Associate professors at Utah State University, Christy Glass and Alison Cook, have published a study examining the employment practices of colleges and universities when it comes to hiring Black coaches for their basketball teams. The authors found that although Blacks make up about half the players on Division I teams, Black coaches were hired only 22 percent of the time. Furthermore, colleges and universities were more willing to hire a Black coach when their teams had a losing record. And they found that when Black coaches were hired they had a shorter tenure as head coach.
“In some ways it’s kind of like minority coaches face a double jeopardy,” Dr. Glass stated. “Not only are they more likely to be placed in struggling teams, but they’re not given enough time to prove themselves, so in some ways that risks confirmation bias that Black coaches aren’t as good.”
The authors write, “Decision makers may blame organizational struggles on individual leaders, who were placed in precarious positions at the point of hire. This lessens minority leaders’ ability to demonstrate their leadership capability and reproduces biases regarding minorities’ ability to lead effectively.”