The "old-boy network" still exists in sports, National League president Len Coleman said Tuesday in explaining why blacks and Hispanics have not gained more management positions.
"The old-boy network has outlived its usefulness," said Coleman, the highest ranking black official of a major professional league. "But it's still entrenched. And (it's) one of the cultural things we've got to break down."
Coleman said there had been progress, though not enough.
"It's been 52 years since Jackie Robinson broke in, and we're on the edge of a new millennium.
"In baseball, have we made progress? The answer is yes. Have we made enough progress? The answer is an emphatic, "No.' "
Michael Huyghue, senior vice president for football operations with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Carl Poston, a Houston-based sports agent joined Coleman in a panel discussion at the National Urban League conference.
In the past decade, the number of front-office jobs in professional baseball held by minorities has risen from 2 percent to 21 percent, Coleman said. But he added that only one black man _ Bob Watson of the New York Yankees _ has been a general manager. He no longer has that job.