Richard Lapchick

Recent Articles

Annual reporting on Twins’ lack of diversity grows tiresome

I’ve held off long enough, but it’s that time again to write about the results of Dr. Richard Lapchick’s annual report cards on the pro leagues’ diversity efforts. The other print media use the fewest possible words to mention these Racial and Gender Report Cards (RGRC) on their sports pages because it doesn’t matter to them if diversity is achieved or not, especially when their own workplaces aren’t that diverse. It’s not like I don’t want to, but annual reporting on the snail-like progress the local pro teams have made on diversity over the years hasn’t much changed. In the Twin Cities, the diversity axiom isn’t how some things change and some remain the same, but rather nothing changes but the year. It’s like the teacher who practices social promotion every year — although the student doesn’t deserve it, they have another class coming in. Continue Reading →

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Would a Robinson Rule be just another ruse?


The only thing I like about a proposed “Eddie Robinson Rule” for college sports hiring is that it is being named for the late Grambling football coach. Otherwise, if the proposed law is modeled after the NFL’s Rooney Rule, I’m afraid it’s a recipe for deception, false hopes and tokenism. This week’s “Another View” published in the MSR sports section briefly discusses Richard Lapchick’s latest campus leadership report, where it notes again just how White (nearly 90 percent) of the campus leadership positions are.  

Here are the latest diversity report’s “lowlights”:

Coaches of color decreased by three, from 18 in 2012 to 15 in 2013. There was a two-percent drop in Black head football coaches (now 9.6 percent) from last year even though Black football players at the same time went up nearly three percent. Continue Reading →

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‘Mostly White hiring’ remains the unspoken rule in college athletics

Sometimes an apology is worse than whatever it was intended to make amends for.  Take the case of Texas billionaire and former Minnesota Vikings owner Red McCombs. McCombs twice opened his mouth last week with somewhat controversial results.  He first told a San Antonio radio station that the new University of Texas Head Football Coach Charlie Strong would “make a good position coach, maybe a coordinator.”

Later that same week, McCombs apologized and told a San Antonio newspaper that he didn’t think his comments about Strong were racial. Strong is one of only 12 Black Division I head football coaches that started and finished the recent 2013 season. “I didn’t even think about that,” added McCombs. “I’m not sure I knew anything about the race issue…”

What do you expect from an 80-something White man? Continue Reading →

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Rooney Rule still looking like ‘Rooney Ruse’









“It’s duck season.”

“It’s rabbit season.”

“Duck season!”

“Rabbit season!”

Remember this cartoon debate? Well, both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are wrong — it’s football coaches firing-hiring season. Or Black coaches getting bypassed again season. Even before it became official, the media de facto “search committee” already had filled out their next coach list for the Minnesota Vikings like a precocious child’s Christmas wish list. Two such lists include only four Black “top candidates,” with former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith listed twice. Continue Reading →

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Large gaps in Black-White grad rates persist among college football bowl teams

Our own U of M remains among the worst
There are 34 NCAA-sanctioned college football bowls — a total of 70 schools, including Minnesota, who earlier this month accepted their second consecutive Texas Bowl invitation. All but two of the 34 bowls are corporately named, including five restaurants, two credit cards, two auto parts stores, two by the same U.S-based television brand, one hotel, one cruise line, one junk-food company, one insurance company, one mortgage company, one on-line tax-preparation software company and one athletic apparel company. Only a pear tree-bound partridge is missing. Meanwhile, what sports fanatics and their cosigning media lackeys don’t endlessly talk about is the poor academic records of most of the teams examined by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) in the University of Central

Florida’s annual academic progress report on the bowl-bound teams.

“The substantial gap between White and African-American football student-athletes remained large for the 70 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) eligible schools,” wrote TIDES Director Richard Lapchick in his December 9 “Keeping Score When It Counts” report. This includes our state’s only FBS school, the University of Minnesota, which is consistently among college football’s worst in graduating Black players. Continue Reading →

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U of M loses ground in athletics racial hiring — Already near the bottom, under Teague it’s getting worse



Diversity in the University of Minnesota’s athletics administration is still a four-letter word: None. After Richard Lapchick’s annual “College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card” came out in July, we asked Gopher AD Norwood Teague to grade his department’s diversity, since Lapchick overall gave college sport a B. Teague couldn’t bring himself to do so. You really can’t blame him, though, especially since after he took over last July he hasn’t hired any Blacks in any key decision-making roles. Lapchick pointed out that college sport has a lower racial hiring grade than pro sports. “The greatest number of career prospects are in college sport rather than professional sport because of the number of jobs available,” he said. Continue Reading →

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Diversity report shows NBA leading sports industry — Except in Minnesota, where it still lags far behind




The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) annually publishes the Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC) reports on professional and college sport to measure racial and gender improvement, stagnation and regression in decision making, and other key positions. The MSR annually devotes more attention to RGRC author Richard Lapchick’s grades than does any other media in town. No speculation as to why the local pro teams and the state’s largest university diversity efforts don’t merit the same smell test analysis by mainstream media that it does here. TIDES last week continued its annual RGRC series with the 2012-13 NBA. The Major League Baseball RGRC was released earlier this year, and we briefly reported it.  A quick recap: The Minnesota Twins, as usual, failed in its diversity grade. Continue Reading →

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Twins’ diversity talk seems mostly for show




A new movie on the life of Jackie Robinson premieres Friday. It has support from people in high places. “We think that everybody in this country needs to watch this movie,” advises First Lady Michelle Obama on the movie 42 after she and her husband, President Barack Obama viewed a private screening last week at the White House. The first of several Minnesota Twins “Diversity Days” will be Monday April 15, the day Major League Baseball (MLB) annually honors Robinson’s major league debut in 1947. “It was an important and powerful moment in baseball when Jackie Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers,” recalls Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Continue Reading →

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‘Enormous’ graduation gap between Blacks and Whites in college hoops


In past years, I used to scrounge newsstands for any piece of needed information to fill out mimeographed bracket sheets, only to later lose my hard-earned money in the worksite pool. Don’t get me wrong — I still sequester myself watching the first two rounds through bloodshot eyes, with the mute button at full volume. However, I no longer act like Marvin Gaye, foolishly asking what’s going on, because I’m now like Johnny Nash and can see clearly now — my eyes are now wide open. While broadcasters and others call it the “Big Dance,” the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament actually is like the players’ ball where the “pimps” — the television networks, the NCAA, advertisers and big-school officials — all get rich. An estimated $702 million in television revenues will be raked in, and with ticket sales, that amount is expected to balloon to around $797 million. Continue Reading →

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In college sport, it’s still a White man’s world


An unfortunate imbalance continues in college sport according to the latest report by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES): White men run the show, and women in particular, in spite of Title IX, are losing ground rather than making progress. TIDES Director Richard Lapchick said last week in “Mild Progress Continues: Assessing Diversity among Campus and Conference Leaders for Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Schools in the 2012-13 Academic Year” that key leadership in schools such as Minnesota, and major conferences such as the Big Ten “remain[s] overwhelmingly White and male.”

The telling numbers: White men (92 of 120) hold 76 percent of the college president positions, 84 percent of athletic directors (101 of 120), and 64 percent of the faculty athletic representatives (81 of 126). Whites overall hold nearly 91 percent of the 366 campus leadership positions in America. Moreover, all 11 FBS conferences are run by White men. As a result, Lapchick points out, there’s little change in the number of Blacks in leadership roles: Four of the five Black presidents are male, and all nine Black athletic directors are males as well.  Also three of the five Black FARs are males. Continue Reading →

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