Every men’s basketball coach in the Pac-12 has signed on to support the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation.
Kentucky’s John Calipari and Harvard’s Tommy Amaker led the national push to establish the initiative designed to give minorities a boost in their career through experience, networking and learning the lessons of McLendon, an African American who coached at five schools between 1940-69.
"In order to advance diversity in sports, it is important we develop minority administrators and leaders who will go on to hire the next generation of college coaches," UO coach Dana Altman said in a statement on behalf of the conference’s coaches. "We are only a small part of what we all hope will become a larger initiative. The Pac-12 coaches are excited to be involved with the McLendon Foundation and to become part of the solution."
All 12 head coaches made a four-year commitment to provide funding for the program that will establish "athletics administration educational experiences for minority candidates on each Pac-12 campus," according to a news release from the conference. The coaches will serves as ambassadors and mentors to the participants.
"The MLI is about access and opportunity: real-world experience and networking platforms designed to elevate talented young women and men of color who have previously been ignored by a system that lacks diversity and inclusion," Calipari said in a statement.
OSU creates Dam Change
A group of Oregon State athletes have created Dam Change, a program designed to "bring awareness regarding the issues of systemic racism in today’s society," according to a news release from the school.
Some of the plans for the program include mandatory social justice education for staff and coaches, forums for athletes to discuss what Black athletes face, voter education, a greater emphasis on Black History Month and an internship program for minority student-athletes seeking a career in collegiate athletics.
"I feel this program is exactly what we need on our campus," OSU volleyball player Nya Buckner said. "The goal is to give a voice to Black student-athletes and let people know racism is real and it exists everywhere. Corvallis and OSU are not exempt from it, but we can be the ones to make a difference. We want the Black student experience at OSU to be better, not only for us, but for those who come after us."