Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News writes that the time has come for Alabama, which fired Mark Gottfried last week, to end this embarrassing coaching blemish:
"In the SEC, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt have never had a black head coach in either sport. Basketball powers Duke and North Carolina have been all white in the ACC. Illinois and Purdue have never had a major black head coach in the Big Ten.
"Within Big East football, Connecticut, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia have had only whites coaching the big two. The same is true of Kansas, Texas, Nebraska and Texas Tech in the Big 12. Only the Pac-10 can claim at least one black head coach in a major sport for every school. (Throw in Notre Dame as an independent with a black head coach.)"
Solomon adds: "This doesn't mean these schools are racist, although racial overtones have probably played a factor over the years. Nor does it mean they should hire a black coach for the sake of being politically correct, thus ignoring experience, coaching ability and the unique challenges of each school.
"What it means is that in the most visible college sports, where more than half the players in each game are black, the faces of many coaches don't match the faces of many players. And that's an issue that can't be ignored."