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FBS leadership, coaches remain mostly white, male

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FBS leadership, coaches remain mostly white, male

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) A study of the racial and gender makeup of leadership and coaching positions among the Football Bowl Subdivision membership showed it remains largely white and male.

The report released Wednesday by the Institute for the Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida said that 100 percent of FBS conference commissioners, 76 percent of school president positions and 84 percent of all athletic director positions were held by white men at the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year.

It also showed a decline in the percentage of women in campus leadership positions with a slight increase in the representation of people of color, especially for Latinos and Asians.

Among the FBS' 120 institutions, there were 18 minority head coaches to begin the season, down from an all-time high of 19 last year. That total included 14 African-Americans, two Latinos and two Asians.

``For me as somebody who has worked on college campus for 30-plus years it's especially discouraging that in terms of hiring practices are far behind the professional levels,'' said primary study author Richard Lapchick. ``I would have hoped that colleges would have at least kept pace, but they are clearly behind in hiring practices.''

For the position of faculty athletics representative, 94.4 percent are white and 31.7 percent are women.

According to 2011 data compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 6.3 percent of full-time faculty members are Asian, which is 1.2 percentage points less than the 2007 data reported in last year's study. African-American and Latino faculty members have grown by 1.6 and 0.6 percentage points respectively, to seven and 4.2 percent. Forty-seven percent are women.

For coaches, the study's numbers don't reflect the recent dismissals of Joker Phillips at Kentucky, and Jon Embree from the University of Colorado, who drew attention to the poor rehire rate for minority coaches.

During his final news conference earlier this week, Embree hinted at a double standard for African-American hires after they are fired from a head coaching job.

Tyrone Willingham is the only African-American coach to be hired for another head coaching job (by Washington in 2005) after having been fired (by Notre Dame in 2004).

``We don't get second chances,'' Embree said. ``And that's OK, you know it going into it ... But every minority coach knows that going into it. Eventually that'll change.''

The numbers show that change is coming at a slow pace.

Since 1982, there have been 546 head coaches hired in the FBS and 41 African-Americans since Willie Jeffries became the first at Wichita State in 1979. There have also been three Latino and two Asian/Pacific Islander head coaches hired in FBS history.

``Our representation is not consistent on the court or on the playing fields,'' Black Coaches and Administrators executive director Floyd Keith said. ``You have to look at the numbers.''

Keith noted that a pair of other African-American coaches have been fired from FBS jobs and rehired, though not on the FBS level.

``Turner Gill was fired at Kansas but ended up at (Football Championship Subdivision) Liberty. We had Tony Samuel at New Mexico State and he ended up at Southeast Missouri State. With only 41 individuals hired in history, it's not a very good record,'' he said. ``You have to say getting back in the cycle is difficult. So you have to make the most of your first chance.''

Keith also echoed the importance of getting more diversity at the leadership positions.

``I think in total it's about college athletics,'' he said. ``When you're making decisions, there was the old term `Out of sight, out of mind.' If you aren't represented around the table, your concerns aren't heard. And that's at all levels.''

Both Keith and Lapchick continue to advocate for an ``Eddie Robinson Rule,'' which like the NFL's Rooney Rule, would mandate that minorities are included in the interview process for open head coaching and key front office positions.

Since the BCA started putting out its hiring report cards in 2004, the number of minority coaches in the FBS increased 600 percent from three to last year's high of 19.

BCA partners with Lapchick to put out the report cards and said that in the latest one, which is scheduled to be released this week, three schools that hired black coaches received poor grades because they didn't invite more minority candidates to the interview process.

``If they continue to be excluded from that interview room, not much is going to change,'' Lapchick said.

Keith said the process of bringing a Robinson Rule to college athletics continues to be a slow process.

``We've had meetings, and I don't think anything has ever seriously developed out of it ... they simply have been discussions,'' he said. ``We keep talking about it. We see minor advances in terms of overall landscape, but there's hasn't been a watershed change.''

He said his resolve to see it happen won't be affected by the pace, though.

``Perseverance. We've got to keep being advocates,'' Keith said. ``We have to continue it and keep it going.''

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Nationals win despite having to turn to little-known pitcher for pivotal start

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Nationals win despite having to turn to little-known pitcher for pivotal start

WASHINGTON -- If any bump was coming from a return home or Mike Rizzo’s public pregame words or simply being out of New York, it was not apparent Friday.

Three errors committed in the first four innings. The first reliever into the game, Joe Ross, allowed three earned runs before recording a second out. Starter Kyle McGowin barely made it through the fourth inning of an eventual and desperately needed 12-10 win.

The rally kept the Nationals from creeping toward of new level of dubiousness in this muck-filled season. They pushed 2 ½ games in front of the Marlins for the National League’s worst record. Juan Soto hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Matt Adams followed with a solo homer. Sean Doolittle had trouble, but closed the game. Those efforts kept this from being another story about the bullpen (five more runs allowed Friday).

So, here’s a different question to ponder (there are a million or none, depending on point of view) after Friday night: How did the Nationals end up with 27-year-old McGowin starting a surprisingly pivotal game?

The nuts-and-bolts version is because of injuries. Both Anibal Sanchez -- who threw a simulation game Friday -- and Jeremy Hellickson are on the injured list. The deeper answer comes from looking at the recent erosion of pitchers in Washington’s minor-league system.

McGowin made his second career start Friday because there is no one else. No hot minor-league prospect, no early-round pick who has been up and down and received another shot, no veteran stashed in the minor leagues for such situations.

Looming behind all of this is the 2016 trade of three pitching prospects to acquire Adam Eaton. Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning were all sent to Chicago for Eaton’s advanced-stats and cost-friendly contract. The departure of three starting pitchers in one shot reverberated Friday when the Nationals were forced to use McGowin in a spot start as the seventh starter of the season.

This is more a volume than quality issue. Neither Lopez or Giolito were effective in limited chances at the major-league level with Washington before being traded. Once in Chicago, Giolito became arguably the worst pitcher in baseball in 2018. No one allowed more earned runs or walks that season. Lopez had a quality season, finishing with 3.1 WAR.

The two have reversed outcomes in 2019. Giolito has rediscovered his velocity. After throwing 100 mph in the 2015 Futures Game, his velocity caved. Giolito was down to 92-93 mph with the Nationals and, initially, Chicago. Thursday, he hit 97 mph in the ninth inning of a shutout against Houston. The outing drove his ERA down to 2.77.

Lopez is struggling. His 5.14 ERA is venturing toward Giolito’s status of a year ago. His walk total -- always the concern -- is up, as are his homers allowed.

But what Giolito and Lopez have, at age 24 and 25, respectively, is potential. Giolito, who often fussed with his mechanics in Washington, has discovered a delivery to expedite his fastball and an approach to boost the effectiveness of his changeup. Lopez’s 2018 showed he can be a solid back-end rotation member. They were expected to follow behind Erick Fedde and Joe Ross in establishing a future rotation. But, those two are in Chicago, Ross is in the bullpen, where he gave up three runs Friday, and Fedde just returned to the rotation after being moved to the bullpen.

So, it was McGowin on the mound Friday. Four innings, six hits, five runs, one walk, two strikeouts, two home runs allowed. Why? No better choice is available.

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Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

The Nationals welcomed 10-year-old cancer patient Parker Staples as the newest addition to their team on Friday, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Foundation.

While battling lymphoma, Staples learned he would receive a wish and didn’t hesitate about what he wanted to choose. After being sidelined for two years during treatment, Parker couldn’t wait to celebrate his remission by becoming part of his favorite baseball team. 

Staples was introduced to his new teammates and got signed autographs from Matt Adams, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, and Yan Gomes. He also got to spend time hitting and playing catch with his new teammates, as well as being interviewed as the newest member of the team. It gets even better than that, Staples threw the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park leading up to the Marlins-Nationals game Staples 

"My favorite moment was throwing the first pitch. It was really cool," Staples said.

"Probably the biggest day of my life."

The Nationals are hosted the Miami Marlins in the series opener Friday.

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