Sometimes rules aimed at one problem make way for a new kind of problem. Under the new rules, only 27 players can be on scholarship and each scholarship must be for at least 25% of the tuition, room and board. Compare that to football where 85 full scholarships are available for about 87 roster spots (active and inactive), or basketball where 13 full scholarships are available for 12-15 roster spots. Which sport would you choose to play if you were a young African-American athlete who could only get a college education through an athletic scholarship?
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I don’t know the best way to address the shrinking population of African American collegiate baseball players, but I do know I was shocked to learn that they made up just 4% of CWS team rosters. Certainly the story would be different if we looked at rosters for teams in BCS bowls or March Madness. What I do know is that L.E.A.D. is an amazing organization making progress in this area, so I encourage you to check out their website and support their efforts or similar efforts in your community.
■ Why is College Baseball so White? Where are Black players in the College World Series? (stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com)
The best young white athletes these days play baseball (and play quarterback in football), because the cost of fielding a traveling team is greater than a team of eight Black kids from the hood.
White families drop big bucks to have their child play traveling baseball, with games all over the country. That gets expensive to follow and support, a cost barrier that single Black females (72 percent of Black children don't have a father living with them) with a net wealth of $5 can't overcome.
This is why baseball is no longer a sport with a big Black presence. It has nothing to do with racism, unless you believe that Nike and Reebok are racist to perceive that only Black kids can play basketball and are worthy of easy exploitation.
Tonight, South Carolina and the University of Florida will compete in game two of the College Baseball World Series. Unlike college football, where 'special admission' status ensures that Black athletes intellectually incapable of gaining acceptance to these schools on their own merit and earn a dubious "academic" scholarship, college baseball is a sport for white people.
Look at any college baseball team and you'll see a reflection of what the university really looks like (both Florida and South Carolina are overwhelmingly white), as opposed to college football and basketball teams that normally have some of the only Black males on the campus playing for them