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: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:32 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Most of the comments here have been pretty critical of Pat White.  He was certainly not very diplomatic, but I would think that he wouldn't pop off at Big East media day without some reason.  Perhaps Mr. Van Zant actually IS a racist, perhaps?

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:26 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

If I were at WV I would not be too concerned about Van Zant. If recent history means anything, Van Zant will be coaching at Michigan soon. Just like Beilien and Rodriguez.

Since: Jul 15, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:21 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Hey, I have a crazy idea.  How bought Pat White and Bill Stewart talk a little bit less about baseball and a little more about how the team is going to win football game's this year.  Yeah great idea Bill tell Pat to go play baseball and look at the crap that was started because of it.  Pat should really just go out there and play his own sport, that he is clearly talented at, instead of running his mouth about someone else's.  In the end, Stewart's idea to "increase" interest in White as an NFL prospect did nothing but decrease it because as we all know the NFL has started looking towards character as a major attribute when grading prospects and I don't think many NFL organizations would want the type of guy who would go out and rip a head coach at his own university. 

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:15 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

I'd like to thank "the_product" for being the first to actually provide some insight from a personal level.  Even though the Braves suck.

Since: Aug 4, 2007
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:11 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

*get rich bad

Since: Aug 4, 2007
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:10 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Everyone keeps asking the question on why blacks don't play baseball anymore. It is simple really. They are more attracted to the get quick rich, big money sports such as basketball and football. It takes time to develop and break into the major leagues, and even then the money isn't guaranteed. It's all about the money.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:10 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

Baseball is a mental game that takes time to learn and progress, but football isn't..... ?

Did you really just make that statement.....

Football isn't mental at all.... all you need is speed and the ability to catch a ball,right? -- nothing to it.

NFL offenses and defenses are not complicated at all..... playbooks are thick because they have lots of pictures and cool things to color.

"Hey... you run that way.... you go over there.... you stay here and block anyone that comes near me.....ready.....break"

NFL coaches get paid to draw plays in the dirt with a stick, huh.

As a black male, baseball just never appealed to me because it wasn't physical enough or fast paced....

I liked to run around and always be involved in some kind of action.....

I respect the game and the players that make to MLB, but I can't say I'm die hard -- I only care about the Braves, not the sport as a whole.


Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:05 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

unless you are talking about being a coach of baseball, where is the mental game?  playing the field is fundamental, his biggest decision would be saying "i got it" or hitting the cut-off man.  don't see the complexities of that.  maybe it's hitting, I better swing if i've got 2 strikes or i better take if i have a couple balls.  i really don't see where baseball is even in the same realm as playing a football game or a season of games against different teams.

Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: July 30, 2008 1:02 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

I hope for Pat White's sake another current or former athlete backs up his comment.  I can't imagine why he would make a comment like that unless it had some merit.

West Virginia has a small percentage of minority students.  It would not surprise me that certain athletic teams are all white.  I would like to know if any minorities felt that they were not offered scholarships due to their race.

Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: July 30, 2008 12:57 pm

Pat White drops a bomb instead of throwing one

As much as I would like to disagree, I think you are right. The issue here is Pat White's understanding of the Heisman Committee. They are searching for the player with a positive attitude. It doesn't matter what he does on the field and that is a shame. With the two basketball players in the Pittsburgh Jail and the RR headlines and three FB starters released for negative actions, I am ashamed of the program right now. I don't want to win at this cost. This is not what the people in West Virginia want to see.

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