Where is the diversity among sports editors?

Most of this year's college football bowl games will be played this week, and it's time for a little observation about coaching staffs, newsroom staffs and diversity.

Not many years ago, newspapers occasionally would write about the lack of minority coaches for college teams. Sometimes a newspaper would run half a page of individual pictures to make the point, which was that there seemed to be inequity in having sports that carried a large number of minority players coached almost entirely by non-minorities.

There have been fewer stories like that in recent years. Maybe that's because the situation has changed.

In October, Black Coaches & Administrators recognized a football game between Eastern Michigan University and the University of Virginia because it was believed to be the first time both teams in a Division I National College Athletic Association football game had coaches and athletic directors who were black.

Furthermore the group noted that 15 of 120 coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the NCAA's highest level of competition, were black.

So, things can change.

Change also came this year for Garry D. Howard, who has moved from assistant managing editor/sports at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to editor-in-chief at The Sporting News.

In a Journal-isms column appearing on the Maynard Institute website in November, Richard Prince called Howard, "the last remaining African-American editing the sports section of a mainstream daily newspaper."

So now there are none? How is that, given the numbers of minority people interested in and involved in sports journalism?

Rather than challenge college football programs on their diversity, it now seems the news media should try to emulate them.

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  • Joe Grimm

    Joe Grimm is a visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. He runs the JobsPage Website.


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