Black Football Coaches Get Screwed
At his last news conference, University of Colorado's football coach, Jon Embree, cried. It wasn't his 4-21 record that caused the tears, though. He'd been fired. African-American coaches, he explained, don't get second chances.
I think this proves Division I college football is still a Good Ol' Boys Club. But don't take my word for it. Bill McCartney, who coached Embree at Colorado in the '80s and won a national title at the school in 1991, echoes his former player. McCartney told the Denver Post he also had losing seasons but kept his job because he is Caucasian.
"I believe black men have less opportunity," he said. "It didn't happen to me. Why should it happen to a black man?"
Need more proof? Consider the fact that white coaches with losing records and dubious character issues have no problem getting new gigs. For example, the University of Arizona tapped Rich Rodriguez as its coach despite his lack of ethics and lousy job performance when he ran the University of Michigan Wolverines. During the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons, Rodriguez compiled a 15-22 record at Michigan. During his final year at the school, the NCAA accused Rodriguez and his staff of committing five major rules violations.
Washington State University hired Mike Leach, who had been fired as head coach at Texas Tech University in 2009 following an investigation into claims he forced one of his players, Adam James, to stand inside a cramped equipment room during a practice session. Star wide receiver Marquess Wilson, who quit the team in early November after Leach suspended him, wrote a letter condemning the coach and his staff, noting the coaches humiliated players. Interestingly, Leach finished his first season with a 3-9 record, only two more wins than Embree.
Meanwhile, African-American Randy Shannon had a 28-22 record during his tenure as University of Miami Hurricanes head coach and guided the school to the third-best graduation rate among Division I football programs. Yet Shannon, who is now the linebackers coach at Texas Christian University, has not been considered for a prime head coaching job.
The plantation mentality still rules college football.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.