<
>

NFLPA best among the pro players unions reviewed

ORLANDO, Fla. — Racial diversity within NFL coaching staffs
and front offices is improving while its players' union continued
to excel, according to a University of Central Florida study.

Richard Lapchick of UCF's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in
Sport gave the NFL grades of B for race and a D-plus for gender,
although the league has a higher percentage of woman executives at
the very top than the other major men's sports leagues. Two years
ago, those grades were, B-minus and D-minus.

The NFLPA maintained A-pluses for race and gender, the best
among the professional players unions reviewed. Almost two-thirds
of the positions on the NFLPA's board were occupied by blacks, led
by executive director Gene Upshaw.

That figure is in line with the racial makeup of league's
players, 69 percent of whom are black.

The study was released Tuesday.

In 2002, the NFL enacted a policy requiring teams searching for
a head coach to interview at least one minority candidate. The next
year the Detroit Lions were fined $200,000 for failing to comply
before hiring Steve Mariucci.

At the time there were two black head coaches. There are now
six.

The NFL got an A-plus at the assistant coach level

Last season, 30 percent of the league's assistants were black,
with 12 black coordinators. Three teams had women serving as
president/chief executive officer. At 9 percent, that led pro
sports.