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Sam Sachs of Portland
Published: 28 March 2007

Portland State Fumbles Opportunity

With the resignation Of Head Football Coach Tim Walsh, Portland State University had an opportunity to conduct a fair and equitable search for his replacement. Instead, PSU let opportunity slip through their hands.
The opportunity was to interview the most qualified applicants, including minority coaches. PSU is aware of how sensitive this topic is, that's why they obtained permission from the Affirmative Action office at PSU to speed up the process. The problem is PSU treated this process like a two-minute drill. Athletic Director Teri Mariani said that, "even in a quick search you have to have the job open for two weeks at a minimum." Unfortunately according to PSU'S own Web site, the job opened on Feb. 21 and closed on Feb. 24. That's three days. The bigger issue is, according to all the outreach Mariani said they would do, they only interviewed two candidates and neither was a minority.
The Boston Globe reports that, of the 616 college football head coaching positions last year, a Black coach filled only 16.
I don't think anyone should be hired based on race, but they certainly shouldn't be ignored or excluded. By speeding up the process and rushing to a decision this is exactly what happened. Portland State had an opportunity to do the right thing. They should have taken more time and made it a priority to interview the one qualified minority coach on their short list. I asked Coach Glanville what he thought about the process, and would he interview minority coaches for his staff. He said, "I don't see color."
Neither did the selection committee. That's a shame.

Sam Sachs


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