The head of the Black Coaches and Administrators group called Wednesday for more involvement by college presidents in hiring football coaches, a move he said would lead to more minority coaches on the sidelines.
Floyd Keith, executive director of the group, believes it's the best option to make changes quickly.
After releasing the group's latest hiring report card Wednesday, Keith said he was willing to listen to any ideas, including a possible lawsuit, to improve numbers that show nine of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools have minority head coaches.
"Today, I believe the one group that can change this situation outside of state and or federal legislation is college presidents," he said. "Presidents can create and demand the proper environment and process for equitable searches. In the equation of the collegiate hiring process, a college president is the one individual who can demand justice in the search process."
Keith said last year that the BCA was actively seeking someone to file a discrimination lawsuit under Title VII legislation. On Wednesday, he said the group's legal hot line is still fielding two to three calls per week, looking for the right case.
Schools with coaching vacancies are graded in five categories _ communication with the BCA, length of the search, ratio of minority candidates who were interviewed, adherence to the school's affirmative action policies and percentage of minorities on the search committee. Point values are assessed in each category and are added together to come up with a final point total, which is then translated into an overall grade.
The report showed that 60 percent of all schools graded over the past six years received A's or B's more, than twice as many as those receiving D's or F's (28 percent). And the report card showed that 11 of 32 schools received A's this year, while five received F's.
Of the 32 coaches who took over in the FBS or Football Championship Subdivision this season, five were coaches of color.
Richard Lapchick, director of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, called for a "civil rights movement" in college sports.
Lapchick contends that minority coaches actually lost ground because three black coaches at BCS schools _ Kansas State's Ron Prince, Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom and Washington's Tyrone Willingham _ were not retained. And the four hires in the Bowl Subdivision did not result in black coaches in prominent enough positions.
"What is lost in the improvement in numbers is that three jobs were lost in the Pac-10, Big 12 and SEC," Lapchick wrote. "Adding positions at Miami University (Ohio), New Mexico, New Mexico State and Eastern Michigan was important but these schools will likely never get a shot at a BCS championship."
The study also found that the percentage of minorities on search committees at FBS schools declined from 30 percent in the 2008 report to 27 percent this year.
Miami (Ohio) and New Mexico State were the only schools to receive straight A's. Five schools received F's, though Oregon was the only one to receive all F's.
The report also proposes creating a Diversity Progress Rate, something akin to the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate.