Hiring Report Card Is Mixed

Times Staff Writer

In the first of what officials pledged would be an annual survey, the Black Coaches Assn. released a report card on minority hiring among major college football programs.

The BCA looked at 28 Division I-A and I-AA schools that had openings for football head coaches after the 2003 season.

Though only one of those universities hired an African-American coach -- Sylvester Croom at Mississippi State -- 17 of the 28 schools received grades of A or B based on how they conducted their searches.

The University of Nevada was the only Division I-A school to receive an "F" because its athletic director returned to coaching and no search was conducted.

The University of San Diego did not respond to the survey and was among three I-AA schools that received "F" grades, BCA officials said.

The BCA chose not to judge by actual hires because, officials said, that would be tantamount to a quota. They focused instead on the process, believing that if universities make good-faith efforts to consider all candidates, more African Americans will be hired.

Numerous factors were considered, including: Length of time devoted to the hiring, percentage of minorities involved and number of minority candidates interviewed. Schools were given credit for their willingness to consult with the BCA.

Though most schools received favorable grades, Floyd Keith, the BCA's executive director, pointed out that, excluding traditionally black colleges, only five of 117 Division I-A schools have black head coaches.

"It's not going to be swept under the rug," he said. "We're going to continue this until we see positive changes."

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

REPORT CARD

The Black Coaches Assn.'s grades of 28 Division I-A and I-AA schools that hired new football coaches since the end of the 2003 season:

*--* DIVISION I-A Team Grd. Akron A Arizona A Army C Central Michigan B Central Florida B Cincinnati A Duke B Eastern Michigan A Idaho C Kent State D Mississippi State A Nebraska B Nevada F Texas El Paso A DIVISION I-AA Team Grd. Central Conn. St. C The Citadel B Cornell A Elon B Holy Cross A Fordham B LaSalle D Massachusetts C Northeastern B Richmond B Sacred Heart D San Diego F Southern Utah F Texas State F

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