Alcorn State, one of Americas HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) hired Jay Hopson, a white man, to be the head football coach. On the one hand it would seem logical that a school dedicated to providing opportunities for blacks would hire a black coach thus giving him an opportunity he might not otherwise get as over time not many black coaches have been hired to fill head coaching positions in NCAA football. Also, there is the issue of providing a role model for black youth and black males in particular.
On the other hand, if the idea is to fight discrimination, it would be counter intuitive to discriminate in hiring. Additionally, if the point of sports is, in the end, to win, and Hopson brings the best chance for Alcorn State to win, he should be hired. I do not believe there are too many athletic programs that are happy with a losing record even if they are presenting a positive political message through coach and athlete selection. (I know that may be a false dichotomy.)
I think that this hiring is getting a lot of hype due to the centrality of football particularly in Southern culture. As a New York Times article points out there are many white coaches at HBCUs in non-revenue sports (swimming and lacrosse at Howard), and as I blogged about earlier, there are many HBCU teams dominated by white athletes. I know I am a white guy looking at this from the outside, but this hire seems reasonable. I am not arguing that we are in a color blind universe or anything like that, but holding to strict, doctrinaire principles regarding who gets what jobs seems unreasonable today.