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: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:40 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

The answer to the problem of race in baseball is simple. I'm not wholly sure of the numbers from this past year's draft, but I'm almost positive that a large percentage of players taken in the early rounds were NCAA ball players. Going by this, we can see that the NCAA's limit of 11.7 scholarships per 35 man rosters plays an enormous role in the overwhelming lack of AA baseball players. Ron Polk has been on the NCAA for years about their efforts to hurt baseball. If there are only 11.7 scholarships per team and the coaches are told how to use said scholarships, are they gonna go after "poorer" AA ballplayers that have a hard time coming up with the remaining tuition costs? This is a major problem. I know I'm generalizing here, but more AA's are financially challenged, and their best hope for college education is through athletic scholarship aide. The black males that do actually play baseball are forced to accept a late round draft selection more times than not instead of a college scholarship. Hmmmm, pay to play baseball in college or get paid to play in the minors......not a tough decision for someone who can't afford college is it?

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:34 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Pat White is an idiot!!!!  He is too stupid to be a heisman trophy candidate.  Here we go again, if blacks don't succeed or are not included it is always someone else's fault!!!!!  I'm sick of it!!!!  Until the NBA starts putting a proportional amount of white players in the NBA  (of course blacks have no problem there) blacks should just shut up and stop blaming everyone else for their shortcomings.  Of course there are talented black baseball players, but maybe "they don't fit into his style of play".  Now if that comment sounds familiar or even racist, it's becuase it is exactly what John Thompson said at Georgetown when asked why he doesn't recruit white players to his program.  Bottom line is there is and always will be racism in sports and in this world, but it goes both ways.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:30 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Hurricane hater...

Aren't you using the race card yourself by saying it's ok for black people to be racist? You honestly made no sense. You said that black people blame everything on society, yet you just blamed society for how white people are treated. Hmmmm. You just sat in front of a mirror and pointed fingers at the finger pointer.

Since: Jul 25, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:27 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

I agree what the heck does that matter?

We are in 2008 why can't the race card die.

There are plenty of African Americans in the MLB.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:27 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

HurricaneHater....simply because YOU'RE tired of hearing someone call a white person out doesn't mean the accusations aren't true...and yes there are double standards in this world we live in, most favor you , a few don't....and white men have benefitted most for over 400 years because of those double standards that THEY created...and if the "N--word" is ONE word in the english language that YOU can't use, THEN DON'T use it...big DEAL...for years people used it in our history without ANY repercussions...and WE tolerated it, Blacks and whites...and anyone that wants to equate cracker or honky with the N-word is just ignorant of our history, double standard or not...

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:27 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Navin R Johnson.........LOL!!!  Love Steve Martin!!!

Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:13 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

just mad his last name is white

Since: Sep 29, 2007
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:12 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Wow, all I've got to say is that I cannot believe that everyone's panties are getting in a twist over this.  As a citizen of America he's allowed to express his opinion of the situation.  Everyone needs to try and come to the realization that America is NOT uniform and homogenous and we have people that come from many different walks of life.  Each of these different paths and upbringings is what shapes our individual perspective of what's going on around us.  So if that is his perspective, then so be it.  Should there be some substantiation to it, then it's a shame.  If not, then oh well he's wrong.  (I mean Pat White is a human after all, right?...)


Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:08 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

If you are a Marine, then Semper Fi; so am I. Once a Marine, always a Marine!. I'm not a racist and I hate those who are, black or white, and I make no threats from behind a keyboard nor back off from anyone in person.  Please recognize that while you have not played the race card, others have, both black and white.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 3:02 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

OK.....first off let me say this.  Pat White was and probably still is a very good baseball player.  He was drafted in the 4th round by the Angels out of high school.  After his sophomore year in college he was drafted in the 27th round by the same Angels franchise (obviously they saw something) and after last year he was drafted in the late rounds by the Cincinatti Reds.  You don't get drafted 3 times, let alone once being in the 4th round if you can't play baseball.

Under Rich Rodriguez, players were not allowed to pursue other interests such as playing a swcond sport.   Rich believed that a football player needed to focus his self on just football.  That is perfectly fine and I have no problem with that.  Bill Stewart felt comfortable allowing his players the freedom to pursue other endeavors.  He allowed Jarrett Brown (back-up QB) to play basketball and allowed Pat McAfee to join the soccer team.  Knowing the type of talent that Pat White has and his well documented abilities on the diamond, Bill Stewart approached him and asked him if he wanted to play baseball and gave his blessing for Pat to do so if he wanted.

Pat White has always been an upstanding young man and has never given anyone the indication that he would lie about anything like this.  Should he have made the comments in such a public forum?  Probably not, but if he felt the need to shine the light on the subject when he was specifically asked why he didn't play baseball, then far be it from me to condemn him for doing so.

As for Greg VanZant, I have heard these rumblings in the past at WVU.  I do not know if VanZant is racist or not.  But I do know that WVU had zero african american baseball players on their roster this year.  This could be due to geographical recruiting.  It could be that the players he felt could help his team win just happened to be white.  It also could be that he doesn't want to recruit black players and he is a racist.  I don't know what the answer is.

People need to quit throwing Pat under the bus when he directly answered a question that was posed to him.  If it is his feeling and the feelings of others around him and within the University, then Pat has every right to express his displeasure.

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