Air Force coach in trouble?
Oct. 26: 67-year-old Fisher DeBerry made controversial remarks about African-American players.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry met the academy’s new superintendent for the first time Wednesday, and found himself being reprimanded, but not fired, for statements he made about black athletes and recruiting.
The 67-year-old coach, known for his folksy, disarming charm and his homespun sayings, found himself in an imbroglio over political correctness for the second time in less than 12 months.
Last time, it was about religion in the locker room. This time, it was about black football players — or the lack of them — at the academy.
After his meeting with Lt. Gen. John Regni, DeBerry, who is suffering through a 3-5 season this year, issued an apology at a news conference.
“I realize the things I said might have been hurtful to many people and I want everyone to understand that I never intended to offend anyone,” DeBerry said.
On Tuesday, in discussing last weekend’s 48-10 loss to TCU, DeBerry said it was clear TCU “had a lot more Afro-American players than we did and they ran a lot faster than we did.”
“It just seems to me to be that way,” he said. “Afro-American kids can run very well. That doesn’t mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can’t run, but it’s very obvious to me that they run extremely well.”
DeBerry first discussed the topic Monday, telling The Gazette of Colorado Springs the academy needed to recruit faster players and noting, “you don’t see many minority athletes in our program.”
He said he realized he had erred as he was driving back to campus from his weekly luncheon with the media Tuesday.
“I have made a mistake and I ask for everyone’s forgiveness,” he said. “I regret these statements and I sincerely hope they will not reflect negatively toward the academy or our coaches or our players and I thank the administration for the opportunity to make this apology.”
DeBerry said he had no plans on stepping down after this latest public embarrassment. Athletic director Hans Mueh, who took DeBerry to Regni’s house, said the academy “has a zero-tolerance policy for any racial or ethnic discrimination or discrimination of any kind.”
CFT: Senior receiver Wilson Van Hooser is transferring from Tulane to help care for his ailing mother.
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick he wishes he was spoken to in private prior to the insults.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Saban hurt by colleagues' comments?
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick what he think of these comments.
BCS title game
Pregame color, key plays and other moments from 'Bama's blowout win.
Check out the action from the postseason.
Check out which players were best of the best at each position.
Check out some of the college football cheerleaders from across the country.