• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

College Football Dominance Could Shift As Anti-DEI Sentiment Grows

  • The NAACP is now urging Black college athletes to reconsider playing at Florida public colleges.
  • Alabama could be the next state to be affected by the growing issue.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Is the competitive landscape in college football about to change radically due to a new funding provision in Florida higher education? Perhaps, if the NAACP has its way. 

The NAACP is now urging Black college athletes to reconsider playing at public colleges in the Sunshine State following a newly signed bill, championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, that prohibits the use of state funds for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. Several schools, including the University of Florida, North Florida, and Florida International, have closed DEI programs as a result. 

“If any institution is to reap the benefits of Black talent, it is only right that they completely invest in Black futures,” wrote NAACP leaders Leon Russell and Derrick Johnson in a letter to NCAA president Charlie Baker. “This is not simply about sports; it’s about acknowledging and advocating for the rights and supports of Black students within educational environments.”

If the NAACP call for Black players to play elsewhere is heeded in large-scale fashion, that could create seismic shifts among college football’s top teams, as Florida’s public schools have long been dominant forces in the sport.

Though currently trying to reverse losing seasons the last two years, the Gators have won three national titles and posted 13 10-win seasons in the last three decades. The Seminoles, meanwhile, just posted an undefeated regular season, and have two national titles and 16 10-win seasons of their own in that same 30-year span. The University of Central Florida left the AAC and upgraded to the Big 12 last year, while the University of South Florida, meanwhile, is building a new on-campus stadium. 

That success was achieved with rosters heavily made up of Black players. 

“The value Black, and other college athletes bring to large universities is unmatched,” Johnson said. “If these institutions are unable to completely invest in those athletes, it’s time they take their talents elsewhere.”

The NAACP quickly gained support from notable alumni of those Florida public schools. Among those decrying the closing of the DEI programs include former Gators star and Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (above). But the situation might not just be confined to Florida. A similar ban on public funding for DEI programs is developing in Alabama, home to another college football powerhouse with the Crimson Tide, and a bill to do that just passed the Alabama House.

“Although I’m the biggest Bama fan, I have no problem organizing Black parents and athletes to attend other institutions outside the state where diversity and inclusion are prioritized,” said Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin recently.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Caitlin Clark Drives Massive WNBA Draft Audience for ESPN

Clark’s coronation was the most-watched WNBA telecast in decades.

WNBA Draft Fashion Has Come a Long Way From ‘Most Athletic Accountants’ Era

The WNBA draft used to have a strict dress code, a former top pick tells FOS.

Does Golf TV Have A Scottie Scheffler Problem?

Masters ratings were down 20% this year.

O.J. Simpson Lawyer Says He Won’t Shield Estate From Goldman, Brown Families

The executor of Simpson’s will had previously said the Goldmans would get ‘zero.’
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

‘Nothing Is Off the Table’: New AAC Commissioner Isn’t Afraid of the Controversial Ideas

Tim Pernetti told reporters he’s specifically interested in private equity—and didn’t rule out athlete employment or unionization models.
April 10, 2024

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer Retires With ACC Move Looming

She set the all-time coaching record with 1,216 wins.
April 10, 2024

Deion Sanders: NFL Teams Manipulate Draft Positions

Coach Prime joined ‘Front Office Sports Today’ to discuss the state of college football.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 9, 2024

John Calipari’s Kentucky Exit Is As Slow and Awkward As a Dog in a Stroller

Calipari steps away from Kentucky with the Arkansas deal still unofficial.
April 9, 2024

Simultaneous Final Fours: An Untenable Logistical Conundrum

The women’s Final Four has gotten much too big to take place at the exact same time—in a different location—as its men’s counterpart.
April 8, 2024

With Back-To-Back Titles, UConn Proves Basketball Is About More Than Power

Unlike in FBS football, a non-Power 5 basketball school can dominate.
April 8, 2024

South Carolina’s Title Win Smashes Ratings Records in Caitlin Clark’s Finale

The NCAA title game became the most-watched women’s college basketball game.