LEAD1 Association Releases Actionable Recommendations to Increase Senior Diverse Leadership in FBS College Sports

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Association’s white paper has been endorsed by the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association; LEAD1 to host a virtual forum this Thursday to discuss the paper.

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“Our white paper is an example of our commitment to being a positive influence in the national dialogue on race and equality,” said Tom McMillen, President and CEO of LEAD1.

The LEAD1 Association (“LEAD1”), which represents the athletics directors of the 130-member schools of the Football Bowl Subdivision (“FBS”), today released a white paper titled “Actionable Recommendations to Create More Diverse Senior Leadership in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) College Sports.”

The paper was created by LEAD1’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group, co-chaired by Sean Frazier, the Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at Northern Illinois University, and Dr. China Jude, the Senior Associate AD and SWA at the University of Wyoming, which LEAD1 created in late August 2020. The paper, on behalf of the working group, is addressed to all stakeholders in FBS college sports including all conferences, institutions, the NCAA, the College Football Playoff (CFP), relevant search firms, and others. The paper has already been endorsed by the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA).

The white paper outlines an actionable plan for FBS college sports to help create more opportunities for people of color to advance through the ranks, thereby increasing diverse senior leadership in FBS college sports. Some of the paper’s notable recommendations include:

  • Tethering diversity hiring to financial incentives, particularly through employment contracts within the enterprise;
  • Creating a highly selective, year-round, diversity program that can help sponsor more diverse senior-level candidates;
  • Grading relevant search firms based on their annual success in presenting a diverse pool of candidates to institutions;
  • Adding a layer of attestation, through the NCAA, with respect to college sports leaders receiving requisite training related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly regarding implicit bias; and
  • Giving the Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Designee (ADID), typically within FBS athletics departments, the power to influence and shape policies across campus.

“Our white paper is an example of our commitment to being a positive influence in the national dialogue on race and equality,” said Tom McMillen, President and CEO of LEAD1. “We are proud of our work product after a several month process of working group calls. We thank our co-chairs, Sean [Frazier] and China [Jude], and all of our working group members, for their tremendous work throughout this process.”

“As we continue to observe the current diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges that our colleges and universities are experiencing, these LEAD1 actionable recommendations, developed by FBS practitioners, researchers, and scholars, provide a much needed road map for measurable change,” said Frazier. “I am humbled to have contributed to this effort, but more importantly, I am appreciative to all those who will take accountability for this extremely important leadership.”

“MOAA endorses the LEAD1 white paper on diversity, equity, and inclusion for senior-level positions,” said Jude, who is also the President of MOAA. “The document’s rationale, along with the 10 recommendations, are aligned with MOAA’s mission and guiding principles of providing opportunities to exchange ideas, and advocating for increased participation, as well as administrative opportunities, for ethnic minorities in athletics,” said Stan Johnson, Executive Director of MOAA. “This paper provides a road map for all who participate both on and off the playing surfaces.”

LEAD1 will host a virtual forum this Thursday, January 7th at 1pm EST with Frazier and Jude, and some of its other working group members, to further explain its process and recommendations. The entire college sports community is encouraged to attend. Please register for Thursday's webinar via registration link HERE.

Working Group Roster

  • Tom McMillen, LEAD1 President & CEO
  • Sean T. Frazier (Co-Chair), Northern Illinois University
  • China Jude (Co-Chair), University of Wyoming
  • Amanda Ekabutr, University of Massachusetts
  • Angie Torain, University of Notre Dame
  • Bart Lambergman, LEAD1 Association
  • Brandi Stuart, University of Central Florida
  • Brandon Bradley, Brigham Young University
  • Broderick Binns, University of Iowa
  • Daniel Garcia, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Dr. Charles Small, Iowa State University
  • Eddie Nunez, University of New Mexico
  • Fumi Kimura, University of Pittsburgh
  • Hannah Dewey, LEAD1 Association
  • James Hall, New Mexico State University
  • Jerlando Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison-
  • Joe Karlgaard, Rice University
  • Katie Schilling, Kent State University
  • Kelcey Roegiers, Georgia State University
  • Kenneth Miles (posthumously), University of Michigan
  • Kevin White, Northwestern University
  • Kristen Brown, Texas A&M University
  • Marlon Dechausay, University of Memphis
  • Marquita Armstead, University of South Florida
  • Monique Holland, Auburn University
  • Natasha Oakes, University of North Texas
  • Ragean Hill, UNC Charlotte
  • Randale L. Richmond, Old Dominion University
  • Renae Myles Payne, University of Miami
  • Ted White, University of Virginia
  • Terry Prentice, University of Kansas
  • Tiffini Grimes, University of Alabama
  • Tracy Shoemake, Texas State University
  • Troy Austin, Duke University
  • Wendy Smooth, Ohio State University

For more information regarding LEAD1, please contact, Hannah Dewey
(hannah@lead1a.com).

About the LEAD1 Association: LEAD1 represents the athletics directors of the 130 member universities of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Key to the LEAD1 mission are influencing how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocating for the future of college athletics, and providing various services to our member schools. For more information, please visit http://www.LEAD1Association.com.

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