Participation climbs to 430,000 student-athletes: Despite an economic environment that has caused sport reductions at several colleges and universities, the number of student-athletes participating in NCAA sports continues to rise.
For the first time since the NCAA began tracking student-athlete ethnicity data 11 years ago, African-Americans compose the highest percentage of the players in Division I football.
According to the 2009-10 NCAA Student-Athlete Race and Ethnicity Report, 45.8 percent of student-athletes in Division I football (including the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Football Championship Subdivision) were African-American, followed closely by white football players at 45.1 percent.
Men’s sports ethnicity percentages 1999-2010 (Division I)
Women’s sports ethnicity percentages 1999-2010 (all three divisions)
Women’s sports ethnicity percentages 1999-2010 (Division I)
African-Americans had composed the highest percentage of football student-athletes in the Football Bowl Subdivision the two previous years, but it is the first time that they have been the dominant demographic in all of Division I football.
The percentages represent a significant jump from the first report in 1999-2000 when African-Americans composed 39.5 percent of the football players in Division I (40.3 percent in what then was known as Division I-A).
In the Football Championship Subdivision, Caucasian student-athletes continue to compose the majority at 47.6 percent, followed by African-Americans at 43.9 percent in the 2009-10 report. The percentage of African-Americans in that subdivision has steadily increased from 38.5 percent in 1999-2000 to the current level.
The 2009-10 report also shows that the highest concentration of black male student-athletes in Division I sports is in basketball (60.9 percent), followed by football (45.8), indoor track and field (27.3) and outdoor track and field (27.0).
Basketball also has the highest concentration of black females in Division I (51 percent), followed by bowling (40.6), indoor track (29.2) and outdoor track (29.1).
The percentages for African-Americans in basketball also are higher than they were in the inaugural report when 55 percent of the male players and 35.7 percent of the female players were black.
Other findings from the 2009-10 NCAA Student-Athlete Race and Ethnicity Report: