By Juan Lozano | June 3, 2020
PURPOSE: The purpose of this document is to institutionalize and normalize questions that black players and their guardians/parents should ask head and assistant coaches during recruiting that are relevant to their experience on a college campus.
From experience and after consultation with a number of African-American coaches and staffers, it is clear that the right questions are not being asked by recruited athletes. Players are afraid to ask these questions. They don’t have any options. Simply put, these players think they’re going to get their opportunities taken away if they ask tough but necessary questions.
These questions below are ones that ALL head coaches and many assistant coaches should have answers to.
Recruiting is imperfect. The rules of recruiting (dead periods, etc.) make it so. Both parties,- coaches and players- don’t really get to know each other. It’s a relationship formed where neither side has really good information.
These questions are introduced so as to prevent any misunderstandings in the future and so that coaches can make better decisions about allocating scholarships. And of course, so that players have as much relevant information before making a decision.
The purpose of this is not to be “woke”. It’s to level the playing field regarding equity and the relationship between players and coaches.
Coaches judge players based on factors such as their character and views expressed on social media and the company they keep. Why should the converse analysis not take place?
You can add to this list of questions by emailing: [email protected] .
And we want to hear from coaches about this. What questions are we missing? Your contributions will remain anonymous. Thank you to those that we reached out to and participated.
- Have you or any of your coaches been accused or named in any civil rights or Title IX investigations, lawsuits or actions? Have any of them been on a staff that was accused of civil rights or Title IX investigations, lawsuits or actions? What was the outcome?
- Have you or any staff members ever used a racial slur?
- Do you allow players to use the n-word around your program? If so, does it bother you and why?
- What would you do if you heard a staff member or coach use a racial slur?
- Which African-American guest speakers (if any) have you brought into speak to the team?
- Which African-American professors (if any) are close to the program?
- What type of cultural training does the athletic department provide to staff members?
- What has this program/ athletic department done to recognize: (1) Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, (2) Junteenth? (Do coaches get these days off?)
- Have you ever been on a staff with a black head coach, or coordinator or Director of Football Operations?
- Have you ever hired a black coordinator? Director of Football Operations? Director of Player Personnel?
- Have you ever interviewed a black person for:
- A coordinator position?
- Quarterbacks coach position?
- Offensive line position?
- Football operations?
- What is the black population on campus?
- What is the black population of the city?
- How many of your players take part in black social programs or multicultural organizations on campus? Are they allowed to be a part of them? (i.e Black Student Union or Black fraternities)
- Which prominent alumni are around the team?
- Are scholarships guaranteed for one year? All four years?
- Are there any out of pocket costs that I should know about?
- Where does the school rank in terms of size of football budget in your conference?
- How many players have transferred from the position that I play in the last four years?
- Do you help players transfer? If so, where do you steer them towards?
POST- PLAYING/ CAREER
- Which of your former players of color are you close to currently?
- Give me an example of how you helped a former player of color in his post-playing career: (1) resolve an issue, (2) continue education, (3) pursue non-football professional opportunities?
- Have you ever hired one of your former players of color?
PRO PROSPECTS/ BUSINESS
- How much money does the program spend with local businesses of color in the university community?
- Are practices open to scouts?
- How long do you have remaining on your contract?
- How many different coordinators have you had?
- How many different coaches have there been at my position since you have been head coach?
OTHER POINTS FOR RECRUITS
- TWITTER: In addition, players should look at who coaches follow on twitter and which tweets they “like”, etc.
- USA TODAY: Players and their families should examine the USA Today salaries and see which assistant coaches are paid the most on the staff. This will give the player some idea of the power structure within the organization. – https://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/football/assistant
Opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not express the views or opinions of Headcoachranking.com.