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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / February 23.
  • White Prompts Thought at West Virginia; QB Apologizes for Comments

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    NEWPORT, R.I. — I had never spoken to Pat White before Tuesday afternoon, never interacted with the West Virginia quarterback and Heisman trophy candidate. I had never heard of West Virginia baseball coach Greg Van Zant, either.

    Yet in the span of a few minutes at Big East media day, the quarterback made some startling comments to me that have since thrust White, who is African-American, and Van Zant, who is white, into the national spotlight.

    Read the full story at here.

    On Thursday, White apologized for his comments, though I hope they still provoke some discussion at West Virginia about what triggered them in the first place.

    “I am sorry my comments have caused so many distractions. I am looking forward to putting this behind me and getting on the practice field with my teammates on Saturday.”

    We also thoroughly enjoyed this take from the Sporting News, entitled, “What Exactly Did Pat White Apologize For?”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • Wesleyan,

      1) Two of the people you labeled as African-American, Jeter and Obama, are half-Caucasian. Their mothers don’t deserve to be overlooked.

      2) For next week’s attempt to generate hits, any plans next week to interview Fred Hill, Jr. to ask why there are so few white college basketball players at the high-major level?

      Perhaps this could be an ongoing sociological study of yours.

      3) “Perhaps the strength of Barack Obama’s personality and the significance of what he has accomplished — and still could accomplish in November — will embolden other young African-American men and women to speak more frankly on a variety of issues — including race. ”

      Right, perhaps the future West Virginia graduate can bang out a pair of best-selling autobiographies (maybe you can ghostwrite a chapter on the racism inherent in college baseball), while relying on liberal white guilt, a negligible voting record, the weakening of feminism, and black unity to become the Democratic candidate for Governor of West Virginia in about fifteen years, but, by then, novelty may need to be replaced by substance.

      4) Since you quoted DuBois, in the Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. DuBois or MLK vs. Malcolm X “debates” that occur in many an Intro to African-American History class, I always felt that it was far easier to be a firebrand like DuBois or X sitting in a liberal bastion like Massachusetts or New York City than to have written or uttered similarly divisive remarks in turn of the century Tuskegee or 1960s Atlanta.

    • Good work, Adam. Alessandro, I don’t know what the heck you are talking about.

      Anyway, I hope this story doesn’t just go away. After backing off so much, Pat White owes Mr. Van Zant an apology. Maybe Van Zant and West Virginia (and Pat White, for that matter) wouldn’t mind seeing this all just go away. But White called the guy out way too much to now just say, Oh, about that Coach Van Zant guy not liking people like me (that would be African-American, unless he doesn’t like football players), uh, nevermind since it is getting so much attention.

      Well, a charge like that should get attention. And, a stand-down by the accuser should end with an apology if the stand-down is to be considered sincere. — Bob J.

    • Bob I could not agree and disagree with you more. I agree with the what the heck is alessandro talking about other than some rubbish. I disagree that White owes west virgina or the coach an apology. His apology was obviously a pr move orchestrated by the athletic department. The proof is in the pudding in regards to recruiting african american players. I think the research should have went even deeper to see if he had any mulatto or black hispanics during his tenure as coach. I find it kind of strange that a kid could be drafted that high and the coach not even approach him about playing. Now there are those in the media or the masses who say well what about the white kid who doesnt get recruited or put on for college basketball. Well there are several answers to that, and one is since hs players cant and couldnt be drafted by NBA teams and return to college, that eliminates that fact that some considered their talent to be pro level. Next most of the ppl who do player evaluating and recruiting are white, as the head coaches, so those in the media need to ask their counter parts this question since it not like black coaches are denying them access.

    • Okay, but if we have it your way, West Virginia University is on the spot for having a coach that is limiting the success of the baseball program with his racist views and approach. And they have to be seeing this since, well, that’s the job to see it. And to take corrective action when they do. And, you say that’s what is happening there.

      And, in the end, White is putting out a statement that says, Sorry I messed up and shot off my big mouth. Hey, I wanna be a football star. So the coach of baseball is lousy and maybe don’t like people of color like me. That’s not really my problem and I’m ready to move on, he seems to be saying. Not really taking a great stand on racial bias at his beloved university is he?

      The bottom line comes down to this: Is he calling the guy a racist or not? I think he should answer the question. West Virginia U. should also chime in. That is really quite an accusation or implication, if you prefer, especially for someone employed at a university involved in major college athletics. — Bob J.

      P.S. We can debate the issue of why there are so few African-Americans in Big East baseball some other time, but I don’t think it pertains to this case/charge. Thanks for checking in.