Black Hurricane says QB pick based on race

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2003

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Derrick Crudup Jr. claims race was a factor in the competition for the starting quarterback job at Miami, which he lost last week to Brock Berlin.

Crudup is black and Berlin is white. Crudup and his father, former NFL player Derrick Crudup Sr., said the competition was compromised by racially insensitive comments from quarterback coach Dan Werner, who is white.

The allegation was first reported in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Crudup Sr. confirmed the allegation Sunday but said the family would have nothing more to say until Monday. He said he plans to meet with head coach Larry Coker.

An official with the Hurricanes said school officials were discussing the matter but had no comment. A phone message left by The Associated Press at Coker's office was not immediately returned, and school officials said Werner was unavailable and had no comment.

The Crudups said Werner used terms such as redneck'' and cracker'' when referring to himself in front of Crudup Jr. during the team's quarterback meetings. Crudup Jr. said those comments and others intimidated him, and he decided he won't get a fair shot at the starting job as long as Werner is involved in the decision.

In those meetings, we're supposed to be talking about coverages and reading defenses, not him asking, Who's a redneck?''' Crudup Jr. told the Sun-Sentinel. We're talking about a room full of all white males, and I'm the only black man in there. Exactly how am I supposed to feel about what they're discussing, and what am I supposed to think they say about me when I'm not in the room?''

The Crudups said that when they confronted Werner about his alleged statements and how they made Derrick Jr. uncomfortable, the coach apologized and said it wouldn't happen again but it did.

They said at Werner's request, they agreed not to take their concerns to Coker, which they now regret. Coker had said he would wait until fall to name a starter, but instead he announced Thursday that Berlin will be the starter.

Crudup Sr. said he wanted to go public with the allegations to promote a fair competition in the fall'' for the quarterback job. The Crudups claim Derrick Jr. outperformed Berlin in spring practice.

Both players will be redshirt juniors next season.



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