The Times West Virginian

April 23, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- Was Geno Smith a victim of racial bias?

By Mickey Furfari
For the Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN — You may recall that recently a guy writing in Pro Football Weekly assaulted the talent, practice habits and character of WVU quarterback Geno Smith.

That damaging garbage, all untrue in comparison to my knowledge and coverage of the greatest passer in WVU football history, caused considerable feedback from people who knew better.

That came to a head in Monday’s edition of USA Today’s sports section. The headline over the article read: “Racial bias builds hurdle for Smith.” Beneath that is this sub-heading: “West Virginia QB is latest target of unfounded reports.”

Jarrett Bell, a member of the newspaper’s sports staff, was the thoughtful writer of that very fair story.

Bell was responding to allegations written by Nolan Nawrocki that Geno Smith was “not a student of the game. Not committed or focused. Marginal work ethic.”

Here is how USA Today’s Bell started his article:

“When a Pro Football Weekly scouting report of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith surfaced recently, containing damning proclamations by analyst Nolan Nawrocki about the habits of the top-rated passer in the NFL draft, it made me shake my head.

“Here we go again.”

Then Bell went on to cite two or three strikingly similar cases in which other great African-American quarterbacks also were victims in much the same manner.

 

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