Blog Entry

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Posted on: July 30, 2008 11:03 am
Edited on: July 30, 2008 11:58 am

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Pat White seemed a bit surly on Tuesday but sometimes that's Pat White.

West Virginia's quarterback can be moody at times. That's OK, it's a rough world. The question seems to be, what  does he have to be moody about? White has thrived in Rich Rodriguez' offense to the point that he is 784 yards away from being the all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks. He is a Heisman candidate, the heart and soul of the Mountaineers.

New coach Bill Stewart spent part of Tuesday's Big East media day talking White up as an NFL prospect. Stewart wanted his quarterback to play baseball this spring just to see his athleticism in a different sport. Stewart said White told him he couldn't hit the curve ball. White then told reporters a different reason.

"In my knowledge of West Virginia baseball, there's not been many players of my race on his team," White was quoted as saying of baseball coach Greg Van Zant. "He's not too high on it."

I spoke to White and some of his teammates during the media day. I wasn't there when White spoke those words. The closest he came was when I asked him about playing baseball White said, "I couldn't play for West Virginia." Later, though, another reporter did mention the incendiary comments to me. How do you treat something like that when you haven't heard it yourself? It's like handling hot coals. Everyone can be burned.

The Charleston Daily Mail had a lenghtly piece on White's comments on Wednesday.

This we know: Van Zant has been at West Virginia 14 years and won 413 games. Twenty-nine of his players have been drafted and he has coached five All-Americans. Last season's 34-man roster did not include any African-Americans. White might know more -- Van Zant isn't speaking -- but baseball in general has a problem lately drawing African-Americans to the sport. I've been to the last 17 College World Series. I can't remember a time when there were less diverse rosters than this year. The number of African-Americans in Major League Baseball is down significantly.

So if West Virginia's baseball roster doesn't have any African-Americans, it could be a sign of the times. Maybe there is more to it. One thing is sure: Pat White has smeared Van Zant.  West Virginia baseball will never be the same. Maybe it shouldn't be but now the world will be clamoring for some sort of clarification/reinforcement/denial -- whatever -- from White.

You don't drop a racial bomb and then head out to practice like nothing happened.  I'm not saying White is wrong. I'm saying I don't know. I found myself in the uncomfortable situation of leaving a message for Van Zant in his office seeking comment.

"Every player I've talked to doesn't like him," White went on to say about Van Zant. "He's not a well-liked coach, but I guess he has tenure so they never got rid of him. They're not successful at all."

Every coach has his detractors -- from Krzyzewski to Knight. It's no surprise then that there is a site,, that is dedicated to ripping Greg Van Zant as a coach. The coach is criticized for everything from batting his catcher leadoff to bunting with a five-run lead in the eighth inning.

I'm a bit uncomfortable even noting that since, like a lot of the blogosphere, it is posted anonymously. But so what, it's a free country? The real story is White basically calling Van Zant a racist. That means that, for now, it's no longer about chasing a Heisman or a national championship at West Virginia. The next words out of Pat White's mouth better include some sort of reference to the baseball coach. 

Understandly, AD Ed Pastilong is in scramble mode. He issued a statement Tuesday reinforcing the school's commitment to diversity.

"We're trying to do damage control," one staffer said.

It's Wednesday morning and this thing hasn't hit the four-letter yet but when it does it might push Brett Favre off the 24-hour loop. That would be the good thing but let's not trivialize this. The West Virginia athletic department and Van Zant's rep are suspended in mid-air until Pat White speaks again.



Category: NCAAF

Since: Oct 4, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2008 8:01 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Im almost positive this whole thing was taken out of context, Patrick White has been a shining example of humbleness and respect that most WVU players uphold.

Since: Jun 2, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2008 8:48 am

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

nomercy you're a clown. have you ever played at a high level of either of those sports to make the assertion that playing quarter back is less mental than baseball??? thats such a rediculous statement that im surprised more people havent tried to crap on u're just a bigot who likes to write anonymously b/c you would never say that to someone's face...clown

Since: May 10, 2008
Posted on: August 3, 2008 6:45 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

What an idiot!!

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2008 3:17 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Maybe Patty just realized that baseball is more of a "mental" game than football. Even at the position he plays at.That's possibly the stupidest comment I've read on this forum.  Playing QB is incredibly "mental."  He touches the ball every offensive play from scrimmage and then is tasked with reading 11 moving bodies on defense and making the right decision about where to go and what to do with the pigskin.  Especially in WVU's run-oriented spread offense.  Unless you're a pitcher or a catcher (and even they don't have nearly the variables to consider as a QB), nothing in baseball even comes close to the mental aspect of running an intricate offense at QB in major college football.  Get a clue.

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2008 2:12 am

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Maybe Vab Zant is a racist.........and maybe White is a we have 2 racists going at it......Who's gonna do anything about it? It happens in the good ol U.S.A. everyday.So what else is new? Anything really worth talking about? I live in Pittsburgh and heres how it goes here.When your driving your car and then some blacks are crossing the road...they turn their heads to see if it's a white person.If it is...they actually walk slower across the road so you have to wait longer.Is there racism in Pittsburgh? I get it and see it everyday.If you don't think there is......then your just plain stupid and blind!!!! Deep down,I think theres a bit racism in all of us.And thats a fact,jack!

Since: Feb 23, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2008 11:35 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

I don't know about the "race" part of it. I don't know the background.

But the rest of your comment is just stupid. Pat White has been drafted by MLB twice now. He CHOOSES to remain in football.

You're a moron.

Since: Jan 26, 2008
Posted on: July 31, 2008 6:55 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Pat White states his opinion and does he expect nothing to come of it? He has to realize that now that he has become one of the best players in college football his comments are going to taken more seriously than just another guy walking down the street. He has to learn that with this new found fame coems new responsiblilty and he needs to exercise self control over what he says and does. And for the race thing it has been blown way out of proportion, he made a statement that was controversial and now both the baseball coach and him have to deal with the media asking about the incident. People need to take this incident and see that racism is as strong as it is in america as it has ever been and that some people are not afraid to call others out on it. Who knows? Maybe Van Zant is a racist and White has caused the school to look into it and rethink "would you rather win baseball games or become a fairer, morale school?" 

Since: Nov 7, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2008 11:22 am

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Pat needed an excuse for why he did not play baseball at WVU. He knows that playing lesser competition in the cold would have done nothing for his skills or value. Nearly every talented high school player in the mid-atlantic & northeast goes south to play. Young black men in markets like Atlanta, Houston, Miami don't dream of playing pro baseball. The West is a different dynamic entirely. Hopefully, Pat got throught to a few young black guys that play baseball and inspired them. At least he speaks his mind, although this accusation seems to be a bit unfair. Pat's situation is not the same as Jerritt's or McAfee's. Coach Stew should have recongnized that and not put him in the position of defending his choice to not play baseball.  

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2008 6:09 am

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Pat White is talented and many people thought he was smart too.

He proved that he is not by making the comment about the WVU baseball coach.

In a public arena if you speak your mind and it is not politically correct you will pay for it.  Pat White has a chance to deflect some of this and most likely he will be forced to try.  But I think the damage is already done.  Nobody really cares about the baseball coach, but Pat White had the ability to win some major NCAA football awards and he just threw that all away.  He also has just tremendously increased the pressure on himself in the most important year of his sports career.  This needs to be his year to shine and he has to perform off the charts for WVU to be in the Big East hunt.  Pat White will learn a lot from this situation. But it is as simple as what we should all have learned from our parents or teachers in grade school…

If you don’t have something nice to say just keep it to yourself !!!

Since: Oct 24, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2008 12:07 am

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

I agree with you for the most part.  But on the other hand, I don't see the harm in questioning where he got off throwing out a statement like that?  Who made him the authority to stamp this man as a racist.  I don't necessarily think this makes Pat White a racist, but a situation like this is like a sorority girl crying rape when there is no evidence to it.  Whether they are proven wrong or not, the person they accuse is forever tarnished.  He needs to watch his back on the football field though.  You never know what kind of racist DE he may face that may seriously want to hurt him for a statement like that.  Who knows what the backlash for this could be.  Could it hurt his draft chances?  An owner might not want to take a risk of being called a racist publicly for not playing him.  Who knows the many different ways this could go.  All I know is that to say something like that and then just walk away from the comment is skating on pretty thin ice.

Also, Pat White being black does not give him an excuse to accuse someone of being racist any more than if I called the NAACP racist because "I couldn't be president of the NAACP."

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or