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Black coaches mull suit over few hirings

Floyd Keith is tired of waiting for more black coaches to be hired to lead major college football programs and is hoping to make a federal case out of the issue.

Floyd Keith is tired of waiting for more black coaches to be hired to lead major college football programs and is hoping to make a federal case out of the issue.

After years of attempting to persuade university administrators to hire minority football coaches, the executive director of the Black Coaches and Administrators has started searching for a potential lawsuit.

Last week, the BCA opened a national telephone hotline that offers legal advice to coaches.

"The individuals have to bring this forward," he said. "We are looking very strongly at every case, and we're taking it on an individual basis."

Keith acknowledges more black coaches have been granted interviews in recent years, compared with college basketball or the NFL, college football lags far behind.

A year ago, Keith estimated 23 to 26 percent of college basketball coaches were minorities, while college football is now down to four blacks among the 119 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, or 3.4 percent. By comparison, nearly one-fourth of the NFL's 32 teams (seven) have minority head coaches. The only black college coach hired during this recent round of comings and goings has been Mike Locksley at New Mexico.

So Keith, who implemented the BCA's annual hiring report card and for years has threatened to use the court system, is now actively seeking information from coaches.

Everette L. Scott, who practices law in Philadelphia and New Jersey and is a former linebacker at Howard University, is offering legal advice.

The intent of the hotline is to be informative and educational, but Scott said he's already taken some calls - he wouldn't provide names or numbers - from coaches whose situations raise questions about violations under the federal Civil Rights Act.

"What you typically look for are facts that might be a violation of that category," Scott said. "I think, from what we've gotten, there are some questionable facts, some questionable cases in regards to Title VII."


* Georgia Tech first-year coach Paul Johnson was given a new 7-year, $17.7 million contract.

Johnson led the team to a 9-3 record and its first win in 8 years over rival Georgia. He will receive $2.3 million for 2009, plus incentives. The Yellow Jackets are ranked No. 15 in the AP poll and will meet LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

* Ball State offensive coordinator Stan Parrish signed a 4-year contract to become head coach for the 23rd-ranked Cardinals. He is replacing Brady Hoke, who resigned this week to become coach at San Diego State after leading Ball State (12-1) to the Mid-American Conference championship game.

* East Stroudsburg punter Nick Krut was named to the AP Little All-America first team. West Chester wide reciver Mike Washington was named to the second team, and East Stroudsburg linebacker Matt Fried was named to the third team.

* Miami quarterback Robert Marve, whose season began with a one-game suspension, will not play in the Emerald Bowl next week because of a violation of team academic rules.

Marve redshirted last year because of injuries suffered in a car crash, then missed the 2008 opener because of a team sanction related to his arrest on a misdemeanor mischief charge on Oct. 31, 2007.

* Alabama junior left tackle Andre Smith, the Outland Trophy winner as the outstanding college interior lineman, submitted paperwork to receive an evaluation of his NFL draft status. Nose guard Terrence Cody said he will return next season.

* Running back Sam McGuffie is leaving Michigan after one season and has visited Rice. *