NCAA

Maryland's Mike Locksley, Damon Evans comment on college football's diversity problem

Maryland's Mike Locksley, Damon Evans comment on college football's diversity problem

In a predominantly white college football landscape, Maryland became the first school in the FBS with a Black president, athletic director and head football coach Wednesday by hiring Dr. Darryll Pines to lead the university. 

Damon Evans is one of 14 Black athletic directors in the FBS, while Mike Locksley is one of 14 Black head coaches in Division I. Over 86% of D-1 head coaches are white and if you exclude Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), the percentage of white coaches in Division-I football rises to nearly 93%.

Black head coaches aren't afforded an extended window to run their program either. White coaches are considered to have more time to build a program, leaving Black head coaches with undesirable results, less time to turn things around and worse odds at getting another job because of it.

In a story from Yahoo Sports' Lila Bromberg, Evans and Locksley shared their thoughts on college football's lack of diversity and how they're striving for an increased presence of African Americans in the nation's top programs. 

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“We haven't been afforded those opportunities of five years at one position to really build it and grow it the way that you need to when the jobs that some of us take or have to take open up," Locksley said. "So there's no doubt there's some things that hinder our ability to have the success we need to have to keep that door open for others.

With Evans heading the athletic department, Locksley has the job security to where he can build Maryland's football program to the best of his ability.

Just one season into his tenure, Locksley has already turned some heads on the recruiting trail. He recently secured a big-name transfer in quarterback Taulia Tagovalioa and was one of Gonzaga superstar quarterback Caleb Williams' final three schools before the upcoming senior chose Oklahoma. 

“We all know the responsibility that we carry as Black men in these leadership positions,” Evans said. “Not only the responsibility to the institution as a whole in carrying out our jobs and the responsibility to our communities, but we also have a responsibility to help to grow the pool of minority candidates and to help others rise through the ranks to be able to achieve what we've been able to.”

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Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Despite growing momentum to cancel the fall football season, the Big 12 reportedly is moving forward with their plans to play.

ESPN reporter Sam Khan Jr. reported on Wednesday morning that the Big 12's board of directors met for over an hour yesterday to discuss the fallout of decisions made to postpone the fall season from conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12. 

Following days of speculation the Big Ten would cancel fall sports, the conference officially pulled the plug Tuesday citing concerns of the myriad of complications that come along with playing a season during a pandemic. 

The Big 12, however, is leading the charge in trying to set up safe way to play the fall season. ESPN reported there will be revised conference-only schedules coming out shortly after the season was again pushed back to Sept. 26. Stadium reported the Big 12 may have more news. 

The decision also comes on the back of growing support from athletes to find a solution in making sure this season gets played. The face of college football, Trevor Lawrence, has repeatedly tweeted his stance that going forward with a season will actually be safer for the athletes

Whether or not more Power 5 sides like the SEC and ACC follow suit remains to be seen, but it is widely speculated that these football-crazed conferences are determined to find a way. 

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Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren says there was 'too much uncertainty' to have a fall season

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren says there was 'too much uncertainty' to have a fall season

Less than a week ago, the Big Ten Conference released a 2020 conference-only football schedule. Though there were no guarantees it would be played amid the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like a positive step for college athletics.

Fast forward to Tuesday, and the Big Ten announced that the fall sports season would be no more. What caused the quick departure? According to commissioner Kevin Warren, it wasn't additional facts about COVID-19 and its impact, but rather the lack of them.

“There’s too much uncertainty," Warren said on Tuesday during an interview on the Big Ten Network. "We have a lot of uncertainty going on now.”

The coronavirus has been in the United States for several months now, but much is still unknown about its effects on the human body and society. While the Big Ten had been working diligently to provide its players and staff with testing and up-to-date protocols, not every possible outcome could be covered.

As Warren explained it, for each question that is answered in relation to COVID-19, a new one pops up. As the pandemic continues on, professionals continue to learn more about how it acts and what impact it can have both short and long term.

An example of that would be Myocarditis –– or the inflammation of the heart muscle -- which has been found in several college athletes and linked to the coronavirus. Not initially considered to be a factor of the virus, it's now become a major concern for the Big Ten and other conferences.

That's just one aspect of the unknown Warren and others are dealing with. Taking a step back and looking at the whole picture, Warren also noted that the COVID-19 questions go beyond the field. It's a problem the entire world is dealing with.

“It’s not only in the Big Ten. I think just across the country and in the world there is so much uncertainty about this virus," Warren said.

In the end, while Warren feels the conference has done a solid job of protecting players during workouts in the summer, there was still too much to be learned before he and others could feel comfortable resuming collegiate sports.

Now, with hopes to resume in the spring, Warren and other Big Ten officials will head out in search of the answers that will eliminate the unknown of the virus. Just like how society strives to return to normal, continuing to learn will be the only way to make it possible.

“We’ll gather information, prepare, plan and create an environment that our students-athletes will be able to participate in when it’s safe and there’s less uncertainty," Warren said. 

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