Tournament notebook: Ryan says Vandy is 'too white'

Vanderbilt's men's basketball team is black and gold and too white, according to Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan.

Ryan said Wednesday on ESPN Radio's nationally syndicated "Tony Kornheiser Show" that the Commodores had "too many white guys" to beat Western Michigan in today's first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Kornheiser paused and seemed to try and help Ryan get past the remark. Ryan then reiterated, saying "they have too many white guys, they always do."

As Commodores fans are aware, Ryan was incorrect about Kevin Stallings' team. Vanderbilt's starting lineup includes three black players — guards Russell Lakey and Mario Moore and forward Corey Smith. Additionally, forward Julian Terrell, who also is black, has started 17 games this season.

"I'm disappointed someone would make a comment like that," Stallings said.

Ryan did not return a call to his office yesterday.

Don Skwar, Boston Globe sports editor, said he believed Ryan meant no harm.

"I think Bob was attempting to be humorous," Skwar said.

Ryan was suspended by the Boston Globe for a month without pay in May 2003. The suspension came after he told a Boston TV station that someone should "smack" Joumana Kidd, the wife of New Jersey Net Jason Kidd, because he felt she used their young son, T.J., as a prop to get herself on camera.


Scooter Sherrill, injured N.C. State guard, sounded like someone who expects to play in the Wolfpack's NCAA tournament opener against Louisiana-Lafayette today.

His coach, Herb Sendek, sounded just the opposite.

"Scooter has been very optimistic," Sendek said, "but he isn't anywhere near where he left off."

Technically, Sherrill, who suffered a torn muscle in his left ankle on Feb.29, has been cleared to play, Sendek said. Sherrill said he believes he can play today, but the decision isn't his to make.

"I can say whatever, but if (Sendek) doesn't see it, he's not going to play me," Sherrill said.