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 16, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2008 2:12 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

It disgusts me the amount of racists on this board.  People implying that White isnt smart because he's black and that black people only go for get rich quick sports.  I know there are trolls on these boards making comments to start something, but the sick part is it's the majority of people here making racially charged comments. 

Since: Jul 25, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2008 2:08 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

you hit the nail on the head .could not of said it better

Since: Jul 25, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2008 2:06 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

what else is new its always the white guys fault.when will they be happy when there is no white people left in sports.we are the minority in almost everysport.everyday its always something about race.It makes me not want to even watch anymore

Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 2:04 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

There is racism in sports and everywhere else on all levels. I experienced it first hand in high school. As a sophomore, I was one of only two white players on the varsity basketball team. I did not play a minute in any game and was generally treated with scorn. The other white player, a senior, was the best shooter and ball handler on the team, but  he rode the pine. The coach, a white man, did everything he could to keep "the brothers" happy and his teams were successful.

At mid-year, I transferred to a parochial school where the players took little notice of race, nor did the coach. I made the starting lineup after three games. We won our last ten, including beating my old school, by 10 points. One of my former teammates tried to goad me into a fight during the game. The fight took place in the parking lot after the game, and no one shook hands after it was over.

I've been a football coach for many years and NO ONE can justly say that I discriminated against anyone on the basis of race or religion. Maybe that's why I've never had a losing season on the griddiron or on the court.

But racism LIVES everywhere. To deny it is to perpetuate its existence. 

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 2:04 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

I am not saying that White should have said anything about the coach, but how do any of you know that he is not correct??   Just because he doesn't play baseball doesn't mean he doesn't know the issues on the baseball team....  I played football in college and you are in the same circles of players on the different sports....  So its not far fetched to think that he knows the complaints about the baseball coach or the issues on the baseball team....

Again I am not saying he should have said it at a press conference but I don't write it out as just "pulling the race card".....

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:58 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one


And you assume this because?

The NBA has like a 10 man roster... there are only a couple hundred players in the NBA total. It's not easy to make an NBA roster and "get rich quick". Black males aren't running to the NBA because it's an easy way to make large sums of money. It's not about the money, it's about the sport itself.

That's like me saying white kids flock to baseball and golf because they're lazy, aren't athletic, and need a game that isn't based so much on physical makeup.


Dookie.... it's been a long season for my Braves... hopefully the Tex trade will start a trend of getting our pitching back to mid-late 90's form.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:57 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

So you don't like him "pulling the race card" but then you go and infer that he is not smart enough to play baseball since its more mental.  Your post only makes his statements more believable....

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:55 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Its TRUE! I have lived in Morgantown all my life and I have heard the exact same thing. He is jealous of the football program and hates all football players (black and white). Its time for Van Crap to go to Michigan.


So this has nothing to do with race? It's just the football program?If so Mr. White should keep his mouth shut and just play football!!!!!!

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:43 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

So....why you have to make 2 separate threads saying the exact same thing just spinning it with different vocabulary??? We get 'cha.

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:43 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

I think West Virginia needs to put its players through some better PR training! Yikes!!

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