The End of Black Colleges

The seemingly endless reshuffling of the college football conferences is usually explained as a function of money. Football is the big revenue sport, with men’s basketball a distant second in college athletics. Everything else is way down the list and therefore not all that important to the decision makers. Therefore, whatever promises to increase football revenue is done, even if it harms the other sports. As a result, the major football schools have been consolidating their hold on TV money by creating super-conferences.

Steve Sailer suggests there may be a different issue at play, one no one is allowed to discuss, even though everyone knows it exists. Colleges are reorganizing to corner the market on smart black athletes, which helps them boost their diversity. Put another way, the demand for smart black guys, who can play a revenue sport is expanding due to the quest for diversity. This is the driving up the price for black athletes, so the schools are consolidating their hold on the market by realigning.

That increase in price is reflected in the cost of maintaining high level sports programs, so while the pie gets bigger, the number of slices get smaller, as the big schools take bigger slices of the pie. It is certainly true that the pool of qualified applicants keeps growing, but the pool of the preferred applicants is not growing, at least not organically. It’s why elite colleges love African students. Barak Obama was highly sought after by elite schools, despite being mediocre, because he ticked a lot of important boxes.

It is an interesting observation and not entirely false, but if the best athletes were Chinese, the conferences would still be consolidating. The main reason is the cable monopolies are state sanctioned tax farmers. They get to tax people though their cable bill. Those revenues get directed to approved things and the big state colleges have figured out to get a taste of the skim. Federal grant money also plays a role as these colleges get billions in federal grants. By pooling together they increase their grasping power.

That said, the demand for competent black athletes is an example of how diversity has changed the college business. The historically black colleges used to field competitive sports teams and attract the talented ten percent of black youth. Once sports integrated, the best black players went to the big state programs. High IQ black athletes would end up at programs like Notre Dame, Boston College and Northwestern. As a result, the great black programs like Grambling and Southern have fallen on hard times.

That still left room for a Spellman and Morehouse to be the Black Ivies, but now the Ivies and “new Ivies” are desperate for black students. A smart black kid whose parents and grandparents went to Howard, for example, is getting offers from all of the elite colleges, so he has no reason to attend an historically black college. Just as American is skimming the best and brightest from the undeveloped world via immigration, the top colleges are skimming the best out of the historically black colleges and prep schools.

Inevitably, this will be reflected in the administration. As the quality of student declines, the quality of administrator will decline. Condoleezza Rice is not teaching at one of these colleges when she can work at Stanford. Talented black administrators follow the talented students, often working in the same schools from which they graduated. Ironically, the celebration of non-whites, as a vehicle to expand diversity, is killing off one of the better parts of black culture in America. The historically black college is dying.