Wednesday, July 17, 2013
A Stanford story that is big because it isn't
By Ted Miller
Said Stanford coach David Shaw about the latest story from ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel, "I think it is a story that it's not a big story."
Then the kicker, "That's a great story!"
What is not a story and therefore a "great story"?
The fact that Stanford has a black football coach, basketball coach and athletic director and no one seems to be spending much time writing heroic couplets about it.
So Ivan's take is that is progress. And progress, according to the Pac-12 blog, is cool.
Stanford hired Johnny Dawkins as men's basketball coach in 2008, promoted David Shaw to run the football team in 2011 and hired Bernard Muir as athletic director a year ago next week.
A year has passed, and almost no one has mentioned it. Maybe college athletics, barely 40 years after the last major FBS team integrated, has gone post-racial.
Of course, things are not yet perfect, Maisel notes:
We are not quite at that point with FBS head football coaches. There will be 13 this season, down from 15 last year. Minority candidates complain that they get literally no-win jobs, are given no time to fix them (see Jon Embree at Colorado or Turner Gill at Kansas) and get no second chances. Tyrone Willingham remains the only African-American college football head coach to be hired (Washington) after being fired (Notre Dame).
We do not yet live in a post-racial society -- see the recent verdict in the George Zimmerman trial -- but Maisel's story-non-story is reason to believe we are making progress.