Straight No Chaser: A True ‘Blackout’

By Desi Cortez
Updated: November 14, 2008

“No participation without representation”.

— Anonymous

DENVER — At some point, and I guess this ain’t it, but the hideously low repugnant number of Black coaches tapped to lead major college football teams becomes insulting, offensive to the teams which are dominated by….Blacks.

Call me crazy, but if a Black man can lead the so-called strongest, fairest nation….., well then of course – a Black man can lead a football team. If the nation can come to grips with a Black man in the White House, then fans and alumni can get over the site of a Black man in the head coaches office…..

If not….. imagine a Saturday in NCAA Football….without Blacks.

There’s no sense in sitting here trying to pound-out the cooked facts and figures – Black men are being denied the opportunity to lead men into battle on the gridiron fields, and this lopsided sorry-ass situation is as old as the dirt-fields in Mississippi stadiums.

And, you and I know why – the old guard, the Anglo-Saxon establishment – is against, as it always has…. integration. There is an element in America which want’s to see all White football teams…..and all Black prisons.

There’s only one answer to this quagmire; all across this racially, politically and economically divided country, Black players, supported by their parents, are going to have to organize and institute a boycott.

If Black men aren’t qualified to lead, then Black boys aren’t dumb enough, greedy enough…. to silently go along any longer. We refuse to fatten the wallets of rednecks who don’t care if Black men are locked out of the Head Coaches office.

The BCA (Black Coaches and Administrators) most recent Hiring Report Card is not one you’d want to bring home to Big Daddy. The only good grades are in the categories which don’t really matter. Yeah sure, colleges are interviewing more applicants-of-color; yet, in the long Elvis Peacock run….they ain’t hiring no Black coaches. Matter-of -factly, more are being fired then hired…..

Ain’t that a bitch.

I’m not going to waste my ink, not going to kill another bird so I can pluck a feather, no I’m not going to waste my time, effort nor mental resources dipping my electronic quill, laying-out the loop-sided facts…

No, instead, I’m merely going to suggest we, as a people, as parents and fans, organize and support some type of meaningful work stoppage, so that we can make our perspective on this F-up situation… heard.

Maybe Black players, nationwide, refuse to participate in those non-league games at the beginning of the ’09 season, in order to shine a spotlight on an aspect of the game which is slighted and dismissed by universities, fans and sports writers as “Well golly-gee, we tried to find a qualified Black applicant… but we just couldn’t.”

“We simply want comfortable with any of the men we brought in. So we decided to go the safe route and we hired Bear Bryant, granted we had to dig him up, but boys’ we just felt like he was the best choice.”

I can’t take it no more.

What must happen to show Black Americans – it’s insulting when 2 or 3 Afro-American men strap on a Head Coach’s head set on Saturday mornings around this land of equality… And what’s more obvious, we’re fools, absolute fools for standing here with some survey in our hands, stating what’s already clear.

Asking, begging, and pleading with the university powers that be, to make it right we’ve got, as Black folks, as Black players and fans ….more power than they do. The Afro-American athlete is the product, the engine which drives the collegiate football machine.

We don’t have to keep quietly playing on in spite of being slighted and marginalized, we’ve got Black Power. Nevertheless we are afraid to use it, perhaps even unaware how and when to use it.

Now is that time and place.

All Black folks must do is….wake-up, stand-up, speak-out, and sit our Black asses down and refuse to be pimped and exploited by institutions of higher learning. Ivy walled schools who do not give a damn if Black athletes get an education while there for 4 or 5 years, and they don’t feel inclined to pacify Black agitators like myself by hiring Black coaches.

Hang on, ponder this for a second. College football is a percurial institution; Black boys, who I’d wager – step thru the Science lab door… academically unprepared to compete and be successful in a college lecture hall, and the university administration knows it.

But that’s all-right in the eyes of the Big 12 or SEC Plantations, they well understand these Negro boys have hand-made – for the school, a endless revenue stream, millions of dollars are generated, poured into other areas of the university. Residual talent which just keep’s toting the rock… all for a dorm room, and a burger from the food court.

According to their GPA’s and graduation rates, they don’t even take up a seat in the class room…. Tain’t dat a bitch…

So, if we peel this funky-ass onion another layer or two… we discover the Black athlete is not exchanging his athletic talents for a sheepskin, no; he’s giving it away for a shot at the NFL/NBA lotto.

Our kids, according to the numbers, far too many aren’t even swapping their skills for a education, they just want a shot at big pimpin’. They just want to get rich, or flunk out trying.

Can it be, and tell me if I’m upside-down, these young cats, and their….young mothers, with a couple of other mouths to feed, aren’t focused on academic programs or the composition of the coaching staff, they just want a stage to showcase their babies talent to the NFL.

We’ve got to get beyond this short term, life ain’t nothing but pussycats and plastic credit cards, and look at the long term reality, 95% of college ballers never, ever strap-on a helmet in the NFL, but they do end up strapping-on a construction helmet…because these young men never received an education.

And apart of the reason for that – a disinterested coaching staff which isn’t concerned with shaping and molding boys into men, as they are winning games.

See the Tyrone Willingham experience at Notre Dame…..

Stop dad, mom, take a long gander at this one, the irony in it all…. The vast majority of colleges don’t really care, (and maybe it’s not their job to) if your grown child desires/obtains a education inside their hallowed walls, and apparently they also don’t care if black folks who pay state taxes, purchase game tickets and school paraphernalia are insulted by the glaring absence of Blacks as head coaches.

No taxation without representation.

Elitist, snobbish higher education is banking on a blind desire to live the fat life, will also blind young Black folks to the importance of an higher education, and, both the fairness and significance of appointing a Black man to lead a team of….Black men into battle.

This issue unto itself represents a valid reason to protest, to fight back. Its flat-out wrong only 4 of a 119 coaches in the big school leagues are Black and no minimizing or rationalizing can justify this reality.

It was wrong 10 years ago, and it’s more wrong today.

Can I leave you with a question? What’s wrong with resurrecting and using Black Power? Why are we so very afraid as Black people to talk about a common purpose, a mutual good, coming together to confront a wide-spread undeniable, barefaced injustice?

What’s wrong with Black people exercising our god given Constitutional right to object to being insulted and wronged? To boycott, to halt our labor efforts, in the face of qualified Blacks being discriminated against…. is a good and righteous fight.

What’s wrong with Black Power?