Flying under the radar in the world of sports is yet another downturn in the realm of college football concerning black coaches. (or a lack thereof) This has been an ongoing things for decades, and it seemed as if its getting worse not better. There are four African-American coaches out of 119 programs in college football.
The University of Auburn hired a loser to coach their football team after the unceremonious firing of Tommy Tuberville. (A proven winner who is white) They interviewed Buffalo coach Turner Gill, an African-American who is one of the most accomplished and respected young head coaches in the country. He took a program that had never had a winning record in Division I and led them to their first MAC championship. They also smashed previously undefeated and top 25 team Ball State. This year they will participate in their first bowl appearance in the school’s history.
And yet after interviewing Gill, Auburn hired former team assistant Gene Chizik, who ran an abysmal program at Iowa State over the last two seasons. His teams have won only 5 games in two years. Iowa State lost 10 of it’s 12 games this year. Obviously there won’t be any bowls games for the Cyclones – not even a knife, spoon or a fork game. But he got the job as the team refused to hire a black coach, similar to SEC rival Alabama who refused to hire their former player and previous assistant Sylvester Croom. Instead they hired David Shula who didn’t last very long at all.
Hell I still hate Notre Dame for firing Ty Willingham before his contract was up in South Bend! (the only coach in any sport in school history to be fired before the end of his contract) Since then they hired Charlie Weiss and after having a record similar to Willingham’s gave him a ridiculous extension. Now they are stuck with a guy who loses to Navy, and fell to an 8 loss team (Syracuse) for the first time in school history. The program is at an all time low.
With the Auburn debacle, NBA Hall of Fame member turned TNT analyst and Auburn alum Charles Barkley lashed out at his school for hiring Chezik over Gill. He called out the institution for being racist. Barkley was previously on a search committee for the basketball program at Auburn. Of all the coaches they interviewed, some black, they hired Jeff Lebo, a white coach who was the only one out of the group not to take a team to the NCAA tournament. Gill and Barkley talked about the Auburn job. And according to Barkley, Gill was concerned about being a token interview and that perhaps the school or its supporters would not like the fact that he has a white wife. Barkley advised Gill to go full speed ahead and pursue this position in spite of his concerns. We know what happened.
Now here is my response to this madnes… first I say screw these jobs. If they don’t want to have a diverse plan and hire qualified black coaches then let them hire unqualified white ones and waddle in mediocrity. This is not to say white coaches are incompetent – my point is that a white one can be incompetent and still get the job – and yet none of the anti-affirmative action honks say a word about it. Black coaches can turn whack programs around and still be overlooked. Let face it, most of the time black coaches have to turn programs around, because as Charles said, normally they get the shitty jobs nobody else wants in the first place.
Second I ask the question – if an institution does not believe an African-American is good enough to coach their team and lead their program, why are parents sending black athletes to these schools? We need to educate these young men about why the civil rights issue is still relevant. Just as Bear Bryant learned the valuable lessons of Sam “Bam” Cunningham turning his Crimson Tide defense truly crimson, and Adolph Rupp learned when he lost to an all black Texas Western team, in this time when the nation is at it’s peak in terms of qualified diversified candidates, racism will under-mind the advancement of your institution. We should reject black assistant coaches who come from traditionally white institutions who don’t hire blacks in prominent positions. Tell them it’s not acceptable to come to our homes and eat our greens and cornbread telling us why our sons, the prized recruit should don their campuses. F that! There are other programs that can help “Willie” get an education and a possible chance at the NFL. Jerry Rice, arguably a top 5 pro football player in the history of the sport attended Mississippi Valley State. Walter Payton attended Jackson St. I can name many players that didn’t come out of major conferences. If you are good the pros will find you regardless of what ESPN says.
* Charles Barkley
Third – this suject caused me to think of an exert in the book, “The Ice Opinion,” Who Gives A Fuck! by Ice-T. He talked about how he’s learned in this life that people are either “Pimp or Ho’s!” – And that you are either the pimp or the ho in any given situation. Think about it. It’s so true! This is why I don’t trip when I hear that Reggie Bush’s momma lived in a upscale home in San Diego via an agent, when Bush attended USC. I remember back in the day when all the guys on the University of Illinois basketball team had Chevy Blazers. The Governor of Illinois wasn’t the one who invented pay for play. That’s been going on for decades and will continue. Most kids are going to be ho’s when it comes to the college system. Sure they can get the college experience, a degree that may or not help them when they get in the job market. (Research the stats on how blacks with degrees are passed over for white with a high school diploma, and sometimes even a criminal record.) Barkley said it best when it came to the qualifications of the coaching candidates in the Auburn job, “You can say it’s not about race, but you can’t compare the two résumés and say [Chizik] deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst résumé.” Still the colleges are gonna make money from the television networks. The networks are getting over from the advertisers. They both come out ahead by billions over the expense for their investment in the student athletes.
Every kid needs to know where he fits in. If you are good enough to play college ball but not the pros, then study, play, have fun, get that degree and move on. If you are good enough to get a little something on the side, do that too. Just understand most institutions and coaches are going to throw you under the bus if you get caught. So your game needs to be tight. The coach can promise you the world, then leave at the next opportunity to further his own career ambitions. Just ask the kids at Iowa State who feel betrayed by Chizik’s bolting. If a kid signs at a school because he has grown fond of the coach, (and most kids do) the coach can leave and the kid can’t unless he gives up a year of eligibility. There is a double standard and it has to be understood. Generally speaking, very few of us are not ho’s at times in our lives. If you want to feed your family, sometimes you have to “give up the booty.” But damn, at least learn the ways of the pimp so you can flip the script and operate as a pimp, thereby using your ho experiences as a way to advance your cause… not just be a ho for ho sake!
Learn how to navigate your situation. Network, advance, move forward. Lend your talents and receive your just rewards. Start with learning to give value to those who value your contributions like these universities. If you are unqualified to coach the team, tell them you are unqualified to run the ball. (Or get one helluva pay out in return) That’s all I am saying. Stop waiting and begging these southern racist institutions to be righteous, and take your talents where you are valued. If enough of us do it, believe me it will make a difference. Ho’s just talk about the game and complain about it. The PIMPS learns the game and then masters it by leveraging his influence to his benefit.