As you are probably aware if you read this site, last week NBA analyst/Fab Five member Jalen Rose said that, during his college days, he “hated Duke,” as he “felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”
As you can imagine, these remarks (though again, they describe the mindset that Rose had back when he was 18) created a bit of a stir. To be fair, Rose’s explanation of his current stance on Duke was still slightly provocative, though not nearly as much so:
“[Duke] recruits black players from polished families, accomplished families. And that’s fine. That’s okay. But when you’re an inner-city kid playing in a public school league, you know that certain schools aren’t going to recruit you. That’s one. And I’m okay with it.”
Well, Dick Vitale apparently heard Rose’s comments, and briefly addressed them during yesterday’s ACC semifinal between Duke and Virginia Tech. And we know this might be hard for you to believe…but Dickie V came to Duke’s defense.
“I heard Jalen Rose talk about the fact that…Duke would not recruit him, he said because they go for a certain perception of kids…from a different environment. That’s so untrue.”
Dickie V cited Corey Maggette and William Avery as “urban” prospects Duke recruited (and landed), and also noted that they tried to recruit Rose’s college teammate Chris Webber as well. This, however, doesn’t help argue Rose’s point, since Webber went to a private high school.
Video of Vitale’s comments below, via ESPN – his remarks on Rose begin at about the 40-second mark.