11/29/2007 3:35 PM ET
Major League Baseball, the McLendon Foundation announce creation of the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award
Major League Baseball and the McLendon Foundation are announcing the establishment of the
Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award, which will be given annually to a deserving athletics
administrator who has been at the forefront of creating opportunities for young minorities looking to
get into athletics administration.
"Baseball is a social institution with enormous social responsibilities and it is an honor to be
recognized for efforts being made throughout the league to bring greater diversity to every aspect of
our game," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Since assuming the role of Interim
Commissioner in September 1992 and the Commissioner in July 1998, I have made diversity and
equal employment opportunity a top priority. We have made progress, but we still have much work
to do and I remain committed to bringing about positive change."
The John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
founded by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Dan Rooney, Chairman of
the Pittsburgh Steelers, will receive the first Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award at a luncheon on
December 18 in Cleveland.
"When our committee looked at the body of work created toward diversity and equality for
minorities on Commissioner Selig's watch, this became an easy and obvious choice," stated Kevin
Anderson, the Division I-A McLendon Steering Committee chair and director of athletics at the United
States Military Academy. "Commissioner Selig, by placing these initiatives on the frontburner of
Major League Baseball, has helped raise the awareness of diversity issues that occur, not only in the
board rooms of professional organizations, but in the day-to-day occurrences of conference offices,
colleges and universities."
The decision to honor Commissioner Selig came by a unanimous vote from the members of the
McLendon Foundation Steering Committee, which is comprised of 15 minority Division I-A athletics
directors. The Committee also voted to honor a group of six minority pioneers in the fields of
collegiate and professional athletics, including former National League President Bill White, who will
also be recognized at the December luncheon.
Minority participation throughout MLB is on the rise. Thirty-nine (39) percent of all on-field
coaching positions are held by minority group members and female front office representation
throughout baseball is 34 percent. In 1989, it was estimated that minorities held just two percent of
all front office positions in Major League Baseball. Today that number is in excess of 22 percent.
Under Commissioner Selig's direction, numerous advancements in diversity and equal
opportunities have been made throughout MLB, including:
1989 - The Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities (RBI) youth outreach program was established
to increase participation and interest in baseball, encourage academic participation and
achievement, increase the number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and the
minor leagues, promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game, and
develop self-esteem and teach the value of teamwork. It is managed in conjunction with the
Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which became the official charity of MLB in 1997. Since the RBI
program began, nearly 175 participants have been drafted by MLB clubs.
1997 - On the 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's entry into the major leagues, MLB
retired his uniform number, 42, throughout baseball, marking the first time this honor was
bestowed on any athlete. April 15th is now known as Jackie Robinson Day throughout MLB.
1998 - MLB established the Diverse Business Partners Program, an economically-driven
business initiative established to cultivate new and existing partnerships with minority and
women owned businesses, by increasing opportunities for minorities and women to
participate in the procurement activities of MLB. The league has spent more than $400
million with diverse businesses since the program was created.
1999 - MLB became the first sports entity to adopt an equal employment opportunity policy.
The MLB policy requires clubs to interview minority applicants for openings in five senior club
positions. This year also marked the creation of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), MLB's
joint initiative with the Players Association that has awarded more than $10 million in grants
to both rural and urban communities throughout the world.
2006 - MLB launched the Executive Development Program, a two-year rotational program
targeted to accelerating the pipeline of high potential candidates to the role of assistant
general manager as well as other business areas. The MLB Urban Youth Academy also began
in 2006 on the campus of El Camino College, Compton Center, in California. The Academy
hosts clinics for baseball and softball instruction, umpiring, groundskeeping and sports
2007 - MLB played its inaugural Civil Rights game in Memphis, TN, and will host it as an
About the John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Foundation
The Foundation Scholarship Awards are presented to senior-level minority students that have
maintained a 3.0 grade point average and demonstrated academic excellence as an undergraduate,
who intend to pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration.
NACDA founded the McLendon Scholarship Awards program and the McLendon Foundation. NACDA is
in its 43rd year and is the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 college
athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and
Mexico. More than 2,000 athletic administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally,
NACDA administers 10 professional associations for the separate business units that report directly to
the athletics director.