Gene Smith

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Will the next Gophers athletic director be Black?

Search process makes this possibility not likely

Will Blacks be included in the “thorough and inclusive process” University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced last week on his search for the school’s next athletic director. Let me count the reasons they probably won’t be. One, the school is paying an Atlanta search firm $100,000. According to the Sports Business Journal, Division I schools annually conduct up to 45 searches for an AD, football or basketball coach — spending anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 using outside agencies. (A University spokesman told me last week that the money will be coming from two sources: the athletic department and Kaler’s presidential account.)

The business magazine also says these search executives are “in an extraordinarily powerful position,” which lends to reason number two — Minnesota hired Parker Executive Search, whose senior leadership is all White, and all but one of its seven “principals/associates” also are White. Continue Reading →

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