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November 08, 2006

Writer slimes UM over Pata

     It didn't take long.

     I mentioned in today's column on the  Bryan Pata tragedy that some writers and commentators would kneejerk and lazily lump this with previous UM football controversies, placing it neatly in line right after the FIU brawl.

     Sure enough, on MSNBC.com today, a person named Michael Celizic opines under the headline, "In wake of killing, 'Canes should not go to bowl game." Celizic is a New York-based freelance writer, which means he can't find steady work. Find his commentary here.

     I don't agree UM should eliminate itself from a bowl, or not play Saturday's game at Maryland in the wake of this tragedy. But it isn't that opinion that bothers me about Celizic's piece -- it is the implication that Pata being killed is somehow the fault of the UM football program. There is even a suggestion Pata somehow was to blame, as the story ends with an admonishment that Miami needs to ask itself, "How is this young many going to represent our school?" when recruiting athletes.

     Dear Mr. Celizic: Bryan Pata represented his school and himself exceptionally well, by all accounts. It's fine that you urge UM president Donna Shalala to fully investigate the football program "including asking why it exists at all," as you wrote. But to vaguely suggest that Pata's murder is just the latest example of a program run amok is an irresponsible shame.

     A young man's grieving family and team deserve better.


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I do not know what to say to this except that this is the type of stuff that makes me sick to my stomach. This assclown of a writer probably never interviewed a single member of the UM community whether Bryan was a young man worthy to represent the school. And even if he wasnt according to this idiot, who cares? A young man was taken off this earth before his time. Thanks for bringing this slime to our attention Mr. Cote.

"miami not go to a bowl game because of the pata shooting?"can somebody please explain to mr. celizic that bryan pata was the murdered, not the murderer.

This guy call Bryan a thug, then a few hours later changed the wording in the article.

Why does the American establishment automatically look at young black men with dreads and gold teeth and label them thugs. For this man or any man to call a person out of his name without knowing that person is very irresponsible. As a person who travels into high crime areas trust me this guys who claim that UM players are thugs don't know the meaning of the word.

"And so, unfortunately, Pata's murder will be lumped in with these other incidents, because the school's football program already has a negative image. If it happened at Ohio State, we’d be shocked. But at Miami, a lot of people will say it’s not even a surprise: When you recruit thugs, such things happen."

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the Ohio St. University recruit and use Maurice Clarett to the tune of a National Championship? See this is what I hate, people who just don't get it. All these football powerhouses recruit the same kids. Every school was salivating over Clarett and Willie Williams.
Tragedy aside, College Football is huge dollars, for the school and coaches. To ensure your success, bring in the talent. Ask Dennis Erickson about that one. He'd vomit before games because of the pressure involved to win. And last I checked he is pretty good at it.

Don, this is irrelevant in this blog..but there are plenty of white thugs. I've neer labeled someone a thug because of their looks, just their acions. Remember the white player who slashed someone on the ice? He was a thug.

As for the relevant topic, it's incredibly silly for someone to suggest UM withdraw from bowl games because of this. However, UM should not play in a bowl game because they will be embarrassed like last year. They don't deserve to be in one after beating only Duke & Houston barely, UNC, FIU, and Fla A&M.

Sorry Russell, but NOT all football powerhouses recruit the same kids. Sure, there are schools such as Miami and Ohio State that put winning first and character 10th, however, there are others such as Penn State and Notre Dame that would not even sniff a Willie Williams. As Joe Paterno once said when asked how the 2005 team compares to the best he's had, "ask me in 20 years" Joe said, "when these kids go out into society, raise families and become productive citizens".

"And so, it really doesn’t matter why Pata was shot or by whom. He played for the Hurricanes. He died violently. If it happened at Ohio State, we’d be shocked. But at Miami, a lot of people will say it’s not even a surprise: when you recruit thugs, such things happen."

He changed his article.
"And so, unfortunately, Pata's murder will be lumped in with these other incidents, because the school's football program already has a negative image. If it happened at Ohio State, we’d be shocked. But at Miami, a lot of people will say it’s not even a surprise: When you recruit thugs, such things happen."

the writer's email address celizic@yahoo.com

Hey - I just found this by accident - and you took the article way out of context. I found myself furious that this guy Celizic would write these types of things after such a tragedy - only to click on the link and see that you completely twisted his words around. It's pretty dumb to take a few quotes and say he was talking about Pata - he said he thought Pata was a good guy by all accounts and the quotes you referenced above as his article basically says that Miami needs to examine the types of people it typically recruits.

Nice work on this one - you clown.


Cote got it right. That guy changed his original article posted this morning to what you probably just read right now. From what I understand he has taken a great deal of heat today with regards to his original post.

You guys are correct that people incorrectly made knee-jerk assumptions about this kid because of the program....however...let's not get carried away and start insinuating that the Miami program is not having significant problems...

He ain't twisting Celizec's words... Celizec is hanging out the whole program, as if it's somehow different. ESPN made holy hay out of the UM video, using their "spotlight" technology to highlight deplorable actions. But there was also a Dartmouth - Holy Cross brawl that same weekend... the difference? No video. And other programs... institutional coddling of Maurice Clarett? Reggie Bush's family house in LA? Non-working Oklahoma players? Etc.? Etc.?

In fact, you Miami guys are twisting what the guy actually said in the MSNBC article to once again look like the "U" is being misunderstood...if you read the article, you would see that he said the following ...

"It's too bad that's even considered, because by all accounts, Pata was a popular player on campus who was murdered at his apartment. He's described as a great kid, a "guidance counselor" to other players on the football team. He's no thug.

But there is no question that the institution needs to take a very long, very hard look at where it came from, where it is and where it hopes to go."

this is the same point Greg Cote is making, just from the other side...you "U" fans are something else...


Obviously you didn't read his original article that he posted this morning. The snippit that you posted was in his edited column. It was absent in his original. The original painted UM as thugs (which he included Bryan).

why do they need to review the program? Did clemson or south carolina review their programs after that brawl? ohio state gave players free passing grades and jim tressel was accused of doing that at his former school. amazing how they give players free money at other colleges and so forth but nothing is wrong with their programs. ohh yeah how about FSU just having more than a handful of "criminals" but no one says anything about them or how about tenn.? a UF player was Stabbed, no big deal? UM should not review the program hasnt done anything wrong when you look at college football in general. one final thing these same people that complain about UM players being thugs and so forth dont really mind them on their favorite NFL team.

Well this is interesting, and now we know why Idiot Celizec is saying what he says. It says on his bio on MSNBC that he is a GRADUATE OF NOTRE DAME!! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7624510

What a friggin insensitive jerk, talk about kickin' em while they are down, hell he probably wishes he pulled the trigger.

Also do a Google on this guy and see all the negative reviews of his other columns, seems he has a negative bent on everything he writes.

Thats probably why he has been reduced to writing in obscurity on MSNBC.com instead of a real news source.


Way to edit your article, Celizec, you coward!!!

Why arent these kids living on campus??????? With the amount of distractions such as: drugs, sex, clubs, drinking, gangs these guys should be on campus no questions asked. Not at the movies or at a Chillis mingling with the citizens. Miami makes a ton of money and the least they can do is offer a dorm to their athletes. As for the fans that spat on Kyles dad that not right. I was at the game and I was furious. I will admit I curse and even get very frustrated but never will I spit on or throw things at the players. There needs to be more security at the OB. People sneak in bottles, weapons and rugs ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!

"Why arent these kids living on campus??????? With the amount of distractions such as: drugs, sex, clubs, drinking, gangs these guys should be on campus no questions asked. Not at the movies or at a Chillis mingling with the citizens. Miami makes a ton of money and the least they can do is offer a dorm to their athletes."

Eddie, this may be the stupidest post I've ever read on this blog. Congratulations. That's saying a lot.
Do you think that ALL students should be required to live on campus? If so, would you not allow kids to commute to school from their parents' home? If not, why should the athletes not have the same rights and privileges, re: housing, as regular students? They should just be confined to their dorms, the practice field, the weight room, the library and the classrooms? You are a complete and total fool.
Bryan Pata wasn't living in his own apartment because the University of Miami didn't have ROOM for him on campus. Get the hell out of here with that garbage.
As for students and athletes being safer on campus, Marlin Barnes was on campus the night he was murdered. Ask him how safe he was that night.

Celizec is simply a bitter writer with no heart. Bryan Pata was actually an athlete with good grades, did not drink, was religious, and had many very good offers before he chose Miami. As alum to the "U", I find it very insensitive and classless of Celizec to even begin to compare a young man's death, a murder, to a football team's struggle to maintain it's reputation. If we did that with all elements of college , then nobody would even fathem the thought of attending Notre Dame knowing that a unintelligent loser like Celizec was a representation of their school. Have some consideration and let the family of this young player grieve.

I believe all media outlets should be held to some responsibility... just look at what is going on with AOL's message board!:


My issue isn't so much Celizic's asinine "story," but the fact that a news agency like NBC would legitimize slander like that and post it.

Mike 1 you might not label a person because of there looks but believe plenty of people in this country do. Yes there are white thugs but when something like this happens we never hear that word used when refering to them. A punter out west recently was charged with attempeted murder for stabbing a fellow teammate did Mr. Celizec or any other media outlet term him a thug. They might have but I didn't see it.

Before calling someone a clown, and suggest that words are being twisted, I would definitely get all the facts straight.

If the MSNBC writer's words were so accurate and poignant, why did he feel the need to edit his own piece within a few hours of writing it? Why did he feel the need to completely change his tone?

Nice work on calling someone a clown for distorting facts, yet somehow completely distorting the facts yourself. You might have a career in the general media, where hypocrisy, contradiction, and overall sensationalistic incompetence are only exceeded by transparent agendas.

to: Mr. Lew Goldman

I will bless those that bless you, and curse those that curse you. Just a word from G_d to you my friend. May your children never endure the same.

The thug portion of the article by Celizec was read on the air this morning by Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio. It's accurate.

Lew Goldman is not for real. He posts on every blog with this crap, even if it isn't Hurricane-related. I don't think he uses his real name and I worry for anyone who might share his name. I'm convinced he's just trying to push buttons and doesn't believe a word of what he says.
Or so I hope.

For the jackass who thinks Notre Dame boys are pristine:

"The Sunday South Bend Tribune reported that there have been seven allegations of rape against Notre Dame football players since 1998. Kathy Redmond, the director of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, comments, "I receive more calls from students regarding Notre Dame than any other school in the country. I feel like I am always dealing with Notre Dame in one way or another."

Female students regularly report to me that the football team has a "reputation" for having a disproportionate number of players who are sexually violent. David Haugh of the South Bend Tribune did the calculation on the allegations. It's one out of every 12.4 football players recruited, "an average of nearly one accused rapist per huddle." If the national average of 87 percent of rapes going unreported also applies to Notre Dame, then the situation is even worse."


Sad, very sad, i sit here and read the garbage that especially Lew Goldman from above wrote, and my heart goes out to this team and family for having to put up with this tragedy and with idiots like Goldman from above. Goldman, it is you that have no heart and you that deserved the fate that he had from yesterday. I wish the Canes and the Canes friends and family the best this week and up in Maryland. Bryan Pata was having a wonderful year. Shame on all those who cant separate life from football.

let's call this what it really is and that is a tragedy. i do not care what mike and mike says, i do not care what the unempolyed writer wrote and i do not care what the rest of college football world is saying, all i care about is that a young man has been senselessly killed and it has no reflection on the state of the U's football program. how inconsiderate to even associate his killing with a program gone wild.
what we all should be doing as you would if one of your own friends or family member were killed and that is pray for his family and as a community we must be there to help them through these most trying times.
may g_d bless this young man's family and friends and help them through it all.


There was an idiot above called Eddie who said "Why arent these kids living on campus???????". Well two reasons really, the big one being that just because he is an athlete does not mean he shouldnt live a normal college kids life. Did you live in the dorms your whole college life? I know i didnt. The other reason is that the NCAA about 14-15 years ago abolished what they called athletic housing. Meaning a certain block of on campus housing could not be put aside for athletes any longer. As for any idiot saying that Penn State or Notre Dame wouldnt have interest in troubled recruits is simply blinded.

As long as the University of Miami fields a football team whose roster is filled to near-capacity by kids with a third-grade (at best) education and the reading skills of a lemur with astigmatism, then the University of Miami will be nothing more than a whorehouse institute of higher learning.

Even if Bryan Pata did nothing wrong, he chose to associate himself with a legacy of scum. You reap what you sow.

This is a pure tragedy and what makes it worse is people trying to blame this poor kid or the University of Miami for it. A 22 year old was just shot and too many people want to blame the victim or the institution.

I may be on opposite sides during a game (meaningless now) but the UM and other schools have done more to move society forward than all sportswriters put together.
Pray for Bryan and his family.

Another young person in Miami is killed.I
live key west so i can`t really understand what goes on in Miami.For his family, team and
friends i offer my prayers and sorrow.Maybe this a wake up call.I love the canes but right its just football.Hopefully some good will come from this i don`t know how but i`am hoping.And if they have football in heaven
they just got great guy

Hey Frito...nice rant..."let he who is without sin cast the first stone." What a jerk...I don't think you'd be so judgemental if someone in your family was a victim of a senseless crime. You don't know anything about the case so shut your flan hole and let the police do their work and figure out what happened.

Frito lay, I thought I had read after last season that Coker graduated the highest % of football players of any NCAA school (which probably explains partly why they suck). I can't verify this..but I do remember reading it last year on a major sports website.


Yes there are some still out there who may think that way. The Punter is a thug.

However, keep in mind that blacks make up a much larger % of most sports teams than whites. So let's say %-wise there are equal white thugs and black thugs..numerically there will be more black thugs. It therefore creates the impression that people are assuming more blacks are thugs and which is why it gets mentioned more.

A copy of email just sent to Lew Goldman:What a scandalous thing to write about an individual who was just murdered,not the murderer and why in the world would you bring in his mother? You wrote like a presumptuous loathsome reptilian snake.How can you have that much hate for some one you never met and know nothing about? I can read between the lines and your comments are as rascist as can be.

You should be ashamed of yourself but you were probably raised by a mother worse than you described Brian's(how does that feel)I gather from your email address that you are in education and Jewish. With that background shouldn't you be more sensative and less judgemental? How did that much hate get in your twisted mind?
Kol Tuv and Shalom. Frank

True story: About a year or so ago (I wish I still had the emails saved to help my frame of reference) that Celzic wrote a column lambasting the Dallas Mavericks for not closing a deal to acquire Shaq before the trade with Miami happened. At that point, I immedately recalled an interview with O'Neal on ESPN Sportscenter during the dinner hour 24 hours after the trade to Miami, with Shaq saying that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told O'Neal that there he would trade him, but there was no way he would send him anywhere in the Western Conference. I actually e-mailed Celzic with this information, which he denied ever happening. At which point I wrote back saying that this came right from the horse's mouth on national television, at which point I received a responce basically amounting to "Oh".

The point? This wouldn't be the first time that Michael Celzic has pontificated on a topic he has at best underresearched or at worst knows nothing about.

To Notre Dame apologists:

In March 2002, four Notre Dame football players -- Donald Dykes, Abram Elam, Lorenzo Crawford and Justin Smith -- were accused of gang raping a 20-year-old woman. Elam was convicted of sexual battery a year and a half later.

In September 2003, a jury awarded $1 million to a woman who charged that former Notre Dame football player Clifford Jefferson raped her. The woman filed the civil lawsuit against Jefferson in 2001.

Funny how Miami players get more notoriety for making songs about these things than some of the players who engage in such acts.

I knew Bryan. I knew him personally. He had this amazing smile he would flash just to get you to smile back. And it would work.

No matter what he was involved in, who he knew...nothing is worth a life. But for those who wonder...

Bryan was not a pimp. He was involved in a committed relationship. He loved his girlfriend.

He was loyal, both as a friend and a teammate. He was a hard worker on the field, and a quiet presence on campus...everyone seemed to know and like him.

Bryan had his ups and downs like every other young college kid, but he was in no way a thug. He was a good person, with a big heart.

My deepest condolences go out to his family, close friends, fans, and everyone else who knew him.

RIP Bryan

Hey Lew... What if I told you that the Haulocost never existed???? That Hitler should have finished the job!!! Sure would hurt wouldn't it??? I'm not going to go there, but a Jewish person, that you appear to be, should be ESPECIALLY considerate of the "label" that you're placing on a certain culture, ethnic group, or School of higher learning.

Mr. Celizic is a jerk and that is putting it mildly. What correlation does this young man's murder have to do with playing a bowl game? Calling Bryan Pata a thug can be labled as defamation of character. Perhaps we should just call him a pompous, ignorant a**

Let it all rest and go to Cote's other blog where so many soothing words of love are flowing freely...

Hey Greg I agree that Celizic truly has no right to make any statements about how the college should basically not play football the remaining part of the year. He is only thinking of his own personal gains, most likely in which NY college he backs.

The students of UM need to keep their daily lives as if this did not happen. This is a lot for everyone there to deal with. I lost my best friend at the age of 14. Though it was 32 years ago, it still remains in my thoughts. I feel sad and disheartened for his parents, friends, and family. No one deserves to bury their child, or friend, or family member ay such a young age, no matter the reason.

The college too, has now to deal with assuring something like will never happen again, and that is something no one can absoluely stop. Unfortunately, their attendance here will fall from new, and those already here due to fear of who is responsible for this nightmare.

Celizic labeling this young man without knowing him personally, tells me he has no class, and his writings should be banned from every paper, magazine, or sports telecast. He is not the only jerk, ESPN is just as liable for running his ignorant, and hurtful statements. The lack of perfessionalism at ESPN is unbelievable. I am tempted to say goodbye Monday Night FootbalL, and any contact through purchase, or computer because of their inhumane failure to rebuke individuals like Celizic, or anyone making statements as he did.

I personally think its ridiculous for anyone to judge someone they dont know. As for the bowl, obviously you shouldnt cancel the season or even a game. While it is tragic I would almost guarantee Bryan would want them to play on.

I apologize at the statement I made on ESPN. I mistakenly forgot who actually broadcasted Celizic's nonsense. The fools are MSNBC, and what I said above is intended for these idiots. Again, sorry for the mistake.

Lew Goldmen... I agree is a false name, and is no different than Celizic. Neither of them has any brainns to make statementsas they did, Actually, if anyone should be dead it should be both of them. I have friends of all races, and levels within society. You do not say something as this unless you intend to start trouble between everyone who has heard this nonsense. Lew, or who ever you are... as a christian I should never wish this on anyone, but I hope that Bryan's family could witness you sit helpless while your wife,the daughter or grandchild are raped and murdered, and then given the same insensitive remarks to you and your family.

This is the kind of idiot we let on the air, and in the newspaper. He truly is well educated, and a true pride to his college Notre Dame, his profession, and the company he writes for.

I feel sad for all you UM fans. For the all that's happened here, the idiot Celizic, and the ones here on this post like Lew Goldmen. There is no reason... no reason at all for anyone to judge anyone because none of us our flawless. Best of wishes all here in Miami, and UM.

Mike 1

That's my point it's an assumption. When people call other people names without really knowing the person that doesn't help anyone. For that man to say they recruit nothing but thugs is insane. And I'm sure when he says thugs he isn't talking about Kyle Wright or Gregg Olsen. Trust me as someone who knows a lot of famous people you never really know a person because you see him or her on TV. You know a person when you spend a little time with them and all of the false perceptions shown through the media are not there.

Miami is hated because all the alma maters of the the northeastern writers that watched Miami win 5 national championships are jealous of Miami's incredible success. If Miami wasnt this good over the last 20 years nobody would write anything. Miami had guys who grew up having to fight poverty and violence. They turned that energy into national championships. Those championships are whats pissing off these people. What a bunch of hypocrites.
Im shocked- idiots in the national media?
Round up the usual suspects.

To readers/bloggers: I have deleted an offensive posted comment from the person who called himself "Lew Goldman," and did so the minute I was made aware of it. I oppose censorship and encourage a free exchange of opinions in this blog, but will not tolerate such a hateful diatribe.

Don, a lot of people nationwide continue to make assumptions about UM players, because of its past...when Johnson, and Ericksson cared winning without regards to the player's character. Those championship teams got a nationwide reputation as the convicts or the cocaine cowboys and showboaters. No one in the US respected them on or off the field. I know, I don't live in Miami and I had to hear about it all the time. Butch Davis cleaned things up quite a bit and still managed to rebuild a great team.
Coker, supposedly tried to follow Davis example. However, the UM reputation is there from the past; coupled with the city of Miami's high crime rate ..and thus people make the assumption that the current Miami team is nothing but thugs. The fight a few weeks ago did not help.

Good job Greg. There has to be some discretion on what to keep out. The local paper here removes anything that is over the top and offensive.


as is often the case, i am in agreement with mike1. the post that was removed dripped with venom and racism, and while we of many ethnicities like to kibbitz on this site, that post was uncalled for. A POX ON "LEW GOLDMAN" until he repents. have a great holiday(?) weekend.

As an educated adult, it makes me sick to read some of the trash posted on this site.
A human life was lost, a family lost a loved one and a team lost a beloved brother.
The "U" football program has gone through hell and back this year, but it is only a game. A life was lost outside the boundaries of that game. It is time for the "U" to heal and time for its leadership to stand behind the players and Coach Coker, and tell the world, the the "U" takes care of its own and that the head man will return. With the tragedy of Bryan Pata's death, this program cannot stand to be in disarray. I know this is not a popular move, but it is a necessary action to united the university. May God bless the Pata family in its time of need.

I support your comments. These players want to show the naysayers that they can win out for Bryan Pata, themselves and their coaches. Go Miami and bless the Pata's.

The bottom line here...people will continue to hate the university of Miami no matter what...Its easy to hate a winner...there are so many controversies in college football...from USC to the Ohio state Cheat eyes (had to get that on in! :)...but when the team from coral gables does not cover its mouth when it sneezes, you have jerk offs (exscuse my language) 2,000 miles away in New york who are an expert on "thugs" because they watch cops everynight throw a hissy fit and say stupid things like how the University of Miami should drop football...i agree..only if Ohio state , FSU , USC , and all the other programs that have been involved in scandals over the years do too...People hate the city of Miami and Hate the University of Miami..Bottom line

Do you have an e-mail address for Mr. Celizic? I have loaded the MSNBC sportsdesk with e-mails, but would like to give his personal e-mail a piece of my mind. By the way, he is a graduate of Notre Dame, doesn't that explain a whole lot about his perspective??

Celizic is a biased cocksucker.

Over the years, I've had more than one occasion to observe how UM players behave in public. Maybe, I've just observed the wrong ones, but one thing is absolutely clear, they carry themselves with a sense of entitlement and as if they are the baddest men on the planet. I've watched their boorish, arrogant behavior and how they won't hesitate to mouth-off whenever it suites them. Barnes was killed by a man he accosted earlier that night in club (if I remember, he was seeing the man's girl friend), one of the thugs in Ray Lewis' posse killed a man outside a club in Atlanta. Sean Taylor recently accosted someone with a gun and almost went to prison. Willie Williams allegedly choked a girl in Gainsville while visiting the campus, etc. etc. etc. Here's the deal, Miami is not the place where you want to be conspicuous with your badness this isn't Norman, OK, Tuscaloosa, Al or Gainsville. These kids need to understand that no matter how bad you think you are on the field the real world is a very very dangerous place.

hurricanes = thugs and gang-bangers...time to clean house at u of miami fl

I think the Pata tragedy is largely a statement about life on the streets of Dade for young males.

Random shootings and meaningless murders happen almost daily. This time it hit with a young athlete.

The community apparently accepts the punks and gangstas who run around well-armed and without morales.

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