|Sports fans high on the opium of college football with this decision|
To test whether employers might discriminate against job applicants with black-sounding names, associate professors of economics Marianne Bertrand with Chicago's Graduate School of Business and Sendhil Mullainathan with MIT conducted an elaborate experiment. They fabricated resumes for multiple "phantom" job seekers with common black and white names. The professors then sent out nearly 5,000 resumes for 1,300 job openings advertised in newspapers and on online job sites throughout Chicago and Boston…
The results are a bit disturbing, the researchers admit. Applicants with white-sounding names were 50 percent more likely to be contacted for job interviews than those with typical black names. There were no significant differences between the rates at which men and women were contacted.
A college football coach from USC visits Ricky one night for an interview; Brenda kicks Doughboy and his friends out onto the porch where they discuss first college, then girls. Meanwhile, the coach promises Ricky an athletic scholarship at USC if he earns a minimum SAT score of 700. Ricky struggles during the test, looking often at Tré for help, and seems unsure of passing. Later that day, Furious tells the boys that the English section of the test is culturally biased and only the math is fair.
As Tré walks home, he looks back just in time to see Ferris and his friends pull out in front of Ricky. Warned by a frantic Tré, Ricky attempts to run from them, but is gunned down with a double-barreled shotgun. Doughboy and his friends soon pull up to find Tré crying over Ricky's dead body. They bring Ricky's blood-soaked body home in Doughboy's car. Brenda immediately blames Doughboy, who tries to comfort her but is rebuffed; he then attempts to remove Ricky's son from the room where his father lies dead. Later that night, Brenda sobs over Ricky's test results, discovering he earned a 710, just enough to qualify for the scholarship.
According to the 1990 Knight Foundation Report, 86.5% of the football and basketball players who have been affected by Prop 48 during the last three years are black. For the most part, these athletes have been unfairly labeled as intellectually inferior. Yet behind every Prop 48 athlete, there is a story, one that too often goes undiscovered.
Few rules in sports history have triggered more fiery debate than the NCAA legislation that was born in 1983 as Proposition 48 and was struck down last week as an example of racial bias. Designed to raise graduation rates among college athletes, Prop 48 and its '92 successor, Proposition 16, required incoming freshmen to meet academic standards—including minimum scores on the SAT or the ACT—to play sports their first year.
The rule's demands became part of college sports shorthand. Athletes who failed to meet the minimums were called Prop 48s. Recruits were divided into those who "had the score" of 700 on the SAT and those who fell short The stakes got higher when Prop 16 lifted the bar by imposing a sliding scale requiring recruits with a 2.5 grade point average in high school core courses to score at least 820 on the SAT and those with a 2.0 to score at least 1010.
Critics said the requirements discriminated against minority students, and on March 8 judge Ronald Buckwalter of the U.S. district court in Philadelphia agreed. In a case brought by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice on behalf of two athletes ruled ineligible under Prop 16, Buckwalter wrote that the NCAA's use of the SAT and ACT had an "unjustified" impact on black students. In the opinion Buckwalter cited evidence showing that 21.4% of black students who applied for Division I eligibility in 1997 failed to meet Prop 16 standards, compared to 4.2% of white students…
Props 48 and 16 weren't all bad. "They pushed marginal athletes to work harder in the classroom," says Lee Boyko, basketball coach at Rich Central, a predominantly black high school in suburban Chicago. The late Arthur Ashe also supported high standards for athletes. "Black educators were incensed," Ashe said of Prop 48's minimums. "I was incensed that they were incensed. They should have complained that the number wasn't higher.”