City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: Hoyas Women’s Basketball Has a Feeling of Whitelessness?

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Post-Racial America (cont.): When did Georgetown women's basketball dump whitey, too?

I knew the Georgetown's women's team was having a fine season, but I hadn't been paying the distaff squad much mind this year, so I went over to the team's Web site yesterday to catch up. Here's what I found: The Hoyas are now 17-2 overall, undefeated in the Big East, ranked No. 19 in the country and are on a 16-game winning streak.

But here's what also stuck with me: None of the 14 players on the squad are white. There's not a single white coach listed, either. (Terri Williams-Flournoy, in her sixth season as Hoyas head coach, is the brother of AAU legend Boo Williams.) The Georgetown women now have the least white college basketball program I've come across since, well, Georgetown men's basketball!

Full disclosure: I'm white, and I've been intrigued, unhealthily or not, for decades by the whitelessness of Georgetown basketball. I still have a stack of trading cards from the late 1980s featuring Tom Lang, a rare Georgetown white boy during John Thompson Jr.'s tenure at the school. The Hoyas had amazing street credibility in this city at the time, and the D.C. police had printed up cards of a few Hoyas to hand out to kids. The Lang cards (seen above) had messages about staying in school and staying off drugs. The stat sheet says Lang scored a total of five points during his Hoyas career from 1986 to 1988. I was a Georgetown fan like everybody else around here at the time, and I'd never heard of Tom Lang before I got the cards from some cops I was living with back then. I still get giggles remembering that the MPD picked Lang as a face of the team.

And I probably followed the Georgetown career of Matt Causey too closely. Causey, a high school All-American from Georgia, was nicknamed "The Only White Hope” on Hoyas message boards when he signed to play for GU and then-Coach Craig Esherick in 2003. Far as I could tell, no white recruit had been given a scholarship at the school in at least a decade by then.

Far as I can tell, the record books also indicate that at the time Causey committed to Georgetown, no white player had started a game for the Hoyas since December 1996, when Thompson sent Brendan Gaughan out for three minutes at the beginning of a Christmas tournament game in Las Vegas against Pacific. Turned out Gaughan's father, Michael Gaughan, and grandfather Jackie Gaughan owned three casinos in Vegas, and around that time Thompson had filed an application with the Nevada Gaming Control Board for a license in hopes of buying into the Gaughan family's slot-machine operation. Putting the walk-on Gaughan in the lineup was just kissing up to the gambling crowd. Georgetown President the Rev. Leo J. O'Donovan put the kibosh on Thompson's gambling endeavor, saying it wouldn't be appropriate for the school. So throwing the youngest Gaughan a bone didn't signal a change in attitude from Thompson II. (In the only start Gaughan ever got, the Hoyas got whupped by Pacific, btw.)

Early in the elder Thompson's Georgetown career he had been the target of a racist campaign to remove him as coach—at the beginning of a 1975 game at McDonough Arena, a bedsheet scrawled with “Thompson the Nigger Flop Must Go” was briefly hung from a window inside the gym. His future penchant for leaving white kids off the roster—by 1984, a Georgetown had no white players at all—could be viewed as revenge. It should be mentioned that the players Thompson put on the floor, non-white as they were, won pretty much year after year, including an NCAA title in 1984.

Causey, however, got decent playing time as a freshman under Esherick and had his best game in the team's season-ending loss to Boston College in the Big East tournament. But Esherick was fired after that season.

And Causey left Georgetown shortly thereafter, in June 2004, after just one year at the school, as Esherick was replaced by John Thompson III. Causey transferred first to North Georgia College and State University, an NAIA school, and was named first-team All-American. He then moved over to Georgia Tech and had at least one good game, putting up 30 points in a win over Virginia Tech in his senior year. Because of the Great White Hype and not much performance, some Georgetown fans recently gave Causey "worst Hoya of the decade" props.

There haven't been any new American-born Caucasian recruits given scholarships since Causey left Georgetown. (This year's squad has two whites—Ryan Dougherty of St. Albans, and Stephen Stepka of W.T. Woodson, both walk-ons.) But that's scheduled to change next year, when the New White Meat, Nate Lubick, a 6-foot-8 or 6-foot-10 power forward from Southborough, Mass., comes in.

Alas, it looks like the women's program has picked up the racial slack. There was a huge fuss last week about the mono-racial All American Basketball Alliance, but that was a hoax. The Georgetown women's situation—Not one white player? Not one white coach?—sure seems wrong.

***

There are no white guys on UDC's roster this year, either. But, boy, would Coach Jeff Ruland take players of any stripe right now. For what he's going through in his first season at UDC, Ruland should at least get a sponsorship deal from Five Guys. UDC started the season with 10 players. But because of injuries and quitters, his team has been playing with five men or fewer since last weekend.

At times during Saturday's game against Apprentice, a vocational school, Ruland had to play with just four players on the court. They lost.

Last night, the Firebirds' Furious Five stuck with Washington Adventist for a half, and went into the break tied, 30-30. But the Seventh Day'ers, who played 11 men, pulled away over the last 20 minutes and won, 73-63.

Wait 'til next year, Coach Ruland.

***

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Comments

  1. #1

    "The Georgetown women's situation---Not one white player? Not one white coach?---sure seems wrong."

    Explain yourself, sir! What is wrong with a coach recruiting what is obviously a very good basketball team? Years of really tall Eastern Europeans got the lady Hoyas exactly zero NCAA tournament berths since 1993.

    --Mike DeBonis (COL '04), playing the feud

  2. #2

    Because Mike... it's wrong. And the author explained himself crystal clear.

  3. #3

    MdB:The Feud™! me! MdB! sad that you're saving your strong stuff for the Bonus Round. last I checked, Kentucky has the greatest winning percentage of all NCAA hoops teams ever, thanks to the 40 years or so Adolph Rupp won with an all-white team. he barely integrated his team right before retiring. The DeBonis Doctrine holds that he won, so he did things the right way! bah! but ain't those Tom Lang cards fabulous?

  4. #4

    MdB:The Feud™! me! MdB! sad that you're saving your strong stuff for the Bonus Round. last I checked, Kentucky has the greatest winning percentage of all NCAA hoops teams ever, thanks to the 40 years or so Adolph Rupp won with an all-white team. he barely integrated his team right before retiring. The DeBonis Doctrine holds that he won, so he did things the right way! bah! but ain't those Tom Lang cards fabulous?
    PS: Wanted to say solid post!

  5. #5

    Hard work and talent are the only factors that contribute to being on a Hoyas basketball team. Not skin tone. You should be ashamed of yourself for publishing this filth.

  6. #6

    Yeller: "filth" is a great word, but what's filthy?

  7. #7

    If anyone remembers GT basketball you would remember the little white lady who sat on the bench, when Big John was coaching. Big John isn't a racist, he was just giving kids from the inner city a chance to play and go to school on, "The Hilltop". John Thompson biggest role model was Red Aeubarch, who when I last checked was white. Mr. McKenna did you also see that GT women's team didnt have any kids from DC Black or White? And how do you know that Big John didn't recruit "white" players and they just didn't come?

  8. #8

    So, Dave, you're saying that because Adolph Rupp was so successful with an all-white roster, all teams should follow his example? Yikes. Enjoy living in the 1960s South a little more.

    For what it's worth, since Causey's recruitment, Georgetown has given scholarships to 26 players (including this year). Eight of them have transferred.

    There were two other white players in Causey's recruiting class, both of whom stayed all four years and graduated with G'town degrees: Sead Dizdarevic and Kenny Izzo. Since then, along with the two walk-ons mentioned in the article, Bryon Jansen (another white player) walked-on the past two years before graduating this past spring. Omar Wattad was also on the roster for the past two seasons, before transferring out this year.

    Georgetown's roster hasn't been teeming with white guys the way that Duke has... but two Big East championships in the last three year say enough to appease me. I'll let JTIII judge players by their talent instead of their skin color.

    "His future penchant for leaving white kids off the roster---by 1984, a Georgetown had no white players at all---could be viewed as revenge. It should be mentioned that the players Thompson put on the floor, non-white as they were, won pretty much year after year, including an NCAA title in 1984."

    Besides being an unsubstantiated claim (who has gone on record to say it was revenge?), it seems like you just killed the whole point of your article with this statement. Damn, the Hoyas are all black but keep winning?? What a Shakespearian tragedy!

    And for the record, Meredith Cox, a white player, is still on the team. She suffered a career-ending injury this season, but she still sits on the bench and cheers on her all-black teammates every game. Crazy how whites can co-exist with African Americans like this these days, isn't it?

    Good grief.

  9. #9

    Bryan: did you really read the Rupp reference that way? to use your kicker, Good grief! go read it again, B. as for my killing the point of my article, well, what point? but,bottom line: thanks for Playing the Feud™!("Good grief" made my day...)

  10. #10

    The population Georgetown is recruiting from is "players talented enough to be Division I basketball players." What's the racial make up of that population? You argue as if that population has an, at least, equal number of black and white players in it. It doesn't.

  11. #11

    Maeve: i think you're saying that one of the races lacks the "necessities" to play ball at georgetown. hmmm. I didn't know "Maeve" was Al Campanis' pen name! butt seriously: you see georgetown, an institute of higher learning, having zero obligation to diversity, maeve? i dunno...

  12. #12

    Hey, Dave I posted a comment earlier, but you didn't respond.

  13. #13

    Yeah, Dave, what _about_ Mary Fenlon? Total white lady!

  14. #14

    Dave:

    Did you miss Meredith Cox in your "analysis", or merely ignore her?

    http://guhoyas.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/cox_meredith00.html

  15. #15

    Kris: i missed and ignored nobody on the women's basketball roster on the "Official Website of Georgetown University Athletics": http://guhoyas.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/gu-w-baskbl-mtt.html

    2 Latia Magee 6-2 F SO Tulsa, Okla./Jenks
    3 Rubylee Wright 5-3 G SO Latta, S.C./Latta
    5 Adria Crawford 6-1 F SO Alexandria, Va./Thomas Edison
    12 Tia McBride 6-1 F SO Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame
    13 Sydney Wilson 6-6 C FR Silver Spring, Md./St. John's College Prep
    14 Ta'Shauna ''Sugar'' Rodgers 5-11 G FR Suffolk, Va/King's Fork
    15 Morgan Williams 5-9 G SO Dickinson, Texas/Dickinson
    20 Monica McNutt 6-0 G JR Suitland, Md./Acad. of the Holy Cross
    22 Kenya Kirkland 5-8 G SR Brooklyn, N.Y./Grand Street Campus
    23 Shanice Fuller 5-8 G SR Chesapeake, Va./Indian River
    24 Amanda Reese 6-2 F SO New Orleans, La./Episcopal School of Houston
    30 Jaleesa Butler 6-0 F SR St. Louis, Mo./Alton
    34 Alexa Roche 6-0 G SO Bellmore, N.Y./St. Michael's Acad.
    42 Vanessa Moore 6-2 C FR Hackettstown, N.J./Pope John XXIII

    as you see: no Cox on the roster, Kris! find out why and get back to us, won't you?

  16. #16

    What about Mike Sabol? You forgot about him (he's definitely white).

  17. #17

    Dave voted for Obama so it's all good.

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