Caste Football.us (CF) is one of the best kept secrets on the Internet. The website is certainly not the only one dedicated to race and sports. But it is the only one sympathetic to White athletes who, they maintain, are systematically discriminated against in the U.S. due to notions of Black athletic supremacy. The site often documents these cases of naïve White kids being passed over for scholarships year-after-year, most likely because it assumed they can't play running back, corner back, and other glory positions reserved for Black athletes.
CF actually tries to help young White athletes by letting them know which schools will and will not consider Whites for key positions. They do this through pre-season rankings of all 120 Football Bowl System (FBS) football programs.
One thing is clear from the 2011 rankings: Whites (and indeed all non-Blacks) should abandon any hope of playing in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Indeed, the SEC is worse than the almost 70 percent Black NFL when it comes to allowing non-Blacks to start.
This is important for a number of reasons, not least of which is that that the SEC has been the marquee confence in college football for the last decade. SEC teams are featured in the most prominent games and the most high profile (and lucrative) bowl games. Success in the SEC often translates into a ticket to the NFL.
But it also is important from a cultural point of view. This Black dominance is happening in the region of the country most closely identified with White consciousness. Indeed, the SEC was the last conference in college sports to integrate and even had all-White football teams into the 1970s. Whites in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and so on vote as a racial block, send their kids to segregated schools, live in segregated neighborhoods, join segregated churches, fraternities and country clubs, marry other Whites and still honor their ancestors who died during the Civil War. The overwhelming majority supports the Confederate flag and has no time for the racist hucksters of the NAACP.
Yet almost all the donors, fundraisers, boosters, ticket buyers, and, a strong majority of the fans, of the SEC schools are White.
So what does this phenomenon—White fans, Black players—say about White Southerners?
Of the 22 total starters (11 on offense, 11 on defense) below are the number of expected White starters for SEC schools in 2011. There are few Asians and Hispanics in college football and while Samoans have made big gains lately, they play mostly for the University of Hawaii or West Coast schools like USC and UCLA. It is safe to assume that all or almost all of the remaining starters will be Black.
Ole Miss: 4
South Carolina: 3
Mississippi State: 2
Some may look at this list and point out that Kentucky and Vanderbilt have a reasonable amount of White starters. This is true, but neither team is among the elite of the SEC. Moreover, Vandy usually has at least a half-White starting lineup, meaning even they are starting to darken.
At the other end, Georgia and Florida—who are usually among the top teams in the SEC—field a nearly all-Black starting lineup. Florida’s 2010 recruiting class did not include one White scholarship recipient.
The two schools meet each year in what is called the “world’s biggest outdoor cocktail party,” as its pre-game tailgating features colorfully clad fans and undergrads in semi-formal attire. Since 1915, this event has been held in a neutral setting in Jacksonville, Florida. This sea of drunken White cocktail guzzlers will be excused if they mistake this year’s game for Grambling vs. Howard as 41 of 44 starters will be black.
White Southerners may respond that Whites in Michigan, Ohio and other northern states have also made college football into a religion. Why not aim the same criticisms at them?
But schools in the Big Ten (arguably the second best conference in college football for the last decade) often have majority-White, half-White starting lineups and majority White rosters.
For example, here are the expected number of White starters for some of the Big Ten squads:
Northwestern – 15
Wisconsin - 15
Ohio State – 12
Michigan State – 12
Iowa – 11
Indiana - 10
Purdue - 9
Michigan – 8
Penn State – 8
Illinois – 7
Indeed, 2010 was the first year where blacks outnumbered whites on FBS football rosters – no doubt due to the hefty contributions of SEC schools and similarly constituted teams from the South like Georgia Tech, Florida State and Clemson.
While the SEC represents the nadir of White participation in college football, there are many bright spots. Over 30 FBS teams will start a majority White or half-White starting lineup in 2011. Boise State has worked its way into a legitimate top ten program over the last few years. This year’s team will have 16 white starters. Stanford is a legitimate contender for the national championship with 15 white starters led by quarterback and Heisman Trophy contender Andrew Luck. Nebraska, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Colorado, Brigham Young, Rice, Air Force, Washington State, Navy and San Diego State are other teams of note who will start a majority-White lineup.
So why do White Southerners remain such die-hard fans of nearly all-Black teams? Many of the backers are graduates of these SEC schools and, no doubt, feel a strong connection to their Alma Mater. But many of these same people also attended all-White public high schools that are now all-Black. Do they still support their old high school teams?
Others point out that states such as Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi do not have any professional sports teams and that their college football teams fill that void. But why support teams that would not allow your kids or grandchildren to play for the team? For example, Arkansas high school quarterback Neal Burcham (White) was named co-MVP of ESPN’s annual Big Elite 11 Quarterback Competition. Yet he was not recruited by the University of Arkansas, which has offered scholarships to four black high school quarterbacks.
My own belief is that Southern Whites are able to separate their political/cultural/racial views from their football allegiances. College football is, indeed, a religion in the South and game days are filled with parties, cook-outs, drinks, friends and members of the opposite sex.
Besides, many of these White fans—even if they are racially conscious—have no problem with their nearly all-Black teams. Blacks, they would contend, are just superior athletes and that is why they dominate the rosters in the SEC.
But all-White high schools throughout the U.S.—including the South—usually win state high school football championships—often defeating all-Black schools in the process. But few of these White athletes are recruited and offered scholarships by top Southern schools. For example Eric Breitenstein is a 5’10, 225-pound running back who ran a very fast 4.49 for the 40 yards (the main time used to gauge the speed of a running back). Breitenstein was North Carolina football player of the year in 2007 and ran for an amazing 2,619 yards his junior year. Yet he was not recruited by the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, or any other major football program. He is currently winding down his career at tiny Wofford University, where he was a second team all-American last year and a pre-season candidate for the Walter Payton Award, given to the most outstanding offensive player in Division I football.
Peyton Hillis (White) is currently the starting running back for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. He rushed for over 1000 in 2010; yet he was used primarily as a blocker at Arkansas, where he was made to clear the way for lesser Black players Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.
Whites can clearly play football if given the chance. But they will not be given that chance with the good ol’ boys who currently run the SEC. White donors, alumni, and fans can make a difference. If only a few big donors decided to withhold money or not buy tickets unless these schools start recruiting and playing White players, the message will get through. If they don’t, it is only a matter of time before many SEC schools have completely Black starting lineups.
Would this be something their fathers and grandfathers would support?