The Relationship Between Racial Diversity and Winning Percentage: A Study of Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams and Coaching Staffs in the Atlantic Coast Conference From 2005-2009

Submitted by Craig T. Bogar, Ed.D.

ABSTRACT
Much attention has been devoted to the need for and importance of racial diversity in society. Studies have been conducted in business and industry which indicate that racial diversity is a positive attribute that contributes to success and positive performance. In intercollegiate athletics, racial diversity has been lauded as a desirable goal to be achieved (Chang, 1999; Cunningham and Fink, 2006).

The purpose of this study was to examine racial diversity as it affects team performance with respect to men’s and women’s basketball teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and their respective coaching staffs between the years 2005 and 2009. The race of each player and coach in the study was determined by an examination of online media guide photos. This system of identification was used by Yetman and Berghorn (1993), Bodvarsson & Banaian (1998), Timmerman (2000), and Weiss and Sommers and (2008). The Hefindahl-Hirschman index (HHI), a common measure used in studies of industrial concentration and market structure was employed as a statistical model. The HHI was used by Weiss and Sommers (2008) in their study of racial diversity and winning in the National Basketball Association. The HHI measures the homogeneity of a population and accordingly, the lower the HHI score, the more heterogeneous the population becomes.

The findings of this study indicated that while there was not a significant relationship between coaching staffs and winning percentage, there was a trend demonstrated between women’s teams and winning percentage. A significant relationship was found, however, between men’s teams and winning percentage, with respect to racial diversity.

It is critical that administrators and the NCAA understand that the values of diversity must be applied to all segments of athletic departments, including the student-athletes. Accordingly, athletics administrators and coaches should consider the benefits of not only having a diverse staff of employees but also a diverse and inclusive population of student-athletes as members of the teams which represent their institutions.

INTRODUCTION
Much attention has been devoted to the need for and importance of racial diversity in society. Studies have been conducted in business and industry which indicate that racial diversity is a positive attribute that contributes to success and positive performance. In intercollegiate athletics, racial diversity has been lauded as a desirable goal to be achieved (Chang, 1999; Cunningham and Fink, 2006).

The purpose of this study was to examine racial diversity as it affects team performance with respect to men’s and women’s basketball teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and their respective coaching staffs between the years 2005 and 2009. The race of each player and coach in the study was determined by an examination of black and white online media guide photos. This system of identification was used by Yetman and Berghorn (1993), Bodvarsson & Banaian (1998), Timmerman (2000), and Weiss and Sommers and (2008). The Hefindahl-Hirschman index (HHI), a common measure used in studies of industrial concentration and market structure was employed as a statistical model. The HHI was used by Weiss and Sommers (2008) in their study of racial diversity and winning in the National Basketball Association. The HHI measures the homogeneity of a population and accordingly, the lower the HHI score, the more heterogeneous the population becomes.

Racial diversity is defined as the inclusion of people of different races or a mixture of items characterized by differences and similarities (Cunningham & Fink, 2006). The term is commonly described as the representation of different races and cultures. Many resources are currently being allocated to organizations that promote the many positives of having a racially diverse company, organization, club, coaching staff, or educational institution. For instance, the NCAA maintains a department of diversity and inclusion. Texas A&M University has a Laboratory for Diversity in Sport, and the University of Central Florida maintains the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. Each of these organizations conducts research and promote diversity as a tool with which to “enhance learning, productivity and retention” (NCAA, 2010). In addition, there are numerous athletic departments that maintain offices of diversity and inclusion, such as the University of Wisconsin, Madison (Tiedt, D., Warren, B., & Frazier, S., 2010).

The issue of racial diversity, however, has also been provocative, especially regarding the issue of affirmative action. In the area of college admissions, affirmative action was challenged in 1978, in the Supreme Court case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. The Court ruled that race as a factor in college admissions is permissible (Chang, 1999). According to Chang (1999), Supreme Court Justice Powell “held that securing the educational benefits that flow from an ethnically diverse student body in higher education is a compelling interest that can constitutionally support race-based actions” (p. 377). Recent legal rulings have weakened the Bakke decision however, as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Hopwood v. State of Texas, held unconstitutional the affirmative action admissions program at the University of Texas’s School of Law, thereby rejecting the premise that promoting diversity is a compelling educational interest (Chang, 1999).

Research has also been conducted with respect to the effects of racial diversity on sport performance (Timmerman, 2000; Bailey, 2005; Weiss and Sommers, 2008). In these studies, racial diversity has been correlated against many variables such as emotional conflict, task orientation and team winning percentage. Timmerman (2000) examined the effects of racial and age diversity on the performance of professional baseball and basketball teams, with respect to task performance. Weiss & Sommers (2008) investigated whether the potential of cross-groups effects due to team diversity could be overcome by the necessary cooperation inherent in team sports. Bailey (2005) investigated the potential contributions that physical education and sport can make towards social inclusion and social capital.

Research has also been conducted with respect to the effects of diversity in business and management, which have implications in the business of sport (Kilduff, Angelman & Mehta, 2000; Hambrick, Cho & Chen,1996; Tsui, Egan, & O’Reilly,1992; Staples & Zhao, 2006). Kilduff, et al. (2000) examined the relationship between demographic and cognitive team diversity and how these two types of diversity influence firm performance. It was found that there was no evidence for an effect of demographic diversity on measures of cognitive diversity in decision making. It was also discovered that diversity may lower psychological attachment and lead to less frequent and less effective communication with fellow workers (Kilduff, et al.). Hambrick, Cho & Chen (1996) studied the airline industry with respect to the value of heterogeneity of top management and its effect on competitive behaviors and a firm’s performance. It was found that the teams that were diverse, in terms of functional background, education and company tenure, exhibited a greater propensity for action and all three types of heterogeneity were positively associated with performance improvement (Hambrick, et al.). Tsui, Egan, & O’Reilly (1992) examined 151 work units within three organizations with respect to the use of self-categorization theory and organizational attachment. It was concluded that individual interactions among group members are important among those who are demographically different and that the negative effects of heterogeneous groups should be reduced (Tsui, et al.). Staples & Zhao (2006) examined the effect of cultural diversity on team effectiveness vis-à-vis teams working face-to-face on a desert survival task, in a virtual environment. Their results suggested that heterogeneous teams were less satisfied and cohesive and had more conflict than the homogeneous teams (Staples & Zhao, 2006).

Many institutions currently have diversity plans in place and some schools, such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan, have had diversity plans in place since the 1980’s. Generally speaking, diversity plans cover an array of topics such as mission statements, goal setting, strategic planning and research. The NCAA maintains an Office of Diversity and Inclusion that offers a plethora of diversity related opportunities and programs, such as NCAA Convention presentations related to diversity, professional development for coaches and athletic administrators, and an ethnic minority and women’s internship grant program. In addition, the organization offers postgraduate scholarships, reports and publications and a number of links to gender equity and Title IX (NCAA, 2009). Many intercollegiate athletics conferences have diversity plans in place and expect member institutions to abide by conference diversity objectives. Typical conference diversity plans include the mandating of diversity programs (Northeast Conference, 2010).

Procedure for the collection of data
A number of methods were attempted by which to obtain data for this study. Among those methods were: NCAA Division I Federal Graduation-Rate School Data, rosters provided by athletic department officials and media guide photos of players on men’s and women’s basketball teams and their respective coaching staffs from all twelve institutions from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) from the academic years 2005-06 to 2008-09. Data also included team records for each season in the study.

The researcher chose the ACC due to the fact that it is a Division I conference that sponsors both men’s and women’s basketball, and covers a wide geographic area. The member institutions of the ACC include: Boston College, Clemson University, Duke University, Florida State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland, the University of Miami, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Wake Forest University.

Pilot Study
A pilot study was conducted to test the data collection procedures, content validity, and the statistical model. Data from two teams were utilized; the web site of the 2007-2008 Michigan State men’s basketball team and the web site of the 2007-2008 University of Illinois women’s basketball team.

In order to establish content validity, copies of the pilot study’s TV/Radio spot charts with black and white photos were distributed to fifteen people. Respondents were obtained from a convenient sampling of the United States Sports Academy faculty and staff, the University of South Alabama Baldwin County faculty and staff, and randomly selected residents of Spanish Fort, Alabama. Respondents were asked to identify the race of each player from the following categories: Asian, Black, Hispanic, Multiracial, Native American, and White. The results of the three groups were tabulated and compared with the researcher’s prior identification of the players and coaches. A 91% match of the pilot study responses with the researcher’s rating of men’s teams was found and a 93% match with the researcher’s ratings of women’s teams was found.
The winning percentage for the season for each team was then calculated as well as the number of players and coaches by race. The HHI, as calculated for the 2007-2008 Michigan State’s men’s team was.504, its coaching staff, .626, with a winning percentage of 61%. The HHI for the 2007-2008 University of Illinois women’s team was calculated as .540, its coaching staff, a .500, and a winning percentage of 57%.

Interrater Reliability Study
An additional method of establishing interrater reliability was conducted. The researcher chose 10% of the sample population and asked Dr. Richard Lapchick if an associate of his would rate the sample population. The ratings of the UCF staff member would then be compared with the researcher’s ratings to further establish interrater reliability. An interrater reliability analysis using the Cohen’s Kappa statistic was performed to determine consistency between the researcher and the associate on rating a sample population by examining online media guide photos. Of the 153 online media guide black and white photos examined, there was a match of 152 observations. The interrater reliability for the raters was found to be Kappa = 0.986 (p <.0.01), 95% CI (0.959, 1.000). Statistical Model
The Hefindahl-Hirschman index (HHI), a common measure used in studies of industrial concentration and market structure was employed as a statistical model. Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and state attorneys general have used the HHI to measure market concentration for purposes of antitrust enforcement. The HHI of a market is calculated by summing the squares of the percentage market shares held by the respective firms (Chin, 2009). Hannan (1999) defines the HHI as “the summation of squared market shares of all firms in a market, the index increases in value as the shares of firms in the market become more unequal or all the number of firms in the market decreases” (p. 23).

Weiss & Sommers (2009) used the formula: Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.26.44 PM where Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.27.37 PM is the fraction of team players who belong to a racial or demographic group and i represents races (Weiss & Sommers 2008). The groups for this study include: Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and Multiracial (two or more races). All players on each team roster were included for analysis. The HHI will have a value of 1. 0 when all players are of the same race.
For each of the last four seasons (2005-06 through 2008-09) a team’s winning percentage was correlated with HHI for team members. Similarly, the team’s winning percentage was correlated with the HHI of each coaching staff.

Results
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between racial diversity and winning percentage of men’s and women’s basketball teams and their respective coaching staffs in the Atlantic Coast Conference from the 2005-06 season to the 2008-2009 season.

The race of each player and coach in the study was determined by an examination of online media guide photos. This system of identification was used by Yetman and Berghorn (1993), Bodvarsson & Banaian (1998), Timmerman (2000), and Weiss and Sommers (2009). In addition, this system of identification was recommended by Dr. Richard Lapchick, executive director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, was pilot tested, and was tested for interrater reliability.

The Hefindahl-Hirschman index (HHI), a common measure used in studies of industrial concentration and market structure was employed as a statistical model. The HHI measures the homogeneity of a population and accordingly, the lower the HHI score, the more heterogeneous the population becomes. The HHI was used by Weiss and Sommers (2008) in their study of racial diversity and winning in the NBA.

Research Hypothesis 1: There was a relationship between the diversity score and winning percentage among men’s basketball teams in the ACC between the years 2005-2009.

Table 1: Correlation of HHI with Winning Percentage – Men’s Teams – Players

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.29.35 PM

Table 1 presents the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient that was calculated between winning percentage and the HHI for the players on men’s teams. Racial data, from which the HII was calculated, are shown in Appendix F. The correlation was negative and significant, r(46)= -.54, p<.01. Winning percentage increased as HHI decreased. A scatter plot of the data is presented in Figure 1. The range of winning percentage scores was .36 to .92. The range of HHI scores was 0.50 to 1.00. Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.30.09 PM

Figure 1. Scatter Plot of HHI v. Winning Percentage – Men’s Teams – Players

Research Hypothesis 2: There was a relationship between the diversity score and winning percentage among women’s basketball teams in the ACC between the years 2005-2009

Table 2: Correlation of HHI with Winning Percentage – Women’s Teams – Players

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.31.21 PM

Table 2 presents the Pearson product-moment correlation that was calculated between winning percentage and the HHI for the players on women’s teams. The correlation was negative but not significant, r (46) = -.10, p =.50. A scatter plot of the data is presented in Figure 2. The range of winning percentage scores was .28 to .94. The range of HHI scores was .50 to .94.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.32.10 PM

Figure 2. Scatter Plot of HHI v. Winning Percentage – Women’s Teams – Players

Research Hypothesis 3: There was a relationship between the diversity score and winning percentage among men’s basketball coaching staffs in the ACC between the years 2005-2009.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.32.51 PM

Table 3 presents the Pearson product-moment correlation that was calculated between winning percentage and the HHI for the coaches on men’s teams. The correlation was positive but not significant, r (46) =.10, p =.52. A scatter plot of the data is presented in Figure 3. The range of winning percentage scores was .36 to .92. The range of HHI scores was .38 to .63.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.33.44 PM

Figure 3. Scatter Plot of HHI v. Winning Percentage – Men’s Teams – Coaches

Research Hypothesis 4: There was a relationship between the diversity score and winning percentage among women’s basketball coaching staffs in the ACC between the years 2005-2009.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.34.36 PM

Table 4 presents the Pearson product-moment correlation that was calculated between winning percentage and the HHI for the coaches on women’s teams. The correlation was positive but not significant, r (07) =.10, p =.62. A scatter plot of the data is presented in Figure 4. The range of winning percentage scores was .28 to .94. The range of HHI scores was .50 to .63.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.35.20 PM

Figure 4. Scatter Plot of HHI v. Winning Percentage – Women’s Teams – Coaches

Research Hypothesis 5: There was a difference between the diversity scores of men’s basketball teams and women’s basketball teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference from 2005 to 2009.

Table 5: Men v. Women, Independent-Samples T-test of Mean HHI Scores

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.35.59 PM

An independent-samples t-test was conducted to evaluate the hypothesis that players on men’s teams have a different mean HHI than that of players on the women’s teams. Levene’s test for equality of variances was not significant (F=1.12, p =.29), thus allowing the assumption that there were equal variances. The t-test was not significant, t (94) = -.54, p =.59. The mean HHI for the women players (M = 0.64) was not significantly different from that of the men players (M = 0.63).

CONCLUSIONS
The first research hypothesis stated that there was a relationship between the diversity score and winning percentage among men’s basketball teams in the ACC between 2005-2009. This study concluded that there was a negative significant statistical correlation between level of diversity and winning percentage in this group. It appears that as the men’s basketball teams in this group became more heterogeneous, they significantly won more games. Although contradictory to the finding by Staples & Zhao (2006). This finding may suggest that it is beneficial for basketball coaches to recruit a racially diverse team.
The second research hypothesis stated that there is a relationship between the diversity and winning percentage among women’s basketball teams in the ACC between the years 2005-2009. The correlation was also found to be negative but not significant. The data suggests that the trend may be similar to the finding for men’s teams whereby those teams that were more diverse had greater winning percentages.

The third research hypothesis stated that there is a relationship between the diversity level and winning percentage among men’s basketball coaching staffs in the ACC between 2005-2009. The correlation was positive but not significant suggesting the possibility that those coaching staffs that were less diverse had greater winning percentages.

The fourth research hypothesis stated that there is a relationship between the level of diversity and winning percentage among women’s basketball coaching staffs in the ACC between 2005-2009. Similar to the finding of the men’s coaches, the correlation was positive but not significant suggesting the possibility that those coaching staffs that were less diverse had greater winning percentages.

The fifth research hypothesis stated that there is a difference between the amount of diversity between men’s basketball teams and women’s basketball teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference from 2005 to 2009. The study revealed that there was no significant difference among men’s and women’s teams.

Discussion
The purpose of this study was to examine the racial diversity of the men’s and women’s basketball teams and their respective coaching staffs in the Atlantic Coast Conference from the 2005-06 season to the 2008-2009 season and its relationship to the winning percentage.

Diversity is a mandate on most college campuses and according to McKindra (2010), “(diversity) is on every NCAA institution’s agenda-or should be” (p. 45). Cunningham and Fink (2006) state that diversity “represents one of the most important issues for academics and sport managers today” (p. 455). Cunningham (2010) further states that diversity is so important and receives so much interest due to “changing demographics, changing attitudes towards work, changes in the nature of work, legal mandates, social pressures, the potentially negative effects of diversity” (p. 10). Charlotte Westerhaus, the NCAA vice president for diversity and inclusion, stated that “diversity and inclusion enhances excellence, and NCAA staff has a responsibility to support the membership’s quest for providing the best environment for its student-athletes, coaches and administrators (McKindra, 2010, p. 47).” Westerhaus further stated that “active diversity efforts within the context of college sports do the same thing they do within the context of higher education-enhance learning, productivity and retention.” (McKindra, 2010, p. 48).

It is widely viewed by many that diversity and its concomitant programs are vital to the growth and harmony of college campuses. These benefits were underscored by Chang (1999) as he concluded that that the “benefits of engaging in diversity-oriented experiences and activities may very well perpetuate itself by enhancing one’s proclivity to live, work, or serve in diverse communities” (p. 392).
The two hypotheses related to the correlation of the diversity of men’s and women’s coaches to winning percentage were found not to be significant. These results may have been affected by the small number of coaches in the sample populations as the analysis of coaches included only the head coach and three assistants. Accordingly, it appears that there may not have been a large enough sample size from which to detect whether or not diversity of coaching staff affected winning percentage.

The researcher was intrigued by the finding in which it was discovered that there was a significant negative correlation between homogeneity and winning percentage among men’s teams in the study, i.e., as diversity increased, winning percentage increased.. This finding contradicts Timmerman (2000) who found that racial diversity negatively impacted winning percentage and Weiss and Sommers (2008) who found that racial diversity neither positively nor negatively impacted winning percentage.

The question should be raised as to why the finding was not significant when analyzing the women players. Perhaps it has to do with differences in the way men and women socialize off the court. This socialization could include such activities as eating, living together, studying, working out, dating, spending holidays together, etc. It’s possible that female athletes typically develop a wider social network than male athletes and as a result, do not depend as much on their teammates for socialization and support as do male athletes (Weiss & Barber, 1995). Another possibility for the difference could relate to the fact that the depth of talent on men’s teams may be higher than on women’s teams. As a result, the non-starters on men’s teams may be more involved in practices than non-starters on women’s teams and thus may be perceived by their teammates as being more integral to the team. This notion could be supported by the fact that some coaches of women’s basketball teams use male players from the general student body in practices rather than the non-starters from the women’s teams, thus diminishing the opportunities for women non-starters to contribute to their teams. More research on the sociological patterns of male and female athletes could be informative to the profession.

Based on the finding for the men’s players, it was found that as racial diversity increased, basketball teams in this study were more successful. This study did not look at just starters or those with the most playing time as analyzed by Weiss and Sommers (2008). This researcher analyzed the entire team because it was believed that there are many variables that contribute to a team’s success. For instance, those players who may not get significant playing time can add moral support and encouragement to the rest of the team. Non-starters may live in the same residence hall, apartment, etc. as the starters and can play a significant role in a team’s chemistry and in its social environment off the court. Non-starters can also be significant contributors in practices and can make a positive impact in the locker room, on the bench, and elsewhere.

The researcher also believes that the values that the inherent attributes of diversity also can lead to a team’s success, such as exposure to and acceptance of other races. This belief is underscored by George Cunningham, associate professor at Texas A&M University, whose research revealed that athletics departments that excel in diversity strategy tend to register high point totals in the annual NACDA Director’s Cup standings (Cunningham, 2010). Cunningham further stated that exposing current students to academically rooted diversity concepts could generate long-term dividends as those individuals enter and work in athletic administration (p. 9). Further, Janet Fink, associate professor at the University of Connecticut stated that researchers “must focus on convincing athletics administrators and coaches that embracing diversity yields real benefits” (McKindra, 2010, p. 47).

It is unfortunate, however, that most diversity programs on college campuses are typically not focused on the diversity of their athletic teams. In particular, the percentage of black male basketball players in Division I was at an all-time high in 2008-2009 at 60.4%. Williams (2010) further states that “diversity-driven administrators allow sports, the most visible part of the college, (to) be the least diverse and least inclusive” (p. 1).

Diversity programs on college campuses, instead, apply mostly to the hiring of faculty, staff, and coaches or for the general study body vis-à-vis admissions, student activities or residential life. There are also inconsistencies with how diversity is defined on different campuses. For instance, the mission of the Diversity Integration Group (DIG) at the University of Wisconsin is to address the emotional, social, intellectual and physical needs of its diverse population. However, the DIG states that it serves sexual minorities, women, and mostly all races except for White males (Tiedt, et al., 2010).

The obvious question raised from this study is whether or not basketball coaches should set aside spots on teams for the purpose of diversity. It is the researcher’s opinion that setting aside spots or quotas should not be employed but instead team diversity should be one of many factors that coaches consider when offering scholarships or filling team rosters. The model of affirmative action hiring, whereby minority applicants are given preference when all other factors are comparable, may be a useful guide for coaches when selecting players.

It is critical that administrators and the NCAA understand that the values of diversity must be applied to all segments of athletic departments, including the student-athletes. Cunningham (2010) states that “athletic departments should be the leaders on college campuses when it comes to diversity-related issues and the more people know of the progressive diversity culture within the athletics department, the more likely they are to identify with that entity” (p. 39). This statement by Cunningham supports the researcher’s research in that greater diversity in men’s basketball teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference between 2005-2009 resulted in higher winning percentages.

RECOMMENDATIONS
The subsequent recommendations are offered for future study in racial diversity and winning percentage:
1. A study in which racial diversity and winning percentage are examined in more than one sport.
2. A study in which racial diversity and winning percentage are examined in more than one conference.
3. A study in which racial diversity and winning percentage are examined in more than one NCAA division, i.e., Divisions I, II and/or III.
4. A study in which ethnicity and winning percentage are examined by obtaining access to the NCAA Student-Athlete Ethnicity Report in intercollegiate athletics.
5. A study in which racial diversity and winning percentage are examined in intercollegiate athletics with respect to the amount of playing time per player.
6. A study in which racial diversity, academic success and winning performance are examined.
7. A study in which a significant sample of coaches is employed.
8. A study which examines the difference in the HHI between coaches of men’s teams and coaches of women’s teams.

APPLICATIONS IN SPORT
It is critical that administrators and the NCAA understand that the values of diversity must be applied to all segments of athletic departments, including the student-athletes. Accordingly, athletics administrators and coaches should consider the benefits of not only having a diverse staff of employees but also a diverse and inclusive population of student-athletes as members of the teams which represent their institutions.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
None

REFERENCES
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21. Yetman, N., Berghorn, F. (1993). Racial participation and integration in men’s and women’s intercollegiate basketball: a longitudinal perspective. Sociology of Sport Journal, 10, 301-314.


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