any impact the pledge has in next year's report, but he criticized the effort for its lack of sanctions for those who do not honor it.
“It’s an idealistic pledge, and it’s definitely good that it’s there,” Lapchick said at the time. “But it doesn’t have any teeth.”