African-Americans in College Baseball (Report) - The Sport Journal

African-Americans in College Baseball (Report)

By The Sport Journal

  • Release Date: 2007-03-22
  • Genre: Reference
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Abstract: The under-representation of African-Americans in college baseball is evident. African-American athletes make up only 4.5% of all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) baseball players. They are a shrinking percentage of Major League Baseball players. A focus group was established to identify specific sociological issues which were perceived to influence the under-representation of African-Americans in collegiate baseball. Additionally, information from the observation of SEC baseball games during the 2006 season was used to quantify the social pattern. Data from the "traditionally black" Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) were also collected during the 2006 season. For the Southeastern Conference (SEC), fan attendance was less than 1% African-American and the player participation rate was 1.91 per team during the 2006 season. Additionally, none of the SEC head or assistant baseball coaches were African-American. The focus group determined that the reasons for the decline in numbers were related to (1) lifestyle factors, (2) competition from other sports and social opportunities, and (3) the absence of African-American role models in baseball. The authors propose that Title IX legislation and the influence of sports media were primary factors in the change.

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