Stewart Mandel looks at the scant number of minority head coaches at D-1 schools, sees it dwindling even further at season’s end… and basically says there’s nothing anybody can do about it.
… Unfortunately, the only sure-fire way to increase the number of black coaches is for the current ones to keep winning. That’s an entirely unfair brand of pressure to put on the shoulders of any coach.
So, basically, life’s a bitch, fellas. Deal with it.
And the fault for this, dear Brutus, lies not with the current crop of decision makers, which Mandel assures us is “progressive” in nature, but with the troglodytes of twenty five years ago.
… their predecessors of 20 to 25 years ago were not, which is right around the time the typical, 40-something head coaching candidate of today would have needed to enter the profession. At that time, black people had little reason to believe a career in coaching would pay off for them, which likely caused a whole bunch of potentially promising coaches to choose another field. Hence, today’s pool remains predominately white.
In other words, it’s nobody’s fault now. How convenient for everyone. What’s really interesting about Mandel’s analysis of this is that he dismisses the possibility of college football’s administrators adopting an approach similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview – but not necessarily offer the job – minority applicants for a head coaching job. That’s because any shortcomings lie not with the decision makers, but the applicants. So while Mandel thinks it’s reasonable to ask a school to be more inclusive in its hiring approach, “…you can’t force a school hire to a black coach if it doesn’t truly believe him to be the best candidate.”
Assuming for the sake of argument that such is always a coldly rational, fairly weighed decision (now there’s a hell of an assumption), it still misses the point. Mandel rather conveniently doesn’t explain why the NFL has been more successful, at least from a pure percentage standpoint, in hiring minority head coaches than have college football athletic directors (or the Bobby Lowders behind the throne). Were NFL owners/general managers more enlightened twenty five years ago than their college counterparts?