Dr. Billy Hawkins, University of Georgia
Excerpts from the forthcoming book – The New Plantation: The Internal Colonization of Black Male Athletes
It should not take a long stretch of the imagination to see how Black male athletes contribute significantly to the athletic labor class at predominantly White National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Institutions (PWI’s); thus, to the overall bottom-line of the revenue generated. Their presence as starters and their representation on the top football and basketball programs in the country speak volumes to PWI’s need for Black male athletes. Tables 1 &2 illustrate the contribution Black male athletes make for some of the top athletic programs in the nation.
Within this current economic configuration, another area to consider is the contribution Black male athletes are making towards “Title IX sports”: those sports that are added to meet gender equity requirements, which undoubtedly are played mostly by White women (e.g. rifle, golf, equestrian, rowing, bowling, and lacrosse). According to Welch Suggs:
…Only 2.7 percent of women receiving scholarships to play all other sports at predominantly white colleges in Division I are black. Yet those are precisely the sports – golf, lacrosse, and soccer, as well as rowing – that colleges have been adding to comply with Title IX.
Therefore, since Title IX has provided very limited opportunity for Black females but additional opportunities for White women to compete and Black male athletes make-up the greater percentage of the revenue generating sports that contribute to athletic departments’ revenue, and thus their ability to support these additional sports, a reoccurring historical relationship between the White female and Black male has been resurrected. I refer to this contribution and connection as the “Driving Miss Daisy” syndrome.