The largest non-white minority at BYU are Polynesians. It seems like BYU has made much progress with regards to race, hiring the first Tongan football coach in the NCAA, but as mentioned in a previous post, BYU has the worst black graduation rate in the NCAA. Dr. Darron Smith of the University of Memphis talks about Polynesians, and what can be done to better help black athletes.
Darron: Another thing. BYU if you’re listening to me, please hear me on this one. You have the Marriott School of Business here, one of the best business schools in the country! Why not have a career day for these athletes, the ones that you know may not finish their degree, or may not go to the league? They need a job. Why not use your resources at the Marriott School to imbue these young men with a potential job? The church is well-connected business-wise, in terms of its business connections. So much more can be done for these young men who need that kind of help.
Darron: This is also not also a slam on the church. I want to be clear about that too. I’m not hating on the church. I want to make sure that people know this is a scholarly exercise for me. I happen to be a member of the church. This is very interesting to me to want to know how we treat people who are not a member of our faith, who are not the same religion, who are not the same race and have the same background, class-oriented background because most of these young men come from urban America. They come from inner-city communities where most of them, at least the ones that I interviewed for this particular book, and then the article that Luke and I did come from broken homes.
What do you think of Smith’s points?