An Exploratory Study of Treatment Discrimination in NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Coaching


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An Exploratory Study of Treatment Discrimination in NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Coaching
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Daigneault, Mark F
University of Florida
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Master's ( M.S.)
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University of Florida
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Sport Management, Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management
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basketball -- black -- coaching -- discrimination -- men -- ncaa -- treatment
Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Sport Management thesis, M.S.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the prominence of perceived treatment discrimination in NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball by Black coaches. Seven current and former head coaches were interviewed about whetheror not this type of discrimination occurred in the collegiate coaching profession and how it manifested itself. The coaches did acknowledge the existence of treatment discrimination to varying degrees and also offered potential solutions to address the problem.
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by Mark F Daigneault.
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2013.
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2013 Mark Daigneault


To my mother and father for all of the opportunities they have cr eated for me throughout my life


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my parents and family for their love and encouragement. I would also like to thank my friends and coworkers for their support. A special thank you to my advisor and committee chair, Dr. Michael Sagas for helping me to make this happen. I would also like to acknowledge current and former members of my committee: Dr. Trevor Bopp, Dr. Shannon Kerwin, and Dr. Brian Mills. Also, a special thanks to Julie McGrath for all of her help and support throughout this process. Finally, my gratitude goes out to Billy Donovan, Jeremy Foley, Mike Hill, and Jamie McCloskey for the avenue they created for me to pursue my masters degree at the University of Florida.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 7 ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... 8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................... 9 Direction of the Study ................................................................................................ 9 Personal Statement ................................................................................................ 13 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................... 17 Discrimination ......................................................................................................... 17 Treatment Discrimination ........................................................................................ 18 The Underrepresentation of Black Coaches ........................................................... 21 Discrimination in Mens Basket ball Coaching ......................................................... 26 Focus of the Study .................................................................................................. 29 3 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................... 30 Introductio n ............................................................................................................. 30 Participants and Sampling ...................................................................................... 30 Research Design .................................................................................................... 32 Phenomenology ...................................................................................................... 33 Development of Interview Questions ...................................................................... 35 Data Analysis .......................................................................................................... 36 Trustwort hiness ...................................................................................................... 38 4 DATA AND RESULTS ............................................................................................ 39 Description of Coaches ........................................................................................... 39 Emerging Themes .................................................................................................. 39 Treatment Discrimination .................................................................................. 40 Media ................................................................................................................ 50 Resources ........................................................................................................ 52 Access Discrimination ...................................................................................... 53 Comfort ............................................................................................................. 53 Re hiring ........................................................................................................... 55 Institutional Discrimination ................................................................................ 56 Microcosm of Society ....................................................................................... 56 Solutions and Advice .............................................................................................. 57


6 5 CONCLUSIONS ..................................................................................................... 62 Research Question I: The Extent of Treatment Discrimination ............................... 62 Discussion ........................................................................................................ 62 Implications ...................................................................................................... 63 Research Question II: How Treatment Discrimination Manifests Itself ................... 64 Discussion ........................................................................................................ 64 Implications ...................................................................................................... 66 Research Question III: Solutions and Advice .......................................................... 68 Discussion ........................................................................................................ 68 Implications ...................................................................................................... 69 Significance, Limitations, and Future Research ...................................................... 70 Significance ...................................................................................................... 70 Limitations ........................................................................................................ 72 Future Research ............................................................................................... 73 Three directions for future research emerged from the completion of this study. ............................................................................................................ 73 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................... 75 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 79


7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Description of Participants .................................................................................. 31


8 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF TREATMENT DISCRIMINATION IN NCAA DIVISION I MENS BASKETBALL CO ACHING By Mark Daigneault December 2013 Chair: Michael Sagas Major: Sport Management The purpose of this study was to explore the prominence of perceived treatment discrimination in NCAA Division I Mens Basketball by black coaches. Seven current and former head coaches were interviewed about whether or not this type of discrimination occurred in the collegiate coaching profession and how it manifested itself. The coaches did acknowledge the existence of treatment discrimination to varying degrees and al so offered potential solutions to address the problem. The implications from the study contribute to a better understanding of the underrepresentation of NCAA Division I black coaches at the macro, meso, and micro levels.


9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Direction of the Study Sport organizations likely have one of two cultures: one of similarity or one of diversity (Cunningham & Sagas, 2007; see als o: Doherty & Chelladurai, 1999) A culture of similarity is characterized by rigidity, ethnocentrism, an intolerance of ambiguity, and the consideration that differences are deficits . (p. 3020) A culture of diversity displays a respect for differences, acceptance of conflict, tolerance of ambiguity, and a peoplefocused workplace. (p. 3021) Fink & Pastore (1999) clai med that an organization that successfully manages diversity does not view employee differences as a burden; rather it views employee differences as an advantage. (p. 313) The authors added that cultures of diversity improved employee satisfaction, expan ded customer bases, and improved organizational productivity and creativity. Though opinions of the benefits of diversity can vary, it is hard to argue the importance of understanding and investigating diversity in the intercollegiate sport context. College sports are highly visible, highly valued, and are deeply inscribed in the culture of our nation. (Branch, 2011) Further, being an extension of higher education, an athletic department is expected to represent the ideals and uphold the standards of the ir respective institution. It cannot be argued that one of the most sought after characteristics that an academic institution can strive for is diversity; and thus, it would be expected that the athletic department of that institution would strive for the same. However, as one investigates the subject of diversity in intercollegiate athletics further, it can be seen that in many facets of college sport, diversity is significantly


10 lacking. According to Lapchicks ( 2012) Racial and Gender Report Card, there are numerous positions of employment in college sport that are dominated by white males. This is especially the case in positions that are considered to be highly influential and/or powerful within the confines of college sport, such as: conference commiss ioners, university presidents, athletic directors, associate and assistant athletic directors, and head coaches. In terms of head coaches, no sport has a higher representation of black head coaches in Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association (N CAA) college sports than in mens basketball. Specifically, 18.6% of all head coaches in the 20112012 season were black (Lapchick, 2012) This percentage was drastically higher than the percentage of all Division I college head coaches that were black wh ich was 8.3% This should come as no surprise, since mens basketball is also the sport that had the highest representation of black student athletes ( 57.2% ) in the 2011 2012 season. This is also an overrepresentation of blacks compared to the overall population of black male athletes in Division I athletics, which was 22 % (p.5) Since the percentage of black head coaches and players are higher in mens basketball than in any other sport, one could perceive mens basketball to be the most diverse sport in t he NCAA when it comes to the inclusion of blacks. But does the fact that it is the most diverse necessarily equate to it being diverse enough? The reality is that in the position of head coach, blacks are still greatly underrepresented; a fact that is particularly concerning since it is a dynamic that is occurring in the most diverse NCAA Division I sport.


11 While 18.6% of head coaches in mens basketball are black (according to data from 20112012), this happens to be the lowest recorded percentage since the 19951996 season. It is lower than the previous year, and down 6.6 percentage points from 20052006, when the percentage of black coaches in mens basketball was at an all time high of 25.2% According to Lapchick ( 2012) this is a major area of concern in the Racial and Gender Report Card. (p. 6 ) Cunningham & Sagas (2005) identified that the pool of available labor in mens basketball coaching (or the number of potential coaches), in this sport was approximately 48% black According to more recent dat a from Lapchicks ( 2012) report, 39% of Division I mens basketball assistant coaches were black in 20112012. Also, a ccording to data presented at the 2012 College Sport Research Institute conference, 40% of associate head coaches in mens basketball are black (Daigneault, 2012) In other words, nearly half of the available labor pool is black and approximately 40% of assistant and associate coaches are black Yet in mens basketball, only 18.6% of head coaches, the position that garners the most pay and e nables the most power and influence, are black It is no secret that college head coaches, especially in mens basketball and football, have a lot of power and influence on their respective campuses, and in some cases, in society. The best barometer of this power and influence is pay. Forbes magazine printed an article about the top ten highest paid college basketball coaches in the country as of 2011. None of these coaches were black (Van Riper, 2011) However, the fact that white s dominate the echelon of highly compensated coaches, not only directly correlates to the underrepresentation of black head coaches


12 (that is, that none of the highest paid coaches are black ), bu t correlates indirectly as well due to the importance of professional networks in the c oaching ranks. One of the most powerful means of upward mobilization in the world of coaching is a strong network, and the strongest stakeholders within those networks are the most powerful and influential head coaches; most of whom are white (Doyel, 2004; ONeil, 2010a; ONeil, 2010b) For example, in three separate sports columns explaining the dynamics of coaching networks (commonly referred to as coaching trees), many powerful and influential mens college coaches are identified as having strong coac hing trees. In these three columns, 14 coaches are presented in this light, with some being mentioned across all three articles. Of these 14 none are black (Doyel, 2004; ONeil, 2010a; ONeil, 2010b) According to Cunningham & Sagas (2005) it is to be e xpected that a white head coach (i.e. the one in power) would be likely to choose a similar other (i.e. a white assistant coach). This conclusion was drawn from Kanters (1977) homologous reproduction theory. To elaborate, the following quote was written by Lapchick : (1994; see also Sagas & Cunningham, 2004) Most white coaches were raised with white values in a white culture. If white coaches accept stereotypical images of what black society is and what kind of people it produces, they may think that blac ks are less motivated, less disciplined, less intelligentand more physically gifted. (p. 9 10) In other words, if the majority of NCAA Division I mens basketball head coaches are white the majority of the most influential coaches are white and white coaches are


13 more likely to hire and promote other white coaches, this could have an effect on how black coaches are perceived and treated within the coaching ranks. The significance of this study lies in the following: If diversity within an organization has benefits, and colleges and athletic departments strive to be diverse, one must question why there is an underrepresentation of black s in positions of power in college athletics. Even in mens basketball, where there is the highest percentage of participants and coaches who are black a clear gap exists when it comes to equal representation of white and black head coaches. Specific to this study, I investigated the extent to which treatment discrimination contributes to this underrepresentation of black head coaches in NCAA Division I mens basketball. In doing so, I have attempted to answer the following research questions: (1) To what extent is treatment discrimination a contributing factor to the underrepresentation of black head coaches in Division I m ens college basketball? (2) If treatment discrimination does exist in this context, in which way(s) does it manifest itself? (3) If treatment discrimination does exist in this context, what advice or strategies can the participants offer to reduce its prevalence? Personal Statement This study was a reflection of two areas that have been a part of my life for a significant amount of time: sport and race. I grew up in sport crazed Massachusetts, where the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins are integrated in the fabric of the states culture and residents. In my hometown of Leominster, high school football and baseball are synonymous with the city. I was raised in a family that held sports in high regard. My grandfather, father, and many of my uncles wer e high school and college athletes. On my mothers side of the


14 family, there was an equal passion for sports and its role in everyday life. As a result, I grew up playing youth sports, and eventually played three sports in high school. Since the start of college, I have spent nine total years involved in Division I NCAA mens basketball: four years as an undergraduate assistant at the University of Connecticut, three years as an assistant coach at the College of the Holy Cross, and two years as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Florida. Though the subject of race has not been as prevalent an influence in my life as sport has, it has nonetheless been a factor at every stage. Throughout my childhood, my parents emphasized the importance of acceptance and respect towards people from all walks of life. As I grew up and was exposed to people whom were less accepting, I learned that a persons race, religion, or gender often factored in to how they were treated as individuals. I attended a diverse high school and interacted with a multitude of people in all activities associated with the school: from classes, to sports, to social gatherings. Our high school principal would often reinforce the positive attributes of diversity by stating that, divers ity is our strength. However, the most important event in my life as it pertains to race occurred in the first semester of my freshman year at the University of Connecticut. I entered the mens basketball player locker room for the first time, where elev en of the thirteen players on the team were black Most, if not all, of the players were in the locker room after a team workout, and I can vividly remember how uncomfortable I was at that time. As a white male, I had always interacted comfortably with a diversity of people, but had never been put into an environment where I was in the racial minority. The circumstances caused


15 me to become sensitive to how I was talking, walking, and acting. It was at this point where I became consciously aware of my racial identity; and more importantly, from that point on, I became consciously aware of the racial identity of others, and how being in the racial minority in a specific environment could affect their thoughts and actions. This experience served as a foundatio n of racial consciousness that continued when I was hired as a full time assistant basketball coach at the College of the Holy Cross in 2007. In this position, I was able to interact with many other coaches while recruiting, scouting, and socializing prior to and after games. It is commonplace in college basketball that coaches interact and network with their counterparts. It was through these experiences that I became aware of the role that race played in the coaching profession. During my time as an assi stant coach, I made many observations about how race interacted with the coaching profession. Black coaches seemed to interact and network more with other black coaches than they did with their white counterparts. The same dynamic existed with white coache s. Also, as I learned the reputations that different coaches had developed, I learned that many black coaches had the reputation of being recruiters, whereas many white coaches had reputations of being more well rounded, more organized, and were better w ith Xs and Os, which is associated with basketball intellect. These reputations were not absolute, and were not necessarily assigned because of ones race, but there was nonetheless a trend that seemed to exist. Some white coaches made comments to me that had racial undertones to them. A few white assistants referred to the lack of intelligence and qualifications of some


16 black coaches, though not directly attributing those opinions to the coachs race. Another white coach talked of how much easier it i s for black coaches to get hired and mobilize through the assistant coaching ranks because of the lack of quality candidates. Some white head coaches casually commented on the need to hire a black guy on their staff, insinuating that the hiring of a blac k assistant coach would be more of an act of tokenism and necessity, rather than viewing that person as a positive asset to the program. At the end of my tenure at the College of the Holy Cross, I had the opportunity to interview for a head coaching posit ion. It was then that I realized that recruiting was merely a small piece of a big puzzle when it came to preparing for and becoming a head coach. So many more skills were required to obtain a headcoaching job than an assistant coaching job. It was at thi s time that an important question came crystallized in my thinking: If black coaches are primarily assigned the responsibility of recruiting, or are hired in a token manner based on their race, what type of effect does this have on the underrepresentation of black head coaches in Division I NCAA mens basketball? It was at the University of Florida that I decided to tackle this issue in a research setting to find out if my perceptions of treatment discrimination in coaching were consistent with the percepti ons of black coaches who have or have had Division I NCAA coaching positions. Though a personal bias clearly existed on my behalf, I attempted to remain as objective as possible in my research, interviews, and data analysis.


17 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW D iscrimination It was argued by Bopp (2008) that the existence of a society would be impossible without discrimination, since social groups survive through membership, consequently discriminating against nonmembers . (p. 5) It is from this membership and non membership, rather than from inherited inequalities, that discrimination comes to fruition (Banton, 1992; Bopp, 2008) Pincus (1996) labeled membership and nonmembership groups dominant and minority groups. Dominant groups refer to those that have most of the power in society. Minority groups refer to groups that lack power. Within this context, minority groups do not refer to groups that are lower in numbers. Fink, Pastore, & Riemer (2001) classified the typical dominant group in society as whi te Protestant, able bodied, heterosexual males . (p. 13) One of the challenges in studying this subject is pinpointing an accurate definition of what qualifies as discrimination, as the term tends to be quite ambiguous (Bopp, 2008) Bantons (1992) widely referenced definition of discrimination states that it occurs when a person is treated differently because he or she is assigned to a category . (p. 73) Common category assignments that are often linked with discrimination are gender, race, age, ethnicit y, religion, and sexuality; among others. It is also worth adding that the term typically is used to describe negative treatment, rather than all differential treatment. Though objectives of discrimination vary, and are often unclear, Banton (1992) suggest ed that common reasons for unequal treatment of a minority group derive from


18 exclusion, stratification, and on an individual basis. According to the author, exclusion is most often associated with territorial claims. Stratification is defined as the object ive where members of the dominant group seek to keep those of the minority group in a subordinate or exploited status . (p. 77) Whereas individual discrimination aims to create a situation in which members of the minority group are less privileged than th e dominant group. Pincus (1996) qualified discrimination as when a dominant group has a differential or harmful effect on a minority group and identified three forms of discrimination: (1) individual, (2) institutional, and (3) structural (p. 186) Indi vidual discrimination occurs when a member of a dominant group intends to have a differential or harmful effect on a member of a minority group. Institutional discrimination occurs when the policies of an institution and behaviors of the people running the institution have a differential or harmful effect on a member of a minority group. Structural discrimination refers to when the policies of an institution are nondiscriminatory in terms of their intentions, but do have the same differential or harmful e ffect on the minority group. Discrimination, especially in the workplace setting, can be broken down into two simple categories: access and treatment. (Ilgen & Youtz, 1986; Greenhaus, Parasuraman, & Wormley, 1990) For the purposes of this study, those cat egories will be the construct of interest; and more specifically, the research itself will aim to explore treatment discrimination. Treatment Discrimination Ilgen & Youtz (1986) described two types of discrimination (with respect to minorities) that may oc cur in organizations: access and treatment. Access


19 discrimination refers to limitations unrelated to actual or potential performance which face minority group members at the time the job is filled . (p. 307) Whereas treatment discrimination occurs once an individual already occupies a position within an organization. (p. 308) Greenhaus, Parasuraman, & Wormley (1990) asserted that treatment discrimination occurs when subgroup members receive fewer rewards, resources, or opportunities on the job than they l egitimately deserve on the basis of jobrelated criteria . (p. 64 65) Potential causes of such differential treatment could be rater biases, lost opportunities, self limiting behavior, or some combination of the three. (Ilgen & Youtz, 1986) Rater biases co uld be intentional or unintentional tendencies by a manager that rate minority group members lower for reasons other than job performance. (Ilgen & Youtz, 1986) Rater biases could derive from (but are not limited to) previously held stereotypes or attribut ion effects; that is, good performance for minorities might be attributed to external factors such as luck (p. 313) While rater biases attribute differential treatment of minorities to the perceptions of a rater, lost opportunities and self limiting beh aviors could result in actual performance discrepancies between majority and minority group members (Ilgen & Youtz, 1986) As a result of ones minority status, opportunities may be lost that are available to members of a dominant group. These lost opportunities may include a lack of mentoring, sponsorship, and positive role models, or the assignment of routine tasks. (Greenhaus et al., 1990) The absence of such opportunities can have negative effects on job performance.


20 An end result of such effects is that minority group members could display self limiting behavior; thus believing that they really are less competent than members of the majority group. (Ilgen & Youtz, 1986) This belief can have negative consequences on minority employees motivation, abili ties, or both. According to Ilgen & Youtz (1986) (minority employees) may be forced to choose lower status job and work assignments because of lower qualifications, or they may voluntarily choose these assignments due to an expectation of failure. (p. 327) The authors also claim that such behavior is also the most severe because its effect on minorities would be most difficult to remove. (p. 326) Greenhaus et al. (1990) designed a study to examine relationships among race, organizational experiences, job performance evaluations, and career outcomes . (p. 79) The investigation found that black s received less favorable assessments of promotability from their supervisors, were more likely to have plateaued in their careers, and were more dissatisfied wi th their careers than white s. (p. 79) As a result, the authors concluded that black s could have been subjected to treatment discrimination in that they may be excluded from opportunities for power and integration within organizations and that such exclus ion may be detrimental to their job performance. (p. 80) Morrison & Von Glinow (1990) described how the differential treatment of women and minorities could create a glass ceiling that these employees are forced to confront in management settings. The authors describe this concept as a barrier so subtle that it is transparent, yet so strong that it prevents women and minorities from moving up in the management hierarchy . (p. 200)


21 The authors go on to describe three possible categories of theories as to why this differential treatment exists. The first assumes that specific differences in women and minorities create deficiencies in these groups that may lead to unequal treatment in management. The second holds the majority population responsible for thes e inequities; suggesting that this population aims to promote the status quo to secure their position of power. Finally, the third identifies the structural, systematic discrimination that exists in the broader societal environment as the root cause of differential treatment . (p. 201) While the term glass ceiling was typically studied in terms of racial and gender gaps in pay, Maume (1999) applied the concept to the area of managerial promotions. The author suggested that black women and men are often channeled into racialized jobs, reserving the more visible and revenueproducing jobs for white s. (p. 489) The results of this particular study indicated that black men received fewer and waited longer for managerial promotions than their white counterparts. Though this phenomenon was not specific to intercollegiate athletics in this particular study, it is relevant since the acquisition of a head coaching job would qualify as a managerial promotion in the context of the coaching ranks. The Underrepre sentation of Black Coaches Previous research has examined the underrepresentation of African Americans in coaching positions. Anderson (1993) performed a study of Division I A football coaches and found that black s were underrepresented in the most visible, prestigious positions and that athletic departments still perpetuate racial discrimination through the structural patterns of position relationships . (p. 65 66) From this study, the author concluded that while black s have been given opportunities on th e playing field, the same opportunity in a position of dominance, remains constricted. (p. 65 66) He also


22 suggested that some potential consequences of this discrimination are career advancement, upward m obility, and career aspirations (p. 6566) of bl ack coaches in intercollegiate athletics. Cunningham (2004) found that African American student athletes view coaching as a profession in which they perceive less opportunity than do their white counterparts (p. 66) That is, black student athletes view the coaching profession as one where there is a perceived glass ceiling, which could potentially dissuade those individuals from pursuing that career path as a result of the possible discrimination they would have to face. Cunningham, Bruening & Straub ( 2006) confirmed that this was also the case with assistant coaches in NCAA football and mens basketball. The results of their s tudy supported the notion that Black coaches would view discrimination as a barrier to obtaining a head coaching position. Furth er, these authors discovered two equally important concepts: first, that black basketball coaches did not have greater occupational turnover intentions than their white counterparts (though football coaches did); and second, that African Americans did not differ from white s in their desire to become a head coach or their intentions to apply for such a position within the next 3 years . (p. 410411) Conclusions reached by these authors clearly aim toward the need for future research on discrimination in m ens basketball coaching. Black student athletes anticipate that discrimination is present in the coaching profession, and black assistant mens basketball coaches perceive discrimination as a barrier to obtaining head


23 coaching jobs; clearly indicating that there is a degree to which discrimination is perceived by potential or current mens basketball coaches. However, if it can be assumed that black mens basketball coaches do not intend to leave the profession at any higher rate than white coaches, and do desire head coaching positions as much as white coaches, then there must be another explanation (such as discrimination) as to why these coaches are underrepresented in the mens basketball head coaching ranks. One alternative hypothesis presented to explain this underrepresentation has been from the perspective of human and social capital. One could argue that black coaches do not reach the same levels of success as their white counterparts because they possess less human capital (e.g. experience, training, education) or social capital (e.g. weaker or smaller peer networks). (Sagas & Cunningham, 2005; p. 775) However, in a study of 328 NCAA Division I A assistant football coaches by Sagas & Cunningham (2005), the researchers had two very compelling fin dings. Firstly, results showed that there were meaningful racial differences in the career satisfaction of coaches, number of promotions received, and organizational proximity to the head coach position among coaches. Secondly, results demonstrated that these differences could not be explained by racial differences in human and social capital, thereby providing support for the discrimination hypothesis . (p. 773) Further, it was concluded that the combination of a lower promotion rate, with the lower pr oximity level achieved by black coaches, could greatly influence the career satisfaction of these coaches. (Sagas & Cunningham, 2005) The authors linked this conclusion to Kanters (1977) work with gender, indicating that individuals who have


24 few opportu nities for advancement will lower expectations, experience greater dissatisfaction, and ultimately leave a given organization or profession. (Sagas & Cunningham, 2005; p. 790) Kellys (2009) doctoral dissertation investigated the perspectives of black mal e coaches towards their underrepresentation in Division I athletics. The studys research method was descriptivequalitative and utilized faceto face semi structured interviews and email follow ups. More specifically, Kelly (2009) sought to answer three research questions: (1) do black male assistant coaches feel underrepresented in Division I athletics? (2) What perspectives do black males have regarding their underrepresentation as coaches at the Division I level? And (3) what strategies are identified and considered that will help increase the number of black males in Division I coaching positions? From Kellys (2009) analysis, three themes emerged. The study found that black male assistant coaches do feel underrepresented in Division I athletics, and that the overriding theme to justifying this feeling was described by the researcher as how things are, or, their perceptions of the status quo and how things are in the coaching profession . (p. 77) Disadvantaged was the theme used to describe the p erspectives of these coaches regarding their underrepresentation. This theme referred to the lack of opportunities and chances black coaches are experiencing in comparison to their white counterparts. (p. 70) Finally, the study concluded that a networki ng theme, or the strategies and resources available to black coaches , (p. 70) best described the coaches perspectives of how to go about increasing the number of black males in Division I coaching positions.


25 It is also worth noting that while it was not a primary theme identified by the author, the coaches in Kellys (2009) study described how to accept and benefit from their perceived circumstances. That is, the coaches explained how to utilize their disadvantage, the status quo itself, and their respective networks to navigate the coaching ranks. Thus, it can be assumed that while these black coaches might have found strategies to maximize their potential in the current environment, they also view the status quo as one thats treatment is discriminatory in nature. Cunningham (2010) introduced a multilevel model in which he identified factors at the macrolevel, meso level, and micro level to further explain the underrepresentation of black coaches. Factors at the macrolevel included those element s external to the specific athletic department but which still exert considerable influence on that entity. (Cunningham, 2010) These factors include institutionalized practices, political climate, and stakeholder expectations. Institutional racism could q ualify as an institutionalized practice in that racist ideologies that promote white s as smarter, more ethical, and better leaders than their black counterparts are continually perpetuated in sport (p. 397; see also Coakley, 2009) The political climate also has the potential to influence the representation of minorities in and out of sport through the prevailing stances on labor, education, and individual rights. Finally, the unique perceptions, desires, and needs of a stakeholder group, which could be alumni, boosters, students, athletes, fans, etc., can also influence the representation of minorities at the macrolevel. (Cunningham, 2010) Meso level factors were identified by Cunningham (2010) as those operating in the organization, (as well as) the ways in which decisions, structures, and processes at


26 that level (contribute to) the underrepresentation of African American coaches. These factors include prejudice, discrimination, leadership stereotypes, and organizational cultures. The author drew on social psychology and sociological literature to distinguish prejudice from discrimination: prejudice is a psychological term focusing on peoples attitudes and beliefs while discrimination has sociological foundations and is concerned with peoples behav iors (p. 399; see also Abercrombie et al., 2000) The author went on to allude to leadership stereotypes (as they relate to race) and an organizations culture (as it relates to diversity) as other mesolevel factors. Cunningham had previously collaborat ed on a study examining whether sport related stereotypes influenced promotability ratings of applicants differing by race and qualification levels. (Sartore & Cunningham, 2006) The results of that study indicated that indeed, sport related stereotypes did influence the white raters in their assessment of the qualifications of black coaches. This was an especially significant finding, since the overwhelming majority of power yielding personnel in college athletics are white Finally, Cunningham (2010) described the influence of microlevel factors (that is, a focus on the coaches themselves) on the underrepresentation of black coaches. These factors could include black coaches head coaching expectations (whether they think they can/will be head coaches), head coaching intentions (whether they desire to be head coaches), or turnover intentions (whether they intend on leaving the profession altogether). Discrimination in Mens Basketball Coaching To date, three studies have specifically targeted the issue of discrimination in NCAA coaching using samples of Division I mens basketball coaches.


27 Cunningham, Sagas, & Ashley (2001) examined the commitment and turnover intentions among NCAA Division I assistant basketball coaches. The researchers found that whil e black coaches were more socialized to the coaching profession (p. 142143) than their white counterparts, they also envisioned themselves leaving the profession sooner, and at a greater rate. From these results, the authors concluded that black coaches either do not view coaching as a principal vocational interest (p. 143) and/or have experienced (or anticipate experiencing) discrimination in the profession. Sagas & Cunningham (2004) conducted a study to examine the prevalence of treatment discrimination in college coaching and its impact on the career success of assistant basketball coaches . (p. 76) The authors focused their analysis on the extent to which race contributed to the formation of ingroup and outgroup mem berships, (Ilgen & Youtz, 1986) which could result in treatment discrimination. (Sagas & Cunningham, 2004) The authors asserted that treatment discrimination may limit the mobility and success of racial minority coaches and also contribute to their absence from leadership positions . (p 78) In addition, they suggested that institutional racism; that is, the unintended consequence of (the prevailing structural system) is likely generating a lack of opportunity for black s in leadership positions as well (p. 77; see also Aber crombie, Hill, & Turner, 2000) Though the data from their study could not conclude that ingroups and outgroups were a function of a coachs race, and thus could not affirm the presence of treatment discrimination, Sagas & Cunningham (2004) did recommend that future research be conducted to explore other potential sources and types of treatment discrimination. (p. 84) Further, it cannot be concluded that treatment discrimination does not exist in the


28 Division I mens college basketball profession solely based on the fact that race was not identified as a determinant of ingroup and outgroup membership in this particular study. Cunningham & Sagas (2005) used a similar sample of mens basketball coaches to investigate the representation of racial minorities in intercollegiate coaching positions . (p. 148) The authors focused primarily on access discrimination, claiming that the subject was particularly salient in the context of higher education. (p. 149) From a theoretical standpoint, the studys framework relied on prior research of homologous reproduction, self categorization, and access discrimination. Homologous reproduction refers to Kanters (1977) theory that persons most similar to managers in terms of social and physical characteristics are most likely to be promoted. (Cu nningham & Sagas, 2005; p. 151) Self categorization is a persons need to classify themselves and others into social categories in order to maintain a high level of self esteem (p. 151; see also Turner et al., 1987) The results of Cunning ham & Sagas (2005) study supported hypotheses associated with both the homologous reproduction theory (Kanter, 1977) and self categorization theory (Turner et al., 1987) in that attitudes and behaviors toward ingroup members are likely to be more positiv e than those directed toward outgroup members (Cun ningham & Sagas, 2005; p. 157) Further, the authors also found that the proportion of black assistant coaches is nearly half that of the potential pool of black coaches among the staffs with white head c oaches , (p. 157) and thus concluded that access discrimination was present in order to explain this phenomenon. Though this study could justify the underrepresentation of black assistant coaches on staffs with a white head coach, it did not directly addr ess the


29 underrepresentation of black head coaches in collegiate mens basketball. It could be implied that because of the underrepresentation of black assistant coaches on white head coaches staffs, combined with the fact that the overwhelming majority of current head coaches are white that this trend limits the available labor pool of potential black head coaches. However, this particular dynamic cannot explain the persisting gap between the percentage of black assistant coaches and the percentage of bla ck head coaches. It should be further noted that all of these studies were quantitative research projects that surveyed three separate sample pools of Division I assistant mens basketball coaches. (Cunningham et al., 2001; Sagas & Cunningham, 2004; Cunningham & Sagas, 2005) Thus, a qualitative study of discrimination, featuring interviews of Division I head mens basketball coaches, could fill a gap in the current literature as it relates to discrimination in mens basketball coaching. Focus of the Study The focus of this study was to explore three questions: (1) To what extent is treatment discrimination a contributing factor to the underrepresentation of black head coaches in Division I mens college basketball? (2) If treatment discrimination does exist in this context, in which way(s) does it manifest itself? (3) If treatment discrimination does exist in this context, what advice or strategies can the participants offer to reduce its prevalence?


30 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction The purpose of this study was, first and foremost, to explore the extent to which treatment discrimination is a contributing factor to the underrepresentation of black head coaches in Division I mens basketball. If treatment discrimination was perceived to exist, two other questions emerged as well: (1) in which ways does it manifest itself, and (2) what advice or strategies might the participants offer to reduce its prevalence? This chapter includes explanations of (a) participants and sampling, (b) research design, (c) phe nomenology, (d) development of interview questions, (e) data analysis, and (f) trustworthiness. Participants and Sampling Criterion sampling was used for this study. (Patton, 1990; Kelly, 2009) The sample used for this study fit the following three criter ia: (a) male, (b) black and (c) are a current or former Division I mens basketball head coach. A list of fifteen coaches that fit the criteria was generated, and seven coaches were willing and available to participate in the study. The aforementioned cr iteria were chosen for specific reasons. Black male coaches were chosen because if treatment discrimination does contribute to the underrepresentation of black head coaches, one would assume that those coaches would be more likely to recognize or perceive it than their white counterparts. Head coaches (rather than assistant coaches) were chosen because it can be assumed that they have more experience in the coaching ranks; including having pursued and obtained head coaching positions. Also, if treatment dis crimination is perceived to exist,


31 it could manifest itself once a person has obtained a head coaching position as well as prior to that point in time. If that were the case, an interview of a current assistant coach that has never been a head coach would not be able to capture that dynamic. Table 31 illustrates the makeup of the seven participants, including the pseudonym assigned to each participant. Details beyond each coachs position and age were withheld due to the visible and recognizable nature of NCAA Division I mens basketball coaches in the interest of protection the anonymity of their participation. Table 31. Description of Participants Pseudo nym Position Age Bill Former Head Coach Over 45 Danny Former Head Coach Over 45 Dennis Former Head Coach Over 45 Jerry Former Head Coach Over 45 Kevin Current Head Coach Under 45 Larry Current Head Coach Under 45 Robert Current Head Coach Under 45 Saturation was reached after the sixth interview. While each participant offered unique and insight ful stories and perspectives there were similar trends as it related to treatment discrimination that were consistent across each of the interviews. Because the purpose of the study was to investigate treatment discrimination specifically, I chose to end the interview stage of my research and move along to the next step in the process.


32 Limitations did exist regarding the participants and sample. First, I knew some of the participants personally, and they were aware of my area of research and perspective o n the subject. Second, most participants were a part of a similar coaching circle (or network), and thus could have shared similar thoughts and sentiments towards the subjects being discussed. To reduce the impact of these limitations, coaches from a div ersity of coaching backgrounds were incorporated into the study, and coaches that I did not know personally made up the majority of the interview subjects. Research Design According to Edwards & Skinner (2009) in sport management research, using more than one method to study the same phenomenon has the potential to strengthen the validity of the results . (p. 7) To date, no published research project has done a qualitative study of discrimination in NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching. Nor has any research on discrimination in intercollegiate athletics used current and former head coaches as the participants in the study; regardless of sport. As a result, this study is capable of bringing forth fresh perspectives on the subject of discrimination in sport. Black males that are current or former head coaches at the NCAA Division I level in mens basketball were interviewed in this study. According to Charmaz (2003) interviewing is a flexible, emergent technique; ideas and issues emerge during the in terview, and the interviewer can immediately pursue those leads . (p. 312) These interviews were semi structured and exploratory in nature, and thus allowed the participants to dictate the direction of the research, rather than the creating and testing hyp otheses. Further, assuming I created an environment of openness and honesty, the participants could have possibly described dynamics that may not have been otherwise


33 known, thought of, or previously researched. The seven interviews ranged from 20 to 68 min utes in length. Because the participants described past experiences they have had in their coaching lives, the data gathered relied on their retrospective recall. General management researchers have often criticized this approach, questioning the accurac y of the data. Inaccurate recall in retrospective reporting can result from inappropriate rationalizations, oversimplifications, faulty post hoc attributions and simple lapses of memory (Cardinal, Glick, & Miller, 1997; p. 189; see also: Golden, 1992; H uber & Power, 1985; Jackson & Wolfe, 1987) Further, participants could also attempt to present a socially desirable image of themselves or their firms . (p. 189) However, Miller et al. (1997) reassessed the methodology and deemed it adequately reliable and valid . (p. 190) These authors suggested methods for improving the validity of this type of data collection. First, researchers should diversify their sources of participants so that no one account carries too much weight in the process of recalling an event. Second, researchers should allude to facts or specifics when asking interview questions, rather than asking ambiguous or openended questions that could lead to less accurate responses. Third, researchers should not ask questions about events too far removed from the time of the interview. Finally, researchers should encourage their participants to provide accurate information. All suggestions by these authors as it related to retrospective recall were utilized in this particular study. Phenomenology According to Patton, (2002) a phenomenological study is one that focuses on descriptions of what people experience and how it is that they experience what they


34 experience. (p. 107) Also according to this author, there are two implications of a phenomenological study. First, this type of study seeks to understand a person or persons experience and how they perceive the world. Second, phenomenology requires that the researcher gain an understanding of a given phenomenon (in this case, treatment discrimination) as close to another persons experiences as possible. According to Patton, (2002) the best way for a researcher to gain this level of understanding is through indepth interviews and/or participant observation. For the purpose of this study, indept h interviews were conducted. Participant observation would not have been as practical in this particular case, since it can be assumed that if treatment discrimination were to be occurring, that phenomenon would occur over a long period of time and would not be easily captured in short stints of observation. Nonetheless, these interviews sought to capture if and how black coaches experienced treatment discrimination in NCAA Division I mens basketball how they perceive it, describe it, feel about it, judge it, remember it, make sense of it, and talk about it with others . (p. 104) Phenomenology was the chosen focus for this study for three reasons. First, the study was specifically investigating treatment discrimination (a phenomenon) in NCAA Division I men s basketball. Second, the study was to be exploratory in nature, and phenomenology allowed me to capture the existence or nonexistence of the given phenomenon through semi structured interviews. Finally, phenomenology seeks to explore how human beings m ake sense of experience and transform experience into consciousness, both individually and as shared meaning. (Patton, 2002; p. 104) Thus, individual experiences of the interviewees could identify trends and commonalities that


35 can be generalized into a shared understanding of treatment discrimination in NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching. Development of Interview Questions Each interview was broken up into five sections: (1) Introduction, (2) Introductory Questions, (3) Framing of Treatment Discrim ination, (4) Treatment Discrimination Questions, and (5) Closing Questions. It should also be known that while this format initially was what guided each interview, it was subject to change based on the relevance of feedback in each interview. The intervi ew started with a brief introduction thanking the interviewee for his participation and assuring the anonymity of the interview. Introductory questions followed. The purpose of these questions was to set the appropriate stage for the interview, and more im portantly, to create a trusting, open environment for the interviewee. From there, I framed treatment discrimination so that the interviewee had an understanding of the term and its implications. Choosing whether or not to frame treatment discrimination w as a difficult decision, but ultimately, it proved to allow for responses that were more focused around the intended subject. For the purpose of this study, types of treatment discrimination were broken up into four categories: fewer rewards, fewer resour ces, fewer responsibilities, and fewer opportunities (Greenhaus et al., 1990) While this was the initial intent, other themes did emerge from the data and are outlined in the data and results section. The majority of the interview focused around treatment discrimination and if/how the interviewee has experienced it. Each interviewee was asked specifically about each stage in their coaching career, and whether they perceived there to be fewer rewards,


36 resources, responsibilities, or opportunities at that particular stage. It seemed as if each interviewee tended to focus on a specific period of time where the he perceived the most treatment discrimination to have occurred, so each stage of the participants career was not investigated with the same depth. It was my intention to allow each participant to guide the direction of the interview based on his responses. After the participant was asked about his career experiences, he was asked a few questions that are more broad and reflective in nature. These quest ions attempted to get the participant to synthesize his perspectives and experiences. This was also the portion of the interview that the participant had the opportunity to offer advice or suggestions to reduce the prevalence of treatment discrimination in the mens basketball coaching ranks (if in fact he perceived it to exist). This aspect of the interview seemed to be the most engaging to the majority of the interviewees. They were as passionate about envisioning a solution as they were in identifying th e problem. Data Analysis Recordings were transcribed at the conclusion of each interview, and I kept detailed, reflective notes after each individual session. According to Edwards and Skinner (2009) all new pieces of data that are collected are to be co mpared with all previous data. It is through this process that theoretical concepts emerged. Analyzing the data occurred in repeated stages: (1) coding, (2) memoing, and (3) a reevaluation of the interview structure/questions. Open coding, which puts data into as many categories as possible, was used in the analysis process (Edwards & Skinner, 2009; see also, Glazer, 1978) While other types of coding were considered, I felt as if this strategy was best for a qualitative study


37 that was to be exploratory in nature. Open coding allowed for a great deal of flexibility, which was essential in a study that could return such a broad range of results. Once an interview was coded, I wrote memos as a reflective practice that connects the data to theory. The analysis, through the use of memos can be justified because it is grounded in the data. (E dwards & Skinner, 2009; p. 341) Memos, according to Glaser (1978) are ideas that may strike the researcher in the coding process that can connect those concepts to theory. Following the process of memoing, I reflected upon the study as it moved forward. It was at this point that I made adjustments to the interview structure and/or questions as I saw fit. Only few adjustments were made to the structure of each interview, but the biggest adjustment was spending less time talking about the coachs path to becoming a head coach and more time focusing specifically on the research subject. The first interview, as a result, was the longest in duration because much of the begi nning of the interview was spent discussing the coachs path rather than investigating treatment discrimination. The goal of each of the interviews was to set a stage for open and honest dialogue, and then directly address the research subject shortly ther eafter. The process of interviewing, coding, memoing, and reflection of the interview structure was repeated until the data was saturated. According to Edwards and Skinner (2009) theoretical saturation is reached when: (1) no new or relevant data seem to emerge regarding a category, (2) a category reaches a satisfactory level of depth and development, and (3) the relationships among categories are well established and validated. (p. 341; s ee also Strauss & Corbin, 1998)


38 Trustworthiness During and af ter the coding process, I consulted with two outside experts to analyze the data that I gathered. Much of the results of this qualitative study relied on my personal analysis and interpretations. Including outside perspectives in this process brought fresh perspectives of people who are familiar with the project and have conducted similar research in the past. Further, this strategy checked and balanced my personal biases that exist on the subject of treatment discrimination in coaching.


39 CHAPTER 4 DATA AN D RESULT S Seven qualitative interviews were conducted with current or former NCAA Division I head coaches who are black Descriptions of each coachs career path and personal information are general in nature to protect the anonymity of the coaches identi ties. Pseudonyms were used for all names of the participants. Description of Coaches The seven coaches all came from different backgrounds and took unique career paths to their head coaching jobs and/or current positions. Five of the seven coaches were f rom the east coast, one was from the west coast, and one was from the Midwest. All seven played basketball in high school and college. Three coaches were 45 years old or younger, and four coaches were 45 years old or older. All seven coaches entered the c oaching profession in entry level positions, such as administrative assistants or assistant coaches. The coaches each spent a minimum of ten years in such positions, and their head coaching experience ranged from one year to ten years as Division I head coaches. Three coaches held Division I head coaching positions, and four coaches held Division I as sistant coaching positions at the time of their interviews. Emerging Themes Results from the interview process are presented in detail and include various dire ct quotes from the coaches to support each theme. Themes were organized into three general categories : (1) treatment discrimination, (2) access discrimination, and (3) institutional discrimination. Each category included multiple themes that specifically a ddressed the nature of discrimination that was perceived. Treatment and access


40 discrimination were a natural fit for categories because nearly all types of discriminatory behavior described by the participants fit into one of those two categories. A third category institutional discrimination, which viewed discrimination more broadly, was added due to the prevalence with which it was directly addressed in the responses of the participants. An additional category was addressed at the end of the interview and asked the participants to offer potential solutions to the issue of underrepresentation in mens basketball coaching; and advice they would give to younger black coaches to help them deal with the various dynamics that may exist as obstacles to their success. This category is entitled, (4) Solutions and advice. Treatment Discrimination The most prevalent data that emerged from this study fell into the category of treatment discrimination, which was to be expected because of the focus of the study Questi ons to each participant focused on this specific topic and answers reflected this line of questioning. Participants were asked specifically if they had received fewer rewards, resources, or opportunities based on thei r race (Greenhaus et al., 1990) Seven themes emerged within this category: ( 1 ) Recruiting, ( 2 ) Inner City Expert, ( 3 ) Xs and Os, ( 4 ) Benefit of the Doubt, ( 5 ) Quotas, ( 6 ) Media, and ( 7 ) Resources. Recruiting The responsibilities delegated to the mens basketball coaching staff at the NCAA Division I level are many and are diverse. A coaching staff must focus on areas such as game preparation, practice planning, player development, communication with members of the campus community, alumni relations, administrative responsibilities, recruitin g, fundraising, opponent scouting, film study and handling of the media, to


41 name a few In order for a person to be an effective head coach, they must be skilled with the versatility to be adequate in all areas of the program necessary for team success. Pa rticipants in the study perceived there to be racial discrimination in how those responsibilities are delegated to black coaches; especially when they are assistants. Though the extent to which this discrimination was described varied from coach to coach, all seven participants acknowledged an imbalance in the delegation of those tasks. An assistant coach receiving less exposure to one or more of those areas can have a profound effect on that persons ability to exhibit readiness for head coaching positions and/or that persons ability to effectively carry out the given task(s) when promoted to a head coaching position. The area of recruiting seemed to be the most prevalent task delegated to black coaches when they were assistants; and often the solitary nature that this task was assigned could have indirectly inhibited the assistant coaches ability to grow and develop in other areas of their profession; thus leaving them underprepared in those other areas which are necessary to obtaining head coaching posi tions and sustaining success as head coaches. Two coaches, Dennis and Bill, both of whom have spent over twenty years in the coaching profession, described this dynamic in the past tense, suggesting that the stigma of black coaches being hired to recruit players exclusively was a thing of the past. Dennis said, black coaches back in the day were perceived as being seen as the recruiter. Bill, describing when he was younger, stated that there was a treatment or a stigma attached to black assistant coache s because they were looked at in a box to


42 recruit the players, particularly inner city players, and you take care of them. You dont really coach, you dont really know how to coach. Other participants identified recruiting as a skill currently synonymous with the black assistant coach. Kevin, who is currently an NCAA Division I head coach, best sums up this notion: I think in general there is an assumption that the black assistant that you bring in particularly (for a white head coach) is going to get players. And his primary responsibility will be recruiting and has to be recruiting. That is not always the case but I think that in a lot of places and situations that is the case. Former NCAA Division I head coach, and current assistant coach, Danny, als o asserts that most black coaches are hired on the strength of their recruiting with the hope that they have the whole package. He adds that, if theres going to be something in the package missing, it aint going to be recruiting. Current NCAA Division I head coach, Robert adds: (the black assistant) just takes care of recruiting and is encouraged not to worry about anything else. Inner City Expert Given that the majority of NCAA Division I mens basketball players are black ; it is also widely assum ed that the majority of these players grow up and come from urban environments. Whether or not this is truly the case does not change the fact that this perception exists. As a result, black coaches, specifically assistant coaches, tend to take on informal roles as inner city experts within their basketball staffs. This notion also emerged from interviews with multiple participants in the study. Jerry, a former NCAA Division I head coach and current assistant coach, described a dynamic that existed at a Midwestern school he previously worked at where a white assistant coach was more likely to recruit a country boy and he was more


43 likely to recruit inner city players. He added that a head coach might feel that theres a particular person that can identify with a kid a little bit better. Danny also described a similar set of circumstances: In general, youre not going to have any staff thats just got all white guys going in trying to recruit black kids. So, a lot of guys are getting these opportuniti es because every staff requires that theres no rule, but an unwritten rule is that if youre going to have a staff trying to recruit kids from (the inner city) then you better have somebody on the staff that looks like them; that they can relate to. Kev in, who focused heavily on perception in his answers to many of the interview questions, also addressed the issue of black coaches recruiting black players. He said, theres an assumption and there is probably some truth to it that who can relate and comm unicate with black kids? Well a black guy. As opposed to a white guy. He then connected this statement back to the perception that theres a notion that this black guy is kind of in the slot on your staff; hes kind of the recruiter. Jerry also added th at this type of perception could lead to expectations that are associated with the hiring of a black assistant coach: There are probably different expectations from (being a black assistant coach); n o matter what. In terms of going into the inner cities, in terms of dealing with some (grassroots coaches) and that stuff in hopes that those people feel a little more comfortable with you. Xs and Os To this point, the focus has primarily been on the additional responsibilities that are often assigned to bla ck assistant coaches, potentially because of their race. However, being assigned the (important) responsibilities of recruiting and being an


44 inner city expert could also leave black assistant coaches void of other tasks and responsibilities that potentially lead to opportunities, rewards, resources, and eventually, the necessary groundwork to become a head coach. One area that seemed to be a focal point of the participants when speaking about responsibilities not assigned to black assistant coaches because of their race was Xs and Os. X and O competency could broadly be described as basketball intellect. More specifically, tasks that could fall in the category of Xs and Os are game preparation, practice planning, player development, opponent s couting, and film study to name some. Needless to say, it can be assumed that such skills are highly valued by sport administrators trying to select a head coach to hire and translate directly to the success of a head coach once he has been hired. If these skills were underdeveloped in black assistant coaches as a result of their race, it would have hugely negative implications on their professional development and could help to explain the underrepresentation of black coaches in mens basketball at the NCA A Divison I level. Kevin recognizes the association between black coaches being strong recruiters (and thus, weaker X and O coaches) as a bias. He stated that this bias towards black assistant and head coaches is a result of ones view that their makeup is as recruiters and motivatorsas intense guys. And the white coaches are strategists, tacticians, and X and O guys. Grinders. They outwork people. And I think that bias is really prevalent in our business. Jerry echoed this sentiment by saying that, I still think theres a lot of stereotypes where I think people will automatically think because Im hired (Im a recruiter); Im not a


45 coach, probably not doing much X ing and O ing at all; talking basketball. Later in his interview, after describing some of the other obstacles associated with getting hired as a head coach, he added, then you take into account that theres a perception that African Americans are not good at X and Os. Robert and Larry, both of whom spent over ten years as assistant coaches before landing head coaching opportunities felt the impact of this perceived stereotype at a personal level. Robert felt as if he gets pigeonholed as a black coach, a lot in the instance of being the recruiter, you know, a guy that can go get players, or a guy that can relate to the players, but not being able to be a guy who can like, do the Xs and Os. Larry described a similar anecdote: I cant say that I always felt that people viewed me as hey, that guy is going to be a great head coach one day; wow, that guy, hes very professional, hes a really good coach. I think they saw (me) as, you know, energetic, motivated, but not looking at the substance. If the perception that black coaches are capable recruiters and/or inner city experts, but ar e less capable of the Xs and Os than their white peers, does in fact exist, that would certainly qualify as discrimination. If in fact this discrimination exists based on the responsibilities assigned to black assistant coaches, it would help to clarif y the underrepresentation of black head coaches at the NCAA Division I level. It would also have huge implications on the following subthemes of treatment discrimination: fewer opportunities, fewer rewards, and fewer resources. Benefit of the Doubt When analyzing the underrepresentation of black NCAA Division I mens basketball head coaches, one must evaluate the opportunities that this category of


46 coaches has access to. After all, in management and business, the opportunity to be hired and the opportunit y to grow and develop in your profession have huge implications on an individuals success. The participants in the study did perceive there to be fewer opportunities for assistant and head coaches that are black Multiple coaches asserted that in various circumstances throughout their careers, they were not given the same benefit of the doubt as their white peers when it came to competency in their jobs as coaches. Benefit of the doubt, though tough to measure, can be seen as an opportunity for a given coach; and thus, lack thereof can be seen as an obstacle. Jerry, who seemingly had the strongest feelings associated with this notion, stated, a white person, at times, and its not always this way, does not have to totally prove himself. If youre bla ck, you have to totally prove yourself. Totally prove yourself from being a good person, having the Lord in your life, treating people the right way, being articulate, dressing the right way, winning games, strategizing Jerry then recounted stories he ha d heard about white coaches just ripping players; personal attacks involving statements that he would not say to (his) worst enemy. He then hypothesized what would or could happen to a black coach if he conducted himself in a similar manner or used sim ilar language; insinuating that he would not be judged on the same set of criteria as a white coach. Bill echoed this sentiment, stating that one can attribute that to a mindset and that mindset is that treatment, what youre talking about where youre no t getting the same benefit of the doubt, youre not going to get the same set of circumstances because of your color.


47 Danny offered a potential reason for this type of treatment: I do think that guys who do get the opportunity are up against the percepti on that theyre still players, or they still have a players mentality and they dont get it, so to speak; cant see the whole picture. Robert detailed a specific instance, from his time as an assistant coach, when he felt as if a lack of the benefit of the doubt was evident. In college, he had majored in mathematics and was thus highly qualified to deal with numbers. He stated that, I dealt (with budget issues) a lot. And so we were going through the budget (as a staff), and it was almost like a surpris e (to the other staff members). You know what I mean? (laughs) The fact that I was, you know, doing that and I was qualified to do so. Larry recounted a similar situation when he was an assistant coach after he left a sport administrator a voicemail. The sport administrator told (Larrys head coach) that he thought I had to become a little more professional because my language was a little streety. And I think I said something like, how are you doing my man? Obviously, in reference to this story, treatment discrimination can extend beyond the basketball staff and reach other areas of the athletic department or with other stakeholders; as Larry also described: There have been times where, you know, you walk into a room, youre around alums, and peopl e just are not comfortable necessarily talking to you. You get that. Its just so many things because its a white environment; everywhere you go its a white environment. You might be the only African American in the room. Quotas


48 A possible way to explai n this type of treatment may lie in the circumstances under which a black assistant coach is hired. A common topic mentioned amongst many of the interview participants was the theme of quotas. Though it is not formally required that basketball staffs hav e nonwhite representation, it is clearly an emphasis, as over 95% of all staffs in NCAA Division I mens basketball have at least one nonwhite coaching member. Kevin described this in a most simple manner: I think theres been a pressure and an emphasis that there has to be black representation on the staff. If indeed informal quotas do exist, and black assistant coaches are hired under these circumstances, the practice of hiring a person simply to fulfill a quota could lead to fewer future opportuniti es when compared to coaches who are hired on the merit of their qualifications. Multiple other participants addressed the issue of quotas during the course of their interviews. Robert believes that, every, you know, white coach that gets the job feels like its a necessity to have a black assistant coach. I dont know if its more so like they want to hire that person, or they feel like its a necessity. According to Bill, the numbers may not be in (a black assistant coachs) favor, so you need to be mi ndful of that and understand that sometimes someone may make a decision that may not be based on who you are, or your preparation, or those things, (but your hiring) may be to satisfy a quota or something like that. Kevin asserted that had he not been bla ck, he would not have been hired as an assistant coach because of these informal quotas: Theres been at least one job that I have gotten that there is no way I wouldve gotten the job if I was white and theres no


49 way I wouldve gotten the job if they di dnt need a black guy. If he had a black guy on staff theres no way I wouldve gotten the job. Jerry tackled the issue in a direct manner as well: getting in this business from a general standpoint, we all know that when we get a job, we are the black a ssistant. Theres no way of getting around it. He later continued on the subject by stating that white head coaches believe that they need a minority guy on my staff just to kind of keep the rainbow right. Jerry expanded on the issue of quotas by expres sing his belief that quotas create a great deal of competition, and even infighting amongst black coaches. He said that black assistants will act as if, Im trying to get your spot. Theres only one spot. Im going to get your spot. He also added that h e felt as if white coaches do a better job of looking out for one another within the profession. Not only did participants of the study acknowledge the existence of quotas, but they also offered opinions of what those quotas could mean for black assistan t coaches. Most coaches acknowledged that there were positive outcomes from these informal quotas; especially when speaking about the opportunities that they may present. Danny, in particular, focused on positive outcomes: once in the door, the opportuni ty exists to prove your worth. He later added, Ill take the job, but (I am) not just going there to recruit. Im going to work my ass off recruiting, but Im going to be a head coach one day. You know, that was my mindset. Jerry, though focusing on the downside of quotas, also added that, The bottom line is: get your foot in the door. Once you get your foot in the door youve got to make it happen; especially for a minority to get your foot in the door, its really hard.


50 Kevin also summed up the posi tive outcomes of quotas: Lets say a black guy is hired as a recruiter and thats kind of the niche that that head coach sees you in as youre hired. I think in most situations, you can earn your way into more responsibility and you can earn your way out of that role or that title or that assumption. And I think thats good. I think that happened for me in a specific situation I was in. I was probably hired as a guy hey you just get some players. Dont worry, well do the coaching but I think I kind of, in time, I worked my way i nto having more responsibility. Black assistant coaches not receiving the same benefit of the doubt as their white peers clearly presents a lack of opportunity in regards to their treatment in the profession. Whether or not thi s derives from an unspoken quota was not a direct result of the study. However, it is clear that these quotas are weighted into the discuss ion of treatment discrimination, be it a negative or a positive. In the cases when these quotas are negative, they can leave black assistant coaches with fewer opportunities than a white assistant coach who was hired on merit. If in fact this dynamic exists in some situations, it may also contribute to the explanation of the underrepresentation of black head coaches in N CAA Division I mens basketball. Media M ultiple participants made reference to the role that the media plays in regards to differential treatment between black and white coaches. Dennis stated very clearly that he believes that (the members of the media) shape the perception. Athletic and university administrators are under much scrutiny when making major coaching hires at the NCAA Division I level. Often times, the perception of the hire is of great importance, especially with the various stakeholders o f these highly visible, highly profitable sports. Thus, the role of media in helping to shape perception becomes an advantage for some coaches and a disadvantage for others. Some


51 participants in the study made reference to the media while describing percei ved discriminatory behavior. Kevin believes that, theres a definite bias on the part of the media more than anybody (else). He continued that the media like to simplify things and put people into boxes. He went on to explain a specific situation that involved the medias portrayal of him. A member of the media was describing the coach from the opposing team, who was white by saying that he is unbelievable at preparing his team when he has four or more days to prepare. He contrasted that statement by stating that, (The media) never say that about black coaches, you know, they just dont. They say the ( black coach) is a great motivator, or (the black coach) is fiery, intense. Other coaches made similar contrasts. Jerry compared two famous head coa ches (one being black one being white ) whose teams used very similar strategies and contrasted the way in which the media portrayed each coach. He said the media called the strategy park ball or rat race ball with (the famous black coach), and (the famous white coach) was doing the exact same thing with (his team). They were doing the same thing. Larry stated that, on TV, for whatever reason, you dont really hear there are a lot of great African American coaches out there. You dont hear that. I didnt hear that with (famous black head coach), ya know. Its just not something that people really talk about. Dennis made reference to a situation when, if (the black coach) is a winning black coach, (the media says) that he gets good athletes. He concluded that, its so


52 blatant. He also believes that whom major networks choose to be analysts on their shows can shape the perception of black and white coaches. He explained an instance during the NCAA mens basketball tournament when he was watching a major networks coverage and three white coaches were breaking down film and serving as experts. He said, it was almost like, you mean to tell me you couldnt find one or two black coaches to be on that panel talking Xs and Os and talking basketball and break ing down film and stuff like that? If in fact portrayal of coaches in the media can have a real impact on the conscious and subconscious perceptions of coaches, and if in fact those perceptions are biased in favor of white coaches, then it is probable that treatment discrimination exists. The positive portrayal of a coach in the media is in fact a reward if it can lead to future opportunities for that coach. Thus, if black coaches were portrayed in a less positive way via the media, they would be receiving fewer rewards than their white peers. Resources When asked if they received fewer rewards because they were black coaches, participants did not perceive there to be as much discrimination as some of the other categories However, in the cases that it was addressed, the participants viewed it as a theme that emerged while or after they were head coaches. This is unique in that much of what was stated about the subject of treatment discrimination was set during earlier points in the careers of black coaches; specifically, when they were assistant coaches. Dennis, a former head coach, focused on the circumstances under which black coaches have been hired. He believes that, rarely does a black coach get a real good job. You know, well take a chance on a blac k coach when the situation is really bad.


53 He then went on to name three examples of black coaches who took over programs who were under turmoil and lacked previous success at the time they were hired. Jerry, who is also a former head coach who was fired from his previous headcoaching job, stated that, right now, they pay the staff (at his previous school) twice as much as I paid my assistants. And (the current head coach) is making twice as much as what I made. Though these opinions were isolated, they still present interesting perspectives that contribute to the larger conversation about treatment discrimination in NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching. If black coaches are more likely to be considered for jobs that involve programs whose current organizational culture is not conducive to success, that would inherently give them fewer resources for future success. If black coaches are given less money, in particular for their program (or in Jerrys case, his staff), then that too would give them fewer resources for success. Under circumstances in which black head coaches are given fewer resources to run their respective programs because of their race, treatment discrimination exists. Access Discrimination Though the purpose of this study was to specifically explore the category of treatment discrimination in NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching, the participants also brought aspects of access discrimination to light. Specifically, the participants focused on race as a level of comfort (homologous reproduction theory) and chances of getting re hired after losing ones job. Comfort Bill, who rather than focusing on his individual experiences, answered the interview questions from a bigger picture lens, stated the following:


54 The other part which I focus in a little bit more is race as a level of comfort. We all grow up in our households, and the majority of people, their households, in a society, most importantly around family, friends, other people that youre comfortable with and that, in a lot o f cases, is people that look like you. So when it comes to a hiring practice, particularly when you have the responsibility of hiring someone to care for a program, a team a this, or that, most people hire on comfort. And the people theyre most comfortabl e with a lot of times are people who look like them. Bill, and other participants in the study that focused on the theme of comfort, clearly aligns with Kanters (1977) homologous reproduction theory. Put simply, Dennis added, I think for the most part people are comfortable hiring people they are comfortable with. In some way, shape, or form, every participant in the study acknowledged comfort as a factor in hiring practices for coaching positions. Kevin stated that, if you had more black (athletic directors), if you had more black presidents (of colleges and universities), youd have more black coaches. Theres no doubt about it. Meanwhile, Robert tied the issue of comfort to geography. He changed assistant coaching jobs at one point in his career because he felt as if people are just a lot more open in the south (than they are in the Midwest) to having African American head coaches. He attributed this to the demographic makeup of the south compared to the Midwest. However, the participants did not only acknowledge comfort as a factor among those making hiring decisions, they also addressed the relationship between comfort and the stakeholders of the college or universitys basketball program. For example, Larry made the statement that, your e in a meeting, youre an African American, and there are six white alums I cant tell you that theyre all accepting of theyre all accepting of who you are.


55 Bill stated that, decision making, recruiting, everything else that goes into the public: the media, the athletic director, the whole university feeling comfortable, if you will, with whos leading their program. Larry added that, the powers that be are trying to project the image for their basketball program and theyre thinking, hey, if this guy, when hes out in the community, how is he going to be perceived? What are alums going to think when he goes to the podium, how is he going to be able to raise money? I believe a lot of the administration are looking at those things as much as they are looking at whether he can win or lose basketball games. Kevin, taking it a step further, also highlighted that the race of the previous coach has something to do with the willingness of an athletic program to hire a black coach. He said, I think particu larly when the last coach was black and he was not successful and he was fired, there is a definite discrimination against potential replacements that are black . Re hiring In addition to Kevins previous quote, two coaches, Dennis and Jerry, also addressed the potential importance of whether or not a black coach has been fired, and the negative impact that may have on his ability to be hired again. Dennis stated that if you go back three or four years, the African American coaches that have been fired h ave not been rehired for a different job. He then contrasted that there are more white coaches that have been rehired under the same circumstances. He also brought up an example of a white coach that had been given a second opportunity despite previous behavior that is clearly not conducive to the culture in higher education. He then added, I cant imagine how a black coach would ever recover from something like that.


56 Jerry also stated that, theres a lot of guys that I know that were head coaches (and got fired) that come back as assistants that have never been back to head coaching positions. It is important to highlight that though a coach being fired in his past could be seen as a negative characteristic of his resume, regardless of race, both of t hese coaches that addressed the theme did so while contrasting black coaches to white coaches from similar circumstances. Though the study did not intend to investigate access discrimination, one can clearly see the relevance of the theme to building a gr eater understanding of the underrepresentation of black head coaches at the NCAA Division I level. Further, mentions of access discrimination provide greater context for understanding previous data that related directly to treatment discrimination. Instit utional Discrimination According to Cunningham, (2010) institutionalized practices are a macrolevel explanation for the under representation of black head coaches. He stated that, activities become institutionalized when, as a result of habit, history, and tradition, they become standardized and unquestionably accepted as the way things are done. (p. 3; see also, Scott, 2001) Discrimination of this kind was expressed by some participants, and thus it was fitting to include this category in the results of the study. Microcosm of Society Much in the way that addressing access discrimination can provide further context to the study of treatment discrimination in NCAA Division I mens basketball


57 coaching, another theme serves the same purpose. It has been t itled microcosm of society, which is based on the following quote from Bill: Being a microcosm of the society we live in, the world we live in, and as you take the numbers in coaching, whether its collegiate basketball or whatever sport, those numbers c an be looked at in (a lot of different ways). He later added that the underrepresentation of black coaches in mens basketball is part of a broader topic of race in this country and obviously (the researcher) is focusing on it as it relates (to coaching) which is great; but I cant talk about one w ithout talking about the other. Kevin provided a more historical context, stating that, theres a long legacy in this country of racial discriminationsegregation, slaveryand people act like that was a long, long time ago and its over and its the twenty first century, and that those things do not that the legacy does not exist today, and (if those people believe) it doesnt affect peoples mindsets today, then theyre out of their mind. Danny, who also addressed the issue from a historical perspective, offered, I think there was a time where there was a perception that black people werent capable of leading. Larry spoke more specifically about the stereotypes that exist as a result of racial discrimina tion being a microcosm of society: We all have our stereotypes. We all have things about us that probably arent positive things. Im sure the things that (discriminatory people) have thought about us that probably arent true when it comes down to Africa n Americans. Though these statements do not relate directly to the narrower theme of treatment discrimination, they do, however, further contribute to the broader study of underrepresentation of black coaches in NCAA Division I mens basketball. Solutions and Advice The nature of this study dealt with many of the problems that exist for black coaches in the current landscape of NCAA Division I mens basketball, and the


58 participants eloquently outlined and described the various problems that may exist. Howe ver, because these coaches are qualified to identify the current problems, it can also be assumed that they are qualified to identify potential solutions. Additionally, given their vast experience in the coaching profession, they are also highly qualified to give sound advice to future generations of coaches that are black and are motivated to achieve high levels of success in the coaching profession. Though asking each participant to offer solutions and/or advice yielded a multitude of creative and tangible ideas, five specific sub themes emerged from the data: (1) questioning the current hiring practices, (2) educating people on the biases that may exist, (3) investing in the next generation of coaches, (4) networking, and (5) development. Questioning Cur rent Hiring Practices Though questioning current hiring practices addresses access discrimination more than treatment discrimination, it was nonetheless a popular theme when the conversation about solutions came about. Dennis stated this notion bluntly: t he only way this thing is going to change, in terms of this type of hiring, is to question these schools on their hiring practices. Kevin agreed, saying that, there has to be pressure there has to be a protocol system put into place (asking if schools) are looking at African American candidates as strongly as (they) should. Robert was more specific in his suggestion to reform the hiring process, referencing the National Football Leagues Rooney Rule. He believes that in doing so, more black coaches wo uld gain exposure to head coaching opportunities. He specifically referenced black assistants who end up being impressive in that interview


59 process. He added, maybe they dont get that job, but maybe that AD passes on the name the next time around. Education On the contrary, Bill and Danny view the issue as one that surrounds the issue of education. Bill believes that continuing the conversation (about race in coaching) would bring about education and would add to the comfort level that he referenced throughout his interview. He added, I think being educated about (the issue), understanding each other a whole lot more, having constant conversation and communication about (the issue) is critically important. It brings about an openmindedness that I think has a lot to do with progression. Danny also referenced education, stating, anytime theres an education that people are more aware of all the issues, and all the matters and know each other better, and know the dynamics better, then theres a better chance that you come closer to a resolution. Investing in the Next Generation of Coaches Finally, Jerry and Robert suggested that investments be made in the next generation of black coaches. Jerry said, I think the solution is we need to do more with our young coaches getting them to understand that these are the things that you need to do to be successful. Robert added that he would like to see African American guys involved at a lower level right away as Graduate Assistants or Director of Basketball Operations. Both positions Robert referenced are entry level positions in the coaching profession.


60 Along the same lines as Jerry and Roberts suggestion to invest in the next generation of black coaches, the interview also asked coaches to offer advice t o younger black coaches who are interested in pursuing coaching as a profession. Two clear subthemes emerged from this line of questioning: networking and development. Networking Dennis said of networking, I would try to get to know as many head coaches as you can. Black white blue, green; work camps, because this business is all about relationships. And if you dont have relationships with head coaches, you are going to have a tough time getting into this business. Thats the number one thing you have to do. Danny believes that its important for black coaches to network, specifically with white coaches: For black guys, I always say, get to know white guys. Dont just go out and hang out with the brothers and use that time just to hang out with the g uys who you like on the road (recruiting). Bill looked at networking in a more holistic manner, urging young coaches to, know a lot of people and a lot of different backgrounds. Not just race. Know the janitors, know the president, know the CEO, and try to look at people in different ways and see their strengths, weaknesses; and in turn, have people look at you in a multitude of ways. Development Development was also a major subtheme within the theme of advice. Speaking generally, Kevin suggests that young black coaches understand that they are working


61 against the odds and they have to really be intelligent and thoughtful in their approach towards obtaining a head coaching job. Larry, Danny, and Robert spoke more specifically, urging young black coac hes to become complete coaches in terms of the responsibilities that they are capable of taking on. Larry said, take pride in the basketball part of (coaching). He later added, how can (young coaches) get (players) better? Go to clinics, go watch other teams practice, talk to other guys when youre on the road, sit down with older African American (coaches), sit down with anyone that you have respect for in this profession and learn from them. Danny believes that once in a job, it is important for a c oach to try to get involved early in your career with every aspect of the program. Try to learn scheduling, try to find out what a budget looks like travel, strength and conditioning, academic support all of the basketball responsibilities: recruiting, scouting, player development Robert warns, dont become pigeonholed. Dont let yourself be thought of as just a guy who recruits or is a liaison with the players. Make sure you become a total coach because more often than not, youre not going to get a great first job as a head coach. As a result, you cant just rely on recruiting. You better be able to make it up in Xs and Os and organization. So make sure you become a well rounded coach and a person who is able to do not just one thing, which is r ecruit.


62 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the perspectives of current or former NCAA Division I mens basketball coaches that are black More specifically, the issue of treatment discrimination in the coaching real m was the primary focus of the interviews with the seven participants; namely due to the fact that very little published research had been done on this subject within the context of NCAA Division I mens basketball. In this chapter, I framed the findings a nd implications of the following research questions: (1) To what extent is treatment discrimination a contributing factor to the underrepresentation of black head coaches in Division I mens college basketball? (2) If treatment discrimination does exist in this context, in which way(s) does it manifest itself? (3) If treatment discrimination does exist in this context, what advice or strategies can the participants offer to reduce its prevalence? Following a discussion of each research question, I described the significance of the study; as well as its limitations to address its shortcomings. Finally, I offered future research paths that could be taken as a result of this study. Research Question I: The Extent of Treatment Discrimination Discussion The conce pt of treatment discrimination was explained to each participant in the study, and then each participant was asked directly if they felt as if treatment discrimination existed in NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching. All seven participants acknowledged the existence of treatment discrimination in general terms. Six of the seven participants (excluding Bill) perceived that in at least one instance that


63 they were treated unfairly as a result of their race. Bill neither confirmed nor denied that he had personally experienced treatment discrimination, but chose to answer the questions from a more big picture point of view. The extent to which treatment discrimination was perceived varied from participant to participant. Larry, Kevin, Robert, Danny, and J erry all identified strongly with the notion that treatment discrimination occurs regularly in collegiate basketball coaching. Dennis focused far more on access discrimination and Bill focused on a more societal and cultural viewpoint. It is also worth noting that the majority of instances of treatment discrimination that were discussed in the interviews seemingly occurred during the phase of the coaches career prior to becoming head coaches. This serves as strong evidence that treatment discrimination could be a powerful factor contributing towards the underrepresentation of black head coaches in NCAA Division I mens basketball. Implications If indeed treatment discrimination exists as a contributing factor towards the underrepresentation of black coache s, the implications are vast. Solutions that have been offered to raise the number of black coaching hires have predominantly aimed at possible access discrimination. For example, Robert suggested in his interview that a version of the National Football Leagues Rooney Rule could be a potential solution. However, this policy would not address the treatment that is seemingly occurring while black coaches are occupying assistant or head coaching jobs. If in fact treatment discrimination exists to the extent that the participants have suggested, it also makes it difficult to measure or quantify this type of treatment. Hiring


64 patterns are easily quantified by measuring the percentages of black and white coaching hires in NCAA Division I mens basketball as highlighted by Cunningham & Sagas (2005) in their analysis of access discrimination in intercollegiate athletics However, treatment is a far more subjective and abstract topic that is elusive when it comes to quantitative measurement. To monitor the prevalence of treatment discrimination on mens basketball coaching staffs would be very difficult. Finally, if pressure exists to hire more black head coaches to NCAA Division I programs, but treatment discrimination persists at the assistant coaching level, it is possible that black coaches will enter their head coaching opportunities less prepared than their white counterparts as a result of previous treatment. Ilgen & Youtz (1986) identified this dynamic as a lost opportunities effect. That is, because of l ost opportunities, members of a category assignment, in this case black coaches, would not be as qualified or prepared for potential rewards or promotions. If this were the case, black coaches would be poised to have less success than their white peers, t hus seemingly reinforcing the stereotype that black coaches are not fit to lead an NCAA Division I mens basketball program. Research Question II: How Treatment Discrimination Manifests Itself Discussion Each participant was specifically asked if they hav e received fewer opportunities, rewards, or resources as a result of their race. Two conclusions can be reached. Firstly, all three categories emerged from the data in some way shape or form; confirming that all three forms of treatment discrimination are perceived by at least two black coaches. Second, how treatment discrimination manifests itself must be observed in a unique, case by case basis.


65 The most prominent themes that emerged from this study were that black assistant coaches primarily serve as recruiters and inner city experts on their coaching staffs, denying them access to other job responsibilities that further prepare them for a head coaching job. Such a phenomenon could be considered racial tasking, which was a form of discrimination id entified by Bopp & Sagas ( 2013) in their study of positional segregation in college football. The researchers argued that black players are stacked in certain positions based on their race, and that those decisions could lead to fewer opportunities both during a players career and in his pursuit of coaching positions. Based on this study, one could argue that black assistant coaches being delegated to roles of the recruiter or inner city expert in mens basketball could be a form of racial tasking or occupational segregation. In addition to the themes of recruiting and inner city expert, many other themes emerged as ways treatment discrimination may manifest itself within an NCAA Division I mens basketball program. It was evident that aside from responsibilities assigned to black coaches because of their race, there are also a number of responsibilities not delegated to black coaches: bei ng responsible for Xs and Os, receiving the benefit of the doubt, garnering equal media attention, and rec eiving equal resources during and after being head coaches. Many participants also referenced quotas, which, though they do not officially exist in NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching, are believed to be informally implemented. Black coaches being hired to fill a quota, or being perceived as a token hire, can greatly impact the future opportunities that they receive while occupying their


66 job. In contrast, it is assumed that most white coaches are hired based on merit and qualifications. Few coaches also referenced unequal treatment by members of the media and a difference in resources once they were in a job, or after they left a job. Neither of these themes were prominent across all seven coaches, but both contribute to a more complete picture of ho w treatment discrimination may manifest itself in NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching. Implications The implications drawn from the data in response to research question two is critically important in gaining a greater understanding of how treatment discrimination can contribute to the underrepresentation of black head coaches in NCAA Division I basketball. Black coaches, prior to pursuing head coaching jobs, given fewer responsibilities than white coaches in similar positions, can have great implications on their ability to obtain head coaching positions and/or succeed in those coaching positions. Specialization in recruiting and becoming inner city experts does not qualify one to be a head coach; which requires a far more holistic set of skills. B eing pigeonholed into these types of occupational niches, though valuable to a basketball program, do not suffice as proper preparation to run ones own basketball program. Further, gaining the reputation as not being an X and O coach can greatly hinder ones chances to acquire head coaching positions and/or succeed in those positions. While recruiting players is important, it is often a responsibility delegated to the assistant coaches on a mens basketball coaching staff. Whereas, being responsible fo r Xs and Os is a characteristic far more recognizable in successful head coaches.


67 Thus, if black coaches are perceived as strong recruiters, but weak X and O coaches, it could be assumed that they are far more qualified to be assistant coaches than head coaches. Black coaches receiving less access to a benefit of the doubt as a result of their race can also have negative implications on their respective careers. Often times, in entry level and midlevel positions (such as an assistant coach in men s basketball), mistakes and failures tend to occur as a necessary aspect of the developmental process. If, in the light of these failures, rater biases (Ilgen & Youtz, 1986) give white coaches the benefit of the doubt, and do not give black coaches the s ame opportunity, it could have a huge impact on the potential development of that coach as he further progresses in the process of his own occupational growth. Further, a black coach being a token hire to fulfill an informal quota can impact his own self confidence as well as the confidence others have in him. Being hired because you add a certain amount of value to an organization is, in and of itself, an opportunity, and can have a strong effect on how one is treated. This practice could be considered st ructural discrimination (Pincus, 1996) in that the intentions of these unspoken quotas could be good, but that they may have discriminatory effects on black assistant coaches. Media attention plays a large role in the perception of coaches, and thus can have a real impact on the mindset of the stakeholders of a given institution. If black coaches are portrayed as less qualified in the media, it could have a detrimental impact on reversing the underrepresentation of black head coaches in NCAA Division I bask etball.


68 Along similar lines, if an institution gives fewer resources to a black head coach as a result of his race, which could include the circumstances under which a program is taken over; or the amount of monetary resources awarded to a program under t he head coachs leadership, that too could negatively impact a black head coachs ability to reach his potential in a given job. Research Question III: Solutions and Advice Discussion At the conclusion of each interview, each participant was asked two separate questions in an effort to progress the literature forward towards a solution to the existence of treatment discrimination in NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching. First, each participant was asked to provide potential solutions to the problem. N ext, each participant was asked what advice he would provide to younger black coaches that may be in or have intentions to enter the coaching profession. Participants offered three solutions to the prevalence of treatment discrimination in collegiate bask etball coaching. First, though it addresses access discrimination more directly, three participants wanted to see further pressure applied to decision makers in the hiring process to interview and hire more black headcoaching candidates. Second, Bill and Danny both suggested that promoting the education of biases that may exist would have a positive impact on the lessening of treatment discrimination and the increase of black head coaching representation. Third, Jerry and Robert suggested that investing in development of the next generation of black coaches would make a positive impact on the future of black coaches in the mens basketball coaching profession. Two themes emerged from the question of advice that the participants would give to the next gener ation of black coaches. First, participants suggest that an emphasis on


69 networking would help to invest in the careers of young coaches. Second, participants urged young black coaches to take pride in their own professional development. Implications The fa ct that commonalities exist among the participants in the three proposed solutions and the two pieces of advice that emerged from the data would imply that all suggestions for improvement of the status quo are worthy of consideration. Pressure to interview and hire quality black coaching candidates would certainly bring exposure to the issue of the underrepresentation of black head coaches in NCAA Division I mens basketball. In addition to hiring pressure, educating all parties involved in the realities and manifestation of discrimination, specifically the next generation of black coaches, would be beneficial in progressing the issue forward. Additionally, a combination of adept networking and sound professional development would allow for a younger generation of black coaches to combat future treatment discrimination that could take place, and position them for future head coaching opportunities. However, prior research would suggest that young black coaches would face obstacles in forming elaborate networks that would lead to an increase in head coaching opportunities. According to Ibarra (1993), ones network is critical for job effectiveness, career advancement, friendship, and social support, but the researcher cautions that, limited network access pr oduces multiple disadvantages, (p. 56) which could lead to glass ceiling effects. If black coaches are less likely to network with white coaches, and white coaches possess the majority of influence and power, this could be a major disadvantage for black coaches whom are trying to mobilize up the coaching ranks.


70 Significance Limitations, and Future Research Significance In Cunninghams (2010) article, the researcher evaluated the underrepresentation of Black coaches at the macro, meso, and micro levels I believe that this study is a significant contribution to the literature at every level brought forth by Cunningham. At the macro level, the underrepresentation of black head coaches in NCAA Division I mens basketball is consistent with the underrepr esentation of blacks in leadership positions in athletic departments, at colleges and universities, and in society as a whole. Because the available labor pool of black mens basketball coaches is clearly higher than most leadership positions, but yet an underrepresentation persists, one could conclude that this dynamic is a microcosm of larger institutional and societal factors that trickle down into the NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching ranks. Because of the amount of money that can be made as an NCAA Division I head coach, this dynamic has real socioeconomic implications for black coaches that strive to compete for the same wealth, influence, and power that their white counterparts currently hold in the present status quo. At the meso level, the study provides insight to the perceived prejudice and discrimination felt by black coaches. Cunningham stated that mesolevel research focuses on factors operating in the organization, (p.5) and the results of the study could provide insight as to how di scrimination may be occurring at that level. Specifically, treatment discrimination, which has received less attention than access and institutional discrimination in published research, is highlighted in this particular study. Evidence of this type of dis crimination can help employers and employees, alike, to


71 understand how their decisions, structures, and processes (p. 5) could be perpetuating this dynamic, both at the conscious and subconscious level. Factoring treatment discrimination into the larger picture of discrimination helps to broaden ones perspective of this highly complex concept. Finally, this studys significance is most impactful at the microlevel, which focuses on the coaches themselves. (Cunningham, 2010, p. 7) It is significant in two respects. First, it is a collection of honest insights by high profile NCAA Division I mens basketball coaches. Because of the sensitive nature of race in society and in sport, these coaches often do not feel comfortable commenting publicly about prej udice or discrimination in fear of the potential harm such an action could cause. Thus the voices of these coaches are often suppressed, which takes away from the open and honest dialogue needed to navigate this issue. Further, coaches of this profile and stature have not been included in previous published research, yet their insights clearly add value to this conversation. Secondly, this study could potentially bring clarity and structure to a dynamic that many people have felt, but have not been able t o describe. On a number of occasions within my interviews with the participants, I described the concept of treatment discrimination and it immediately resonated with a participant because they had experienced it so many times prior. A clear, structured un derstanding of what treatment discrimination is and how it could impact the performance of the employee could benefit that employees ability to navigate the various circumstances that could exist within their organizational culture.


72 It is my aspiration that this research has tangible and practical implications on the treatment of black coaches. The idea behind this research was born in my actual experience as a coach in the profession, and that is ultimately where I would want this research to be felt. The game of basketball and my various positions within it has introduced me to numerous intelligent, talented, and impressive coaches ; and it is my hope that all of them are evaluated and treated on the merit of their character and competence rather than t heir race. Limitations Several limitations could have had an impact on the accuracy and depth of this particular study. First, all seven participants were black males who currently held or have held head coaching positions. Therefore, the perspectives of the participants evolved from a highly narrow sample that excluded both a white coachs point of view, and that of a black coach who has not obtained a head coaching position. Second, treatment discrimination was defined at the beginning of each interv iew in an effort to narrow the focus of the interview around the specific subject of the study. However, it could be argued that the participants were primed prior to their data was collected, and thus could have given somewhat tainted answers when pose wi th questions involving treatment discrimination. Third, four of the seven interviews were phone interviews. Because of budgetary restrictions and convenience, not all participants could be interviewed faceto face. As a result, body language could not be factored into the data in over half of the interviews. It


73 was al so my opinion that participants who were interviewed faceto face were more forthcoming and comfortable while giving their answers to the interview questions. Fourth, I ( the interviewer) am w hite Thus, in a study about racial discrimination, the race of the interviewer may have had an impact on the answers offered by the participants. Fifth, all participants held coaching positions at the time of their interview, and the subject of racial di scrimination is not commonly explored in the world of NCAA Division I mens basketball coaching. As a result, the sensitivity of the issue could have caused the participants to hold back their true opinions or feelings because of the potential lack of comf ort the issue could have brought about in them. Sixth, I have spent ten years in NCAA Division I mens basketball in some capacity. As a result, experiences and opinions, though valuable to this study, could be perceived as biased, both in the interviewing process or the reporting of the data. Furtherm ore, my racial identity could have also led to biases in the interviewing or reporting on a subconscious level. Future Research Three directions for future research emerged from the completion of this study. First, the same study of treatment discrimination could be applied to a different sample of participants. Particularly, the perspective of both white coaches and black assistant coaches who have not obtained head coaching positions would add positive val ue to the literature. Black assistant coaches who have not obtained head coaching positions could have a more keen understanding of the obstacles that black coaches face in the hiring process, as opposed to coaches who have been hired as head coaches.


74 Sec ond, two participants in the study referenced rehiring as an issue that contributes to the underrepresentation of black head coaches in NCAA Division I mens basketball. They suggested that black coaches were less likely to be hired for a head coaching position after being relieved from a previous job than their white peers. A quantitative study of this claim would bring forth greater understanding of the obstacles black coaches may face in the pursuit of head coaching positions. Finally, a study of the perceptions of various stakeholders would also broaden the perspective of this particular study. Perceptions of the media, athletic administrators, institutional presidents, fans, alumni, boosters, and students could help to shape an understanding of the general perceptions of black coaches that exist and could potentially qualify as obstacles to those coaches obtaining head coaching positions in NCAA Division I mens basketball.


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79 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Mark Daigneault is from Leominster, MA and was a 2007 graduate of the University of Connecticut He received his masters degree from the University of Florida in 2013. At the time this paper was published, he had spent ten years in NCAA Division I mens basketball in various capacities.