Three years ago, Buffalo was the worst program in Division I-A, a team that had won 12 games in seven seasons, stuck in the hinterlands of the Mid-American Conference. On Friday night, Turner Gill did the impossible. The Bulls upset No. 12 Ball State, 42-24, and won the MAC championship to complete a stunning turnaround engineered by Gill.
Gill should be on the radar for every opening in the country, but he's not. It's a disgrace that college football on the I-A level has only three African American head coaches (Gill, Kevin Sumlin at Houston and Randy Shannon at Miami), one Latino (Mario Cristobal of Florida International) and one of Polynesian descent (Ken Niumatalolo of Navy).
A report released last month titled "The Buck Stops Here: Assessing Diversity among Campus and Conference Leaders for Division I-A" spells out the damning details: 92.5% of university presidents, 87.5% of athletic directors, 92.6% of faculty athletics representatives and 100% of conference commissioners are white. Only 3.5% of the faculty are African American and 3.4% Latino.
"The general picture is still one of white men running college sport," study co-author Richard Lapchick told the Orlando Sentinel. Lapchick notes that only 12 African American coaches have been hired among the 199 head coach vacancies in I-A since 1996.
The study also found that whites hold 329 (90.9%) of the 362 campus leadership positions in I-A.
"The numbers do not reflect the diversity of our student-athletes," Lapchick said.