Study: White Men Run The World of FBS College Football

Every single FBS conference commissioner in the country is a white male.

By Julianne Hing Jan 03, 2014

Bowl season is here. And according to a new study of the racial and gender makeups of the top college football schools and conferences, white men are still running the show.

The University of Central Florida’s Diversity and Ethics in Sport looked into the race and gender of top leadership positions at all 125 Football Bowl Subdivision colleges and conferences for the 2013-2014 academic year. The vast majority of top positions–from college and university presidents to head coaches and athletic directors–were filled by white men. Nearly 89 percent of university presidents at these schools are white men, as are 84.8 percent of athletic directors and fully 100 percent of conference commissioners. 

This academic year there were 15 head football coaches of color. In the 2012-2013 academic year it was 18, but there have never been more than 19 head football coaches of color.

But who’s playing on the field? That’d be black athletes–they were 51.6 percent of the students on the FBS playing fields in 2012 (PDF)–followed by white student-athletes at 43.3 percent. Latinos and Asian-American student-athletes make up roughly 2 percent each, while Native Americans are 0.1 percent.

"I think that it goes back to same question, there’s no sanctions for them not to do it, so they continue to do business the way they’ve always done it," study author Richard Lapchick told the AP. "I think it’s more of the ‘old boys’ network’ than it is a racial thing…So the pipeline isn’t full with potential candidates. 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."