Virginia Tech basketball coach Mike Young found himself in hot water ahead of the 2021 NCAA Tournament after taking a shot at an unlikely target, Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Young was speaking to the media about the Hokies’ March Madness opener against the Florida Gators when he made the seemingly random comment which left people scratching their heads.
“We’re not playing the Jehovah’s Witness All-Star team here. We’re playing the Gators, man, we’re playing the Gators,” Young said, via WSLS-TV. “I do know who our next opponent would be if we were lucky enough to win, but there’s not a chance in hell you start thinking about anything, nothing—I will not clip about anything but [head coach Mike White’s] Gator team, and that’s the same for my team.
“This is it. This is one game and if you play poorly or get outplayed, I’m going to be walking out the hall after talking to you guys via Zoom, and there’s going to be an NCAA representative telling me, ‘Your plane leaves in 45 minutes. Good luck to you. Go get your stuff packed and get out of here.’ It may not be that tough, but let’s play well and play a good ballgame. Let’s see what happens.”
As expected, Young quickly issued an apology for his comments.
“Earlier today on the NCAA tournament conference call, I attempted to show my respect for our upcoming opponent, the University of Florida. Regrettably, I didn’t articulate that sentiment in an appropriate manner,” the statement read.
“I apologize for my insensitive remark and am sincerely sorry for anyone I may have offended.”
Young and the Hokies enter the tournament as the NO. 10 seed in the South Region after going 15-6 overall this season. Young picked up ACC Coach of the Year honors for leading the Hokies to the tournament.