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How do Minorities fare at BYU?

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.

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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?

Looking at How BYU Treats Minorities

 

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Comparing BYU’s Black Graduation Rates

Many college athletes, especially black athletes, are unprepared for college.  In this episode, we’ll talk to Dr Darron Smith of the University of Memphis to see how BYU’s graduation rate for black students compares to other colleges.  I think the answer may surprise you.  Dr. Smith says,

Vanderbilt has a very high GSR score, the Graduation Student Record.  So basically when a student graduates from college, the university guarantees a student will graduate within a six year period after they have finished their years of eligibility.  In this situation the students there have a much higher GSR, they graduate because the mission of Vanderbilt is education, not football.  It’s why they don’t do very well.  Occasionally they’ll do ok in basketball.  Occasionally you have a fluke year where they’ll have a decent team.  Generally Vanderbilt, when I was there in Nashville as a youth, they never did well because that wasn’t their mission.  Their mission was education.

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[BYU has] The lowest [black graduation rate] in the state?  I was surprised to see that, very surprised to see that.  The data, all of that data, plus the GSR scores, the story is becoming clearer.

Check out the video, audio, or transcripts.

Black Graduation Rates at BYU

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Disparities in Black/White Discipline

Many athletes run afoul of the law, and in BYU’s case, a much stricter Honor Code than at other schools.  Some schools are too lenient, some are too strong.  How does BYU compare, especially among black athletes?  Dr. Darron Smith of the University of Memphis shares his thoughts on a white player at Duke University, Grayson Allen, and a black player at BYU, Brandon Davies:

I think Coach K is trying to win basketball games.  He’s not interested in the moral underpinnings of decisions like the BYU thing, but he’s trying to win ballgames.

While many have criticized Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski for his lenient treatment of Allen, BYU was praised by national sports commentator Jim Rome, who was impressed with BYU’s decision to suspend Brandon Davies from the basketball team, despite BYU’s great season and run into the NCAA basketball tournament.  But Smith didn’t agree with Rome’s assessment.

I don’t think Jim Rome understands the context.  I don’t think he understands.  He is just looking at an incident, an isolated incident.  He doesn’t understand the deeper meaning behind it.  It was spoken out of context.  It was spoken foolishly without understanding the particulars behind this.

Brandon was treated differently than most players, in that he wasn’t kicked off entirely like other players who were non-Mormon were.  He got that courtesy extended to him, but the way he was paraded around and made the scapegoat and to me I know that had an effect on him, to be the whipping boy because there’s already a stigma around black people and sex.  Now he’s the poster boy for inappropriate sexual relations as a Mormon.  I know he’s carrying that stigma.

What do you think?  Is Duke too lenient?  Is BYU too strict?  Are both schools deserving of praise or criticism?

Check out our video below, audio above, or transcript here.

Disparities in Black & White Discipline