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The white-white-white draft pick storyline ESPN spent two weeks pushing via its blowhard TV shows was blown up when Trey Lance was selected 3rd by the 49ers. If you aren’t exhausted yet from ESPN’s race-baiting, get a load of what appears to be the next storyline pushed by the Worldwide Leader. Undefeated, ESPN’s “race, sports, culture” website, fired up the base by noting that “not a single draft pick featured a player from an [historically black college or university].”
Boy, that must be because NFL teams are racist and don’t want to give HBCU football players a chance, which they must deserve because they go to HBCUs where there’s talent that these teams are purposely overlooking, right ESPN? This must be some sort of conspiracy to attack those who attend black colleges, right?
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) May 1, 2021
If the NFL were so racist, then what was the story back in the late 1960s when old white men general managers were using incredible draft capital on HBCU players, as shown by charts compiled by Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com?
“Due to the segregationist policies at major universities in Texas, the south, and the southeast, top black high school athletes in the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s chose HBCUs,” Stuart wrote in 2020. “With admission to major college football limited to the west coasts, what is now Big 10 country, or the northeast, southern athletes who wanted (or needed) to stay close to home had no choice but to attend HBCUs.
“As integration occurred throughout college football in the late ’60s and early ’70s, that resulted in a departure from HBCUs and to the major programs we see today.”
While the Undefeated and Deion Sanders, who’s all fired up over HBCUs not being drafted, are firing up the base, let’s take a look at the data, which shows there were no HBCU players drafted in 2012. This was also an era when ESPN’s Mark Schlabach explained the financial disaster the HBCU found itself in and how football players now have so many mid-major options they didn’t have decades before when Grambling and Southern were pumping out all sorts of draft picks.
“Look at Louisiana,” Pro Football Hall of Famer Aenas Williams, who played at Southern, told Schlabach for that 2014 story. “Louisiana-Lafayette is a viable football program. Louisiana-Monroe and Tulane are viable programs. In the past, if a kid from Louisiana didn’t go to LSU, he might have gone to Southern or Grambling. The talent pool is still there, but now it’s dispersed more. It’s incumbent upon the HBCUs like Grambling and Southern to maximize what they do have. That’s going to be the key going forward.”
Now let’s think about the explosion of opportunities. Take for example Georgia State. The football program played its first game in 2010 and had three players drafted over the school’s first seven seasons. Grambling has had one player drafted since 2006. ONE. Grambling has had just FOUR draft picks in the 21st century. Southern has had ONE player drafted since 2000.
On the other hand, Florida International started playing football in 2002. The program has had TEN (10) players drafted over that period. Florida Atlantic started playing football in 2001. The program has had TEN (10) draft picks since its inception.
Keep all of this in mind as Deion starts railing about the 2021 draft. Keep this in your back pocket as ESPN race baits with its HBCU nonsense. NFL general managers have proven time and time again they are in the business of keeping their job and that means finding talent to throw out on a football field. If football players start going back to play at HBCUs, you can be sure the NFL talent scouts will follow.