Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Hurricanes QB meets with coach to discuss race allegation

By The Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Miami Hurricanes quarterback Derrick Crudup Jr., who claimed race played a role in the decision to give a teammate the starting job, met Monday with coach Larry Coker to discuss the issue.

Also attending the 75-minute meeting were Crudup's father, former NFL player Derrick Crudup Sr., and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner.

"It was an outstanding meeting." Crudup Sr. said. Asked if his son will remain at Miami for the 2003 season, Crudup Sr. said, "Absolutely."

The family declined further comment, pending the release Tuesday of a joint statement by the Crudups and Coker.

School spokesman Doug Walker said those attending the meeting "came to a satisfactory resolution." He declined to elaborate.

Crudup Jr. lost out to Brock Berlin in their battle this spring to succeed Ken Dorsey as the starting quarterback. Crudup is black and Berlin is white.

Crudup and his father said the competition was compromised by racially insensitive comments from Werner, who is white. The Crudups said Werner used terms such as "redneck" and "cracker" when referring to himself in front of Crudup Jr. during the team's quarterbacks meetings.

Coker issued a statement before meeting with the Crudups.

"I am concerned about the allegations made regarding Derrick Crudup Jr. and our quarterbacks coach, Dan Werner," Coker said. "These are serious allegations that demand serious consideration."

Coker didn't return phone calls seeking further comment. Werner declined to comment through a school spokesman.

Several Miami players said they never heard Werner make the sort of comments that Crudup complained about.

"He might have been just joking around, but I never heard anything like that," tight end Kellen Winslow said. "Coach Werner is a good guy. He's not racist at all."

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