Study: Diversity hires underrepresented in college athletics

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A diversity study showed Football Bowl Subdivision schools continue to underrepresent women and people of color in hiring for leadership positions at athletic departments of the sport’s highest level of competition.

The report card, issued Thursday from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) indicated improvement from a year ago with an overall grade of D-plus, up from a D in 2021. Racial hiring also increased its grade to a B-minus from a C last hear.

However, gender hiring remained an F with the study finding women make up only 10 percent of athletic directors at the 130 schools in the FBS.

“You see over a 25-year period of time we’ve been forever without much movement, at these positions in particular,” Richard Lapchick, the head of the institute and lead author of the report, told The Associated Press.

The study examined positions that include university presidents or chancellors, athletics directors, faculty athletics representatives and conference commissioners, using data submitted by the NCAA.

There were improvements in other areas, the report found, with non-white athletic directors rising to 18.5%, “thus slightly reducing the dominance of white people in these positions,” Lapchick said.

Lapchick said change toward a more diverse staff starts at the top, another area of concern. The report found there were only 22 people of color holding positions of school president or chancellor, one fewer than a year earlier.

Overall, white people held 324 of the 395 campus leadership positions reported in this study, which was the same from last year,

The TIDES report card also tracked the racial makeup of FBS head coaches and athletes. It found less than one in five head coaches weren’t white while Black, Hispanic or Latino athletes comprised more than 51% of all FBS football players.

“There is much room to grow in the head coaches’ position to be as racially diverse as the population of DI FBS student-athletes,” according to the report.

The NCAA tried to address diversity hiring by adopting a pledge in September 2016 to be more inclusive in its leadership searches, akin to the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” about a diverse candidate pool. The report noted that 878 schools and 102 conferences at all NCAA levels signed the pledge.

But Lapchick said there are no sanctions or price to pay for institutions that don’t follow the guidelines.

“Five years later, the results have not changed enough,” Lapchick said.

Still, after 25 years of tracking diversity hiring for several pro and college organizations, Lapchick remains hopeful that positive change is ahead.

Lapchick believes the athlete activism seen the past few years in the aftermath of several high-profile incidents like the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020 will continue and can lead to change.

Athletes and their coaches who marched for change continue to demand accountability, Lapchick thinks, and foresees their influence growing when college administrators are tasked with picking coaches and athletic directors.

He also sees decision makers listening more to athletes than in the past. Plus, Lapchick is confident improvements in diversity hiring among pro leagues like the NBA and NFL will flow down to the NCAA.

“The frustrations that I’ve felt over the years have been eased by my beliefs that people in the decision making roles in the league offices all have this as a priority,” Lapchick said, “and will do something about it.”

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.