According to the 2012 College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card, which was released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport in July, college sports in general received a “B” grade for racial and gender hiring practices. Overall, Miami University reflects or outperforms the grade issued to college sports for racial and gender hiring.
The Institute used federal affirmative action policies to assign grades. According to the report card, an “A” was earned if the percentage of athletics staff that identified as a racial or ethnic minority reflected the percentage of minority student athletes.
At Miami University, 18.7 percent of all athletes, both male and female, identified as a racial or ethnic minority in 2013, according to the Office of Institutional Research (11.5 percent of female athletes and 24.7 percent of male athletes).
As of 2012, the most recent data available, 19 percent of full-time and part-time administrative and coaching staff in the athletics department were a racial or ethnic minority, mirroring the percentage of minority athletes.
Deputy Director of Athletics Mark Rountree said Miami draws on a diverse pool of candidates to hire athletics staff.
“When we’re looking at bringing in a new coach or a head coach, we start with a diverse pool and then we select what fits with the best philosophy for Miami,” Rountree said. “We don’t have a certain number or percentage we’re trying to reach.”
Rountree said the most important factor in hiring coaches is the values the candidate holds and how they align with the university.
“We’re trying to find the coach with the best philosophy,” Rountree said. “We want our coaches to be teachers, we want our coaches to understand that athletes should be a fabric of our institution. We’re looking for a coach that shares those same values that Miami has.”
Eric Washington, who is an African American basketball player for the men’s team at Miami, said on his team, diversity is not an issue.
“I think it’s a real united community,” Washington said. “I still feel like some may be closer. You still might have your certain minorities you might feel more comfortable around, they might be in a certain clique, but for the most part it’s a loving community and everyone accepts each other.”
According to Kelsey Simon, an African American basketball player for the women’s team at Miami, women’s teams could be more diverse.
“I don’t think there’s a discrimination but I do think there’s room for improvement to incorporate more diversity into women’s sports at Miami,” Simon said.
According to the study for grades based on gender, if women hold 40 percent or more of the positions, the school will recieve an “A” grade. 32 percent earns a “B” and 27 percent a “C.”
At Miami, 71 percent of administrative and coaching staff are male and 29 percent are female.
The study also reported that 50 percent of head coaches for women’s teams should be female. According to the Office of Institutional Research, 54 percent of all coaches for women’s teams at Miami were female in fall 2012.
Rountree said gender plays a significant role in the hiring process, especially for women’s teams.
“We will always strive to be inclusive during the hiring process for coaches of women’s teams because it’s important to have a diverse pool of potential coaches including strong female candidates,” Rountree said.
Rountree said the athletics department is a diverse community, but is always striving to be better.
“Overall, we are feel good about the diversity of our staff and our student-athlete population but we will always have an eye towards building on what we are currently doing,” Rountree said.