Oswego State athletics staff lacks ethnic diversity

While the athletic coaching staff at Oswego State is filled with some of the most influential and successful coaches in all of the SUNYAC, there is one thing clearly missing: diversity among coaches and staff.

There are no African-American coaches, and Malcolm Huggins, the assistant athletic director for marketing and game management, is the only African-American in the athletics administration.

There are African-American student athletes on Oswego State’s basketball, golf, swimming and diving, soccer and wrestling teams, yet no African-American coaches.

It’s usually common for coaching staffs to somewhat reflect their team rosters, but this is currently not the case at Oswego State.

“When we’re having our interview process we’re definitely looking for a diverse group of people, whether it’s women or ethnic minorities, those individuals are in the pool with everyone else,” Huggins said.

Huggins added that when Oswego State athletics releases job postings, not only do they post to the NCAA, but also on National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is a national group that the school’s athletic administrators belong to.

Within the NACDA is a group called MOAA, or the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association, which Oswego State pushes their posts to in order to advertise their available positions to ethnic minorities.

Job postings are also sent through NACWAA, the National Association of Collegiate Woman Athletics Administrators, to advertise potential openings to the female demographic.

“We make sure we push our postings to where those underrepresented populations will be able to see and hopefully they’ll apply for the position,” Huggins said. “It’s no different than the common practice used on our campus for any other position.”

A likely reason for this lack of diversity could be the fact that the town of Oswego simply is not an ethnically diverse area.

In Oswego County, over 96 percent of the population is white, while only 2.2 percent are Hispanic and 1 percent are African-American, according to the US Census website.

Additionally, neighboring Syracuse’s population is 29.5 percent African-American, 8.3 percent Hispanic and 5.5 percent Asian.

“From my perspective as an African American male, [Oswego] is a great area for me to work in my industry, and the college itself is very diverse,” Huggins said.

Diversity also lacks in college sports at a national level. A 2010 study by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found that white people held 88.8, 92.7 and 96.2 percent of Division I, II and III athletic director positions.

The survey also found that white people held 89.3, 89.2 and 92.3 percent of head coaching jobs at the DI, DII and DIII levels, respectively.

A lack of diversity among athletic administration and coaches is seen across the SUNYAC conference. Although there is a fair mix between male and female athletic directors in the SUNYAC, they are primarily white.

Stuart Robinson, who has been the Director of Athletics at SUNY New Paltz since 2001, is the only African-American AD in the SUNYAC.

However, diversity throughout the SUNYAC Conference among coaches can be found. At Plattsburgh State, the men’s basketball coach Tom Curle is the only coach of Korean descent in all of the NCAA.

There are also African-American basketball, football, and cross country coaches at Fredonia, SUNY Cortland and Buffalo State, respectively.

In the coming years, Laker coaches will likely be moving on to different jobs and different schools, so it is possible we will begin to see more ethnically diverse coaches hired at Oswego State.

5 thoughts on “Oswego State athletics staff lacks ethnic diversity

  1. You see Mr. Lonky, It does not matter what the color of one’s skin is, nor gender, nor sexual preference when hiring someone to do a job. Jobs are given to what the University feels is the best talent for the job and talent pool of people applying. What ever that “looks” like after they are hired, well it is what it is. One who looks at color first, like yourself, are racists because you only look at skin color. As you learn and grow from the University, I hope you realize you are not a victim, but a person who has all the opportunity in the world to do and become what ever you want.

  2. Mr. Barr, I don’t understand why you feel the need to accuse Lonky of being racist. The article simply makes an observation that Oswego State’s athletic program has little diversity in the administration. The article is not critical of this fact, it is simply putting it out there. Is Mr. Lonky calling for the administration to change this? No. Is this an observation and comparison to other NCAA athletic programs? Yes.

    You sir are nothing more than a bully who has obviously nothing better to do than to falsely accuse student journalists of terrible things. You’re probably going to criticize me because I disagree with your idiotic statements above, which I welcome you to. I love seeing people make themselves look like idiots online.

    1. Harold,
      Mr. Lonky is the one who brought up race. And to call him a journalist?..well a journalist would have just left it at SUNY Oswego has one of the finest coaching staffs. Thats it…And if you look at the combined win/loss records,everyone would agree. Mr. Lonky seems to be racists because he is accusing SUNY Oswego as being racist. “how come their are not more African Americans on the coaching staff” You see Harold, race,gender, sexual preference has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do when one hires someone to do a job. You too are playing “i am a victim”..I am just trying to open your eyes to report if you are a journalist and not to push an agenda.

      1. Don,

        Lets just skip over the misunderstanding you have for the purpose of journalism and go right to the heart of what seems to be bothering you about Mr. Lonky’s article.
        You seem to be implying that even bringing up the question of race and diversity is in some way racist, an inane and backward assertion. I suggest you further research the subject. Diversity has been one of the most discussed topics in sports for decades. Perhaps you have heard of the NFL’s Rooney Rule? A simple Google search would have pulled up at least three pages of articles on the subject from sources ranging from the NY Times and USA Today to sports blogs, and yes, even college newspapers. Are all these news outlets employing racists pushing an agenda?
        Mr. Lonky’s article takes what it is perceived nationwide as a problem and examines it in Oswego. That’s what journalism is, and if you don’t like it then you are free to read something else. If you don’t agree with the facts or style of the article, then say so in a fair and polite manner. Throwing around words like “racist” is intentionally creating harm and obstructing the discussion. SUNY Oswego deserves better.

        1. ted, “take the pebble from my hand” I will teach you.
          You write under the assumption that diversity is good and should be a requirement with everything. You also write as if not to question whether the rooney rule in the NFL is a good rule. The Supreme Court has ruled affirmative action as unconstitutional as it should be. This comes down to two things.
          A student walks into a classroom at Oswego willing to learn. They absorb everything about the subject they are studying and works hard to get a 4.0. They value the education and experience of the Professor teaching the course. They know if they work hard, they will be successful and graduate with a degree in a subject they like.
          Another student walks into a classroom at Oswego, and counts how many students are black, asian, male, female, and is the professor a minority. They feel victimized if the class is not diverse. They feel oh my gosh, this is wrong. They spend all of their energy on why the class is this or that and not anything on the subject matter or why they are there in the first place. You see, we need to help that student understand that having a diverse classroom or not has nothing to do with the education they can receive. We need to help that student understand and remove the racist cloud covering their eyes. It is not about color, asian, gender. It is about receiving the best education possible.
          A real journalist would peel back the onion and look at the fact that not being diverse is just as good as being diverse. Also, i am not the one who brought up racists in the first place, Mr.Lonky did as well as the Oswegonian when they titled the article, as a negative to Oswego since they lack a diverse coaching staff. You need to move beyond this. You become a racist when you play the race card, thinking Oswego has done something a foul. They have not.

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