here's the roster.
too bad they couldn't get the one minority to join the rest of the team in the white polo shirts. I could see how this would offend some people (unnecessarily of course).
edit: just use this link, for some reason its trying to download the image...
Last edited by tombrady; 07-03-2007 at 10:09 AM.
One of the problems in getting blacks into college baseball is that baseball is limited by the NCAA to 11.7 scholarships, despite having rosters of 25 or more. Consequently, wanting to have a roster filled with mostly scholarship players, coaches tend to focus their recruiting efforts on kids whose parents can afford to pay part of the tuition. Hence, their efforts are directed mainly at the white suburbs. Seems nuts that baseball is allowed fewer scholarships than women's basketball and volleyball, where rosters top out at 15.
-Jason "as an aside, I looked at Duke's roster and we appear just as pale as UNC" Evans
Let me throw in my two cents from a couple of perspectives.
First, I've known Mike Fox since he was in Rocky Mount. The idea that he would let race play a factor in who he does and does not recruit is preposterous. And profoundly offensive.
Second, I've umpired amateur baseball in the Triangle for years at high school and lower levels. The simple fact of the matter is that there just aren't a lot of African American players. It's not at all unusual to see games where neither team has a single black player.
Anyone who follows baseball knows that the decline of minority participation in American baseball has been the source of much hand-wringing. Maybe it's an urban/sub-urban thing, maybe it's economics, or maybe African Americans simply find baseball less interesting than football or basketball. The debate continues. But to imply that UNC is somehow part of some kind of racist plot is one of the more moronic things I've come across in some time.
They were the 2nd best baseball team in America. Obviously Fox is doing something right with his recruiting selections. Their performance to me would suggest that the team make-up is fine and certainly not racially motivated.
Nobody complains about the racial disparity on the elite basketball and football teams in the NCAA. For example, Memphis was a final eight team last year had no scholarship white players.
The issue with baseball and race, particularly among young black players has less to do with some racist conspiracy (be it white, asian or latin) and more to do with young black athletes just don't seem as interested in it.
and this author should be applauded for raising this issue to the level of public discourse, especially as it relates to college athletics, and he probably would have been lauded, right up to the point where he alleges that UNC has some policy of reverse affirmative action for its basketball program.
Unfortunately a silly throw away line totally discredits the author.
I was deeply involved with youth baseball in our city for over ten years. We made a concentrated effort every winter and early spring to encourage African American youngsters to join our youth baseball leagues and we were not very successful. We spread the word during youth basketball games and practices, at rec centers and through a network of volunteers who work with youth and nothing seemed to work. My experience was that it took an interested parent or relative to get the kids out to the fields and there simply weren't enough of those. This experience translates to the local high school where basketball and football were overwhelmingly African American, whereas, baseball, lacrosse, rowing and swimming were nearly all white. The only integrated sports when my boys attended were track and soccer. I suspect that this is played out in many communities.
Toward the end of May, NYTimes columnist William Rhoden weighed in on this very issue:
Baseball in the United States remains an enclave primarily for white athletes; a confluence of factors, like segregated housing patterns and economics, conspire to keep it that way.
The most striking example of this disparity is not at the major league level. The real divide is at baseball's entry level, in Little League and thousands of youth leagues across the nation.
For ages 9 to 12, the various local leagues -- like Harlem Little League; Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities, know as the R.B.I. program; and the Little League Urban Initiative -- can fill in the gaps.
Many potential African-American players leave the game at 13, when it becomes too expensive.
''We're good up to age 12,'' said Morris McWilliams, a former manager in the Harlem Little League. ''There can be an economic drop-off for a lot more players than you know about.''
College baseball, unlike football and basketball, does not have a full complement of scholarships, McWilliams said. Recruits often must pay part of the tuition, he said.
At 13, Julian McWilliams played with the New York Gothams, an elite travel organization. Three years later, his father moved him to his current team, the New York Nines, an even more selective team and part of an organization run by baseball scouts. Julian is the only African-American on his team. The fees for all this can range from $1,000 to $2,000 a season, a modest amount for some but an unspeakable amount for others who simply fold the tent and call it a career.
To drive home the point, however (and to emphasize the ridiculousness of the letter-writer's assertion), I'd like to quote from a news article from a 2005 edition of the New York Times entitled, "In College, Black Ballplayers Often Stand Alone."
The number of African-Americans in major league baseball continues to drop, and a similar decline is occurring at the college level. Tommy Harmon, the Texas associate head coach who is in charge of recruiting, said that when he drove past baseball fields where youth teams were playing, ''I see predominantly white teams.''
That is what Harmon is seeing in Omaha, too. The four universities that advanced the furthest in the College World Series -- Texas, Florida, Arizona State and Baylor -- had four African-American players among them. Two play for the Gators: Dickey and the freshman Bryson Barber, a backup catcher and infielder. The other two were Michael Griffin, Baylor's starting second baseman, and Calvin Beamon, a reserve outfielder for Texas. Arizona State, where Barry Bonds and Reggie Jackson played ball, had no African-Americans on its roster.
Recruiting coordinators say the major league draft, for which high school seniors are eligible, and the greater number of full scholarships available in football and basketball are robbing baseball of potential players. Harmon says he sees plenty of African-American prospects in events like the annual Area Code Games in California who never make it to campus. ''I think it's more the draft than the scholarships,'' he said.
But Ross Jones, the Florida assistant in charge of recruiting, said he could triple the number of African-American players on his roster within 10 years if he had more scholarships.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association limits each college to the equivalent of 11.7 full scholarships in baseball, spread among as many as 35 players, and Jones says athletes interested in baseball have little interest in partial scholarships.
The real issue is, the money to be made in professional rowing just isn't what it used to be...
When I was rowing against them, Anacostia HS in DC and TC Williams HS in Arlington ("Remember the Titans"?) usually had fairly diverse crews.
But all this talk about this being completely ridiculous as if North Carolinians are incapable of racism is absurd. Dude, go look at your RECENT history. Blacks have been allowed to attend Duke University for roughly 40 years or so.
You think all those racists just died off? People are suspicious of these trends with good reason. The sudden rush of a number of you to get your jabs in, to call out these unfair, supposed mischaracterizations truly speak to the problem at hand.
UNC may have a commendable record with regard to racial integration in the latter part of the 20th century. But you can go ask 50, 60 and 70 year old African Americans about how good the Tar Hells and the state of North Carolina have been to them throughout the 1900s.
Ask yourself, why so quick to backlash. You can't wait to go and type the retort to some random dude posting in some random paper, can you?
Clearly there are multiple reasons for the decline in the number of African-Americans playing baseball (at all levels). But the reason there are a limited number of scholarships for most D-I baseball teams is Title IX. There have to be fully stocked scholarships for many women's sports (volleyball, etc.) whereas men's sports outside of football and basketball are not fully scholarshipped (is that a word?). I doubt that most 7- and 8-year old African-American boys are thinking that they have a lesser chance of gaining a scholarship in baseball, however, there are less baseball scholarships to go around and coaches are forced to find talented players who can pay their own way. This is in some way an unintended consequence of Title IX. I'm not suggesting that Title IX is bad, just that this may be something that is going on.
I think Title IX is very much part of the problem, both in setting the original limitation on number of baseball scholarships, and currently in providing pressure against expanding the limit. Even if the NCAA allowed more baseball scholarships, most schools would likely be reluctant to increase the number for fear of running afoul of the proportionality requirements of men and women's scholarships imposed by Title IX. Add a handful of baseball scholarships, and you might find yourself dragged into court.
Such considerations can reach the point of absurdity. As one example, several affluent alums of the defunct Princeton wrestling team wanted to revive the team, funded entirely by a trust fund that they would establish. Though it wouldn't cost the university a dime, the proposal was rejected because it would upset proportionality and possibly expose the university to a lawsuit.
College baseball has been growing in popularity, and at many schools has become a revenue sport. I believe quite a few schools would provide more scholarships if allowed to. And I do believe African-American participation in the sport would rise somewhat to meet the expanded demand for scholarship-worthy talent. It's really a shame that, for various reasons, talented black athletes are having this avenue closed off. For the most part, major league baseball is a much sweeter deal than the NFL because of guaranteed contracts and less abuse of the body.
I understand what you're saying, but I simply don't see any movement at the youth level in baseball where fundamentals are taught, ingrained, and I certainly don't see any compassion, whatsoever, with it being pushed where I live in the AA community. I actually think it's a non-thought. Noone cares as far as I can see. So why must it be pushed? Shouldn't be, IMO. I'm comfortable with kids choosing in which sports they want to particpate? I actually went out to my local golf course Monday, my day off, and practiced for a bit; there was a junior tourney going on, kids between 8 and 16, and there were plenty of ethnicities represented. I was impressed. I thought it was cool to see. Maybe Tiger has had alot to do with this, hard to tell. Maybe Serena and Venus have had a ton to do with tennis. Kinda early to tell.
Baseball's been so incredibly influenced by Latinos that AA players and the rest are at a distinct disadvantage, IMO. To me, it's not dissimilar to where the US stands in soccer; many countries have been way ahead of us for a long time and we're trying to catch up. In the US we've watered down our kids with them having played multiple sports during crucial developmental stages in their athletic lives. I see that as being from ages 8-16, not focusing solely on one sport. Good athletes, but not great athletes at one focused sport. I gave up my other sports at 16 and focused on one.
I also question the passion most kids have for sports in this country, especially given all the distractions we have with video games and anything else available; many of our kids are spoiled and too content to want to do what's necessary to get to the next level or the one beyond that. Again, my opinion. It's easier to be hungry if you really are hungry.
My twin boys, 8 today, were given a Wii, for their birthday. I'll have to continue to get them to go outside to play catch, and hit, and.....ride their bikes, etc, etc.
Things have changed alot since I was a kid, obviously. Fundamentals are so important, though. Geez, sorry to lecture any, I'm just trying to make what I think is the whole point of this discussion.
Too many distractions for lots of our kids and a totally different focus for other kids in the US that simply choose sports other than baseball.
Longest post for me in years.
Last edited by duketaylor; 07-03-2007 at 10:07 PM.
Do you actually watch college baseball? The number of African American players is down everywhere. As it is with high school, American Legion, Little League, etc. Now we can believe that everyone associated with baseball is a racist or we can believe that the reality of declining African American participation in baseball is a complicated situation with lots of causes. Pretty easy choice in my opinion.
No rational person would deny that racism still exists in American life. But I'm pretty sure the folks who kept North Carolina segregated fifty years ago aren't running things anymore. Most of them are dead.
And I would bet my mortgage that Mike Fox and his assistants have never had a discussion where they decided not to recruit a talented player because he was African American.
Let us know when you've found the UNC administrator with 45 years of tenure in their position who has been holding back minorities from being offered spots on the baseball team.