Unequal Treatment in College Basketball: White Coaches vs. Black Coaches
By Ken Reed
Carron J. Phillips wrote a powerful column for Deadspin the other day. The column highlighted the unequal treatment that Black coaches get in college basketball compared to their white peers.
In particular, the column noted that Chris Beard and Will Wade have both landed new jobs after being involved in ugly scandals. Moreover, Rick Pitino is back in the NCAA tournament as head coach of Iona after not one, not two, but three major scandals at Louisville. He’s also rumored to be the next head coach at St. John’s.
Meanwhile, Beard was recently hired by Ole Miss after losing his job at Texas following his arrest for allegedly strangling his fiancee. Ole Miss was in classic sportwashing mode after hiring Beard, downplaying his arrest. Here’s the police report on Beard’s arrest that Ole Miss officials wish didn’t exist.
Wade recently got the job at McNeese State after being fired at LSU for five Level One and one Level Two violation accusations from the NCAA.
Phillips asked this rhetorical question: “Tell me, have you ever seen a Black coach be that dirty and remain hirable?”
Of course not.
Instead, Black assistant coaches are the scapegoats for the white head coaches they worked for. Some of them not only lost their jobs but got prison time.
Here’s the bottom line question: What Black head coaches could be involved in scandals like Pitino, Beard and Wade were, lose their jobs, and then go out land new NCAA Division I head coaching jobs?
It shouldn’t take you long to answer that question.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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