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Where are the Latino Athletes in Colleges and High Schools?

You can also ask: Where are the Latino coaches?

Latino athleticism has exploded in Philadelphia. Over in Coatesville, PA, Coach Matt Ortega and his son Ricky Ortega, a quarterback at the Coatesville Area High School, led their team to victory against the Red Raiders back in November. During their 38-19 win, Ricky made his 100th touchdown while Coach Matt also reached an important milestone in his life.  

After the father and son embraced, Ricky and his fellow teammates doused his father with a bucket of cold water in the rainy weather. The team also waved around T-shirts that features Coach Matt’s face with the phrase, “100 wins. Can’t touch this.” The Ortegas have become a father-son celebrity duo in their town. They’re the first of Latin American descent to win a Pennsylvania state football championship.

This is a big deal since Latinos are severely underrepresented in all aspects of college sports across the country. This comes in lieu of the Racial and Gender Report Card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. College sports has received a grade of C+. There hasn’t been an increase of diversity in college sports between 2017 and 2018. Leadership positions also fail to reflect the diversity of their students and athletes. Racial hiring received a grade of B- while gender hiring stays the same at C+.

There are more men coaching women’s sports than there with women coaching men’s sports. There are hardly any women coaching men’s basketball. Forty-three percent of students in women’s basketball are reported to be African American. But only 11.9% of coaches were African American women.

This is a stark contrast to 22.4% of African American coaches in the male division of college basketball. This is down from the high of 25.2% reported during the years of 2005 to 2006. Another reporting found that African American students comprised of 53.6% of layers in the men’s division of college basketball. While playing online games on mobile phone like Fanduel app has increased little bit than previous year.

When it comes to college football, 100% of coaches are predominantly white and male. There has only been one white female coach. During Division I and HBCU conferences, 28 out of 30 commissioners were white men. Colleges and universities have shifted most of their focus on creating winning teams rather than building diverse teams. They’re hoping that millennials will help promote diversity in athletic departments and offices.

This lack of diversity has also trickled into high schools. Only 28% of Hispanic coaches lead some of the state’s 253 high schools, while 50.6% of those students in those schools were Hispanic, according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. This lack of diversity is due to several factors such as immigrants being less familiar with American sports. Discrimination is also the reason for the lack of Latino athletes in basketball and football.

As for Coach Matt Ortega, he wants to continue to embrace diversity in his school. It’s one of the reasons why he traveled to Coatesville to teach. He wants to continue to lead that diversity. His youngest son, Aaron, has become Coatesville’s famous running back and hopes to play at Michigan State next year.

It’s up to students and their parents to voice their opinions on diversity and inclusion to their colleges and high schools. The athletic departments need to be aware on the issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. While they want to build strong teams, they should also promote a more diverse workplace within the athletic department.

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