Race not a factor in QB decision

Whatever concerns Derrick Crudup and his father Derrick Sr., had about the reserve quarterback staying at the University of Miami after alleging that quarterbacks coach Dan Werner made racially insensitive comments have apparently been resolved.

In a joint statement from University of Miami coach Larry Coker, both Crudups and Werner released through the school's athletic department Tuesday morning all parties came to terms that race was not a factor in the selection of junior Brock Berlin as the team's starting quarterback and added that Crudup would remain at UM.

Crudup Sr. reviewed the statement before it was released.

"We had a very productive meeting yesterday in which we discussed several issues," the statement read. "We are all in agreement that race was not an issue in deciding the quarterback competition. The Crudups regret that Coach Werner was unfairly labeled. Derrick Jr. does not believe Coach Werner is a racially biased person, nor does anyone else involved in this situation."

Several days after saying that the quarterback competition was handled fairly even though junior Brock Berlin was selected over Crudup as the team's starter for the upcoming season, the Crudups, who are black, accused Werner, who is white, of making racially insensitive remarks during quarterback meetings and added that it may have factored in Berlin, who is white, winning the starter's role.

Crudup Jr. told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Saturday that he became uncomfortable with the situation after Werner allegedly used the words ‘cracker' and ‘redneck' during a meeting.

Crudup told the newspaper: "In those meetings, we're supposed to be talking about coverages and reading defenses. Not him asking, ‘Who's a redneck?' 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?"

But according to the statement Crudup Jr. does not have an ill feelings towards Werner and it adds that the family regrets rushing to judge the quarterbacks coach. Although the Crudups did not agree with Coker's decision to go with Berlin they do respect his authority.

"The relationship between Derrick Jr. and Coach Werner is very strong, and even though Derrick Jr. and his father did not agree with Coach Coker's decision on a starting quarterback, they did respect Coach Coker's authority to make the decision."

"The Crudups are adamant that Derrick Jr. is staying at the University of Miami and will continue to compete for the starting job. Sometimes when there are issues that are raised it can make each of us more sensitive to individual differences and that can be a positive. All parties agree that we will move on from this situation united as a family."

Crudup Sr. was reached by phone Tuesday evening but said that a statement had been released and that he would not make any comments. Werner and Coker also declined to comment on the situation as they left campus on Tuesday. Coker, who said Monday that he would address the issue at the appropriate time, drove away in his vehicle after declining a request for comment from a local television station.

"We've already made a statement and I have nothing else to say," Coker said.

But Coker and athletic director Paul Dee did comment on the issue during Tuesday WQAM's broadcast of Hurricane Hotline with Joe Zagacki.

"The main thing that Derrick Sr. was very adamant about was that he certainly didn't want to hurt Coach Werner, didn't want to cause any damage to our program, and basically wanted to put it past us and move on."

Coker added that although Berlin will go into the fall as the starter the situation might not be settled. Coker said that Crudup Jr. wants to compete for the job and will be allowed to do so.

Said Dee: "The most important thing when you have a situation is get the people together and get to a resolution. I think you get to the right answers, which they did here."

Coker said that the decision to make Berlin the starter was reached after the coaching staff reviewed all the practice film and compared overall statistics between the two.

Crudup, who started the spring as the No. 1 quarterback, completed seven of eight passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, including seven consecutive completions, in the CanesFest spring game Apr. 5 in the Orange Bowl. Berlin, who transferred from the University of Florida in early 2002, was eight for 16 for 129 yards and a touchdown. Crudup's only incompletion of the scrimmage came on his final drive, while Berlin opened the day 2-for-7 before finishing strong.

Crudup and Berlin had limited success in a scrimmage in Ft. Lauderdale a week earlier. Crudup was 3-for-6 for 40 yards and was sacked three times, while Berlin finished 2-for-8 for 48 yards and a touchdown despite completing a 41-yard pass to Roscoe Parrish on his final pass.

After the scrimmage in the Orange Bowl, Crudup still felt he had the upperhand in the competition.

"I still feel it's my job to lose," said Crudup. "I've done everything asked of me and really think I've better and better at running the offense with each practice. But again the coaches have to make the call so it's not up to me. I believe they will a fair decision. Regardless, I want to help this team win football games."

Coker also said at the time that he would not choose a starter until at least the start of fall practice.

The Crudups met with Coker and Werner in a 75-minute meeting Monday evening in Coker's office in an effort to clear up the issue at hand and the allegations that centered on Werner. But several players, including Berlin, interviewed at UM Tuesday said they have never had a problem with any member of the coaching staff.

"It didn't involve me but I've never had a problem," Berlin said. "I'm glad they worked things out."

Junior tight end Kellen Winslow also said he's never felt uncomfortable around any of the coaches.

"It's never been a problem," Winslow said.

Coker named Berlin as the Hurricanes starter for the upcoming season last week.

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