I decided to start off after the Christmas break with some data analysis. Here are the NCAA two statistics on Division I college athletes by ethnicity.
Let's take a look at Asian - Pacific Islanders (which, I must say, for the purposes of sports is the silliest aggregation):
Notes: Fencing is one of those classic I-didn't-know-they-hand-out-scholarships-in-this sports. One of the reasons Asians do so poorly in basketball is because they do pretty well in volleyball, a sport that requires a similar skill set. (Asians and Hispanics tend to have a California-orientation to their sports -- they are a little more likely to play the kind of sports, such as volleyball and water polo, that are big in California and the Olympics). The 1.6% of NCAA Division I football players who are Asian or Pacific Islander are probably mostly Pacific Islanders, such as Samoans, who tend to be huge. Asian women are 2.5 times more represented in college golf than Asian men.
Here are Hispanics:
Overall, this is pretty unimpressive, with Hispanics represented at only about one-fifth of their share of the college-age population.
Hispanics are best represented in Division I soccer, but only at a rate of about half of their share of the total population and perhaps 40% of their share of 18-22 year olds. And that's their favorite sport. Baseball at 5.4% is weak too, below the level of blacks (6.0%). With blacks, you are always reading about what a tragedy it is that African-Americans have lost interest in baseball.
Cross country at 6.0% isn't bad -- underrepresented versus their share of the population, sure, but it's not like soccer where they have a tradition of the sport.
The tennis share (7.2%) seems high. I suspect that a lot of the Hispanics playing Division I tennis are rich kids from Latin America (38.4% of all Division I male tennis players are "non-resident aliens").
Not too many surprises here: basketball first, then football, then track. The cross country runners are probably almost all East Africans. A remarkable fraction of the star black high school cross country runners are East African immigrants. I wonder what % of the blacks playing golf, lacrosse, water polo and the like have a white parent?
The low figure for whites in tennis is due to 21% registering as "Other" which is likely due to 38% being non-resident aliens. The NCAA doesn't appear to be as obsessive about making foreigners check off ethnicity boxes as it is about Americans.