Student-athlete access in sports raises concerns in Memphis

African American high school athletes in Memphis have shown more success in sports at predominately white schools due to more or better access to equipment and training. Studies, such as Girls Finish Last, have shown that less African American athletes reach his or her full potential in a sport at minority schools because there are not enough spots open on a team.

The report states that for every 100 female students there are 51 spots on teams, and for every 100 male students there are 62 spots on teams. But, at the typical heavily minority high school, girls have only 67 percent of the opportunities to play sports that boys have. For every 100 female students there are just 20 spots on sports teams, and for every 100 male students there are 30 spots available.

Aram Goudsouzian, chair of the history department at the U of M, said the reason for this is that in some ways we still live in a racially segregated society.

“If you were to look at a map of any major American city and you were to chart it in terms of race you will see patterns of residential segregation,” Goudsouzian said. “This is reflected into the schools the students attend, and the way that our funding for schools works you’ll often see that schools that are predominately black are also less funded.”

Goudsouzian said that many colleges also face the same challenges, and that sometimes it is just something you can’t control.

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About the Author

Summer Morgan

Summer Morgan is a journalism major from Springdale, Arkansas and plans to one day work as a sideline reporter for ESPN. Outside of class, she is a member of the Lady Tiger volleyball team at the University of Memphis. Before Memphis, she played volleyball for the University of Arkansas. During her time there, she interned with KNWA News and worked with the SEC Network and ESPNU. She enjoys photography, sports and creating makeup blogs on YouTube. Morgan is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her sorority sisters, family and friends.

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