Originally created 12/07/00

Kent: A runningback's story of an unfair block 120700 - The Augusta Chronicle



THE BIG NEWS at the University of Georgia, of course, is the firing of head football coach Jim Donnan. Good riddance to mediocrity.

The continuing news at Georgia's flagship university is that it insists on preferring preferences.

I'm not referring to the Board of Regents' and UGA President Mike Adams' defiance of federal Judge B. Avant Edenfield's ruling that the college stop using race in discriminating against whites and females in its admission policies. I'm talking about another disturbing aspect of bias involving a football runningback.

In a Nov. 24 interview with the Athens Banner Herald-Daily News senior Brent Millican talked about the close of his career and going into Sanford Stadium the next day for the last time against Georgia Tech.

Then the Bulldogs' leading rusher told the reporter an interesting story.

He thought then-UGA head coach Ray Goff wanted to recruit him - but standing at the schoolhouse door blocking him was runningback coach David Kelly, now an assistant at Tech.

KELLY CLAIMED he had "commitments from two other runningbacks" (although it was later revealed they ultimately weren't interested). Then Millican is quoted as saying that an upset friend, who was being recruited, tipped him off that Kelly said he would not offer Millican a scholarship.

Kelly now maintains he never said this. Still, where are "civil rights" advocates Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Why are they not picketing? Why are they not condemning such an atrocious practice?

Since the runningback coach in question worked and is still working for a state-funded institution, one would think U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno would want to investigate.

With some additional information, the deafening silence from all these camps can be quickly explained: The coach is black; the player is white.

Here's what Millican told the newspaper: "(Kelly said) he couldn't offer a white runningback a scholarship in the SEC."

Just imagine if such a report had surfaced about a comment from a white coach about a black player. There would be coverage by the Big Media while firings, condemnation and sensitivity classes were being demanded.

FURTHERMORE, the fact that Kelly denies the story would all but be ignored as "consciousness-raising" would be an end that always seems to justify the means of hyping even the most unsupported allegations. (Remember all the publicity over Tawana Brawley, whose alleged rape by whites was later - years later - exposed as a hoax? Or the recently publicized "hate crime" against an Atlanta Jewish girl that was later found to be a lie?)

No, in this case, those forces won't be swinging into motion. The liberal Big Media seems only interested in discrimination against non-whites - so the story of Brent Millican is all wrong for the purposes of the preference potentates.

Ironically, it was good that Goff was fired and Donnan hired in 1996. The new coach recognized Millican's talent and got him his scholarship. At least that was one good call Donnan made.

Can't we be colorblind?

GEORGIA'S REGENTS and UGA's president appear just as defiant as Alabama Gov. George Wallace was in 1962 in trying to use race as a reason to be biased.

Even though a federal judge ruled in favor of white applicants who were discriminated against in favor of minorities, said UGA's admissions policies unconstitutional and ordered the school to pay the plaintiffs (which it did), UGA - like Al Gore - continues to appeal ad nauseum.

On Nov. 21, in an appellate brief filed with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers for the plaintiffs urged the court to reject as "rank discrimination" UGA's use of race in admissions.

Attorney Lee Parks, who has an excellent track record in this type of cases, wrote that the university failed to provide any empirical evidence to justify its diversity goals beyond the "subjective, even intuitive" remarks given by the university president and his predecessor.

"The assumption that one's race necessarily correlates with one's intellect, beliefs, interests or mental ability is an unvarnished racial stereotype," Parks said. "Given the extended duration of UGA's racial preference policies, there is no end in sight without judicial intervention."

These words should upset many Georgia taxpayers. Why must they keep wasting money funding a defense of UGA's preference potentates?

Phil Kent is political columnist writer for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3327 or philkent@augustachronicle.com