I believe there are many factors that high school athletes consider when they are being recruited by college athletic programs. For the top high school African American athletes, they must choose between prominently white institutions (PWI) and HBCUs. After researching and discussing the topic with many others, I formed the following opinion on the matter.
I think that coaches from PWIs do a better job recruiting top black high school athletes than coaches at HBCUs. I’m convinced that some black student athletes view college as an opportunity to better their life especially the ones from low income families. Most black student athletes want to play professional sports so they can provide for their family. Another example of top black high school recruit choosing PWIs is most likely due to the fact that most are higher ranking Division I colleges and as such receive national television exposure each week. It’s not often that you see HBCUs playing any kind of sports on national television. These young men go off to colleges with high expectations about their athletic abilities. I feel like they choose to go to prominently white institutions in order to have a better opportunity of achieve their goals.
Top African American recruits prefer to go to higher ranking Division I colleges because they have a better chance of making it to the NFL. When I started playing football at a young age I use to have dreams of playing in the NFL. Almost every guy who has played organization football has dreamed of making it to the NFL. Yet, athletes that play for the HBCUs are often overlooked by the NFL scouts. How often have you seen televised games from the SWAC or MEAC Conferences?
Athletic facilities are another factor in the decision making process. Most PWIs have state-of-the-art athletic facilities. According to research conducted by Joseph (2008), “What has hurt HBCUs in recruiting is the lack of premier athletic facilities, which has in part been one of the most noticeable funding disparities greatly affecting their football programs”. It is simplistic but true - more top black athletes go to PWIs over HBCU because their athletic facilities are simply better.
Top black athletes should choose the colleges that are going to help them succeed in life. When comparing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to Primarily White Institutions (PWI), I truly believe that PWIs give top black athletes a greater chance of fulfilling their goals and aspirations.