ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- College sports took a step backward last year in their efforts to promote diversity in hiring practices, according to a report released Thursday.
The NCAA's grades declined in 2008 in the study by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. College athletics received the lowest grade of any of the sports researched.
The report examined data from the NCAA and other sources on the race and gender of administrators, coaches and athletes at every college and conference and at the national governing body.
"This report documents not only a lack of overall progress in college sport but a decline in both racial and gender hiring practices in key positions," said Richard Lapchick, the study's author. "The numbers reflect a need for new strategies for more opportunities for people of color and women. This is the worst report card for college sport in many years."
College sports received a C+ for race and a B for gender for a combined C+ grade. It earned a B- and B+, respectively, in 2006-07.
The WNBA got an A+, the NBA an A, Major League Soccer a B+ and Major League Baseball a B. The report faulted a lack of diversity in leadership positions in college sports. In Divisions I, II and III, at least 88 percent of university presidents, athletic directors, head coaches, associate athletic directors, faculty athletics reps and sports information directors are White. All the conference commissioners in Division I, excluding the historically Black colleges and universities, are White.